Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Walnut Butter

In keeping with my latest obsession with nut butters, I made a batch of walnut butter. This one is a little different in the sense that I think it will be best suited to use in baking or cooking. As a butter, it has a slight hint of bitterness that you can often taste with walnuts, and as such isn't quite as moreish as almond or cashew butter in terms of a standalone item of food. The bitterness comes from the phenols contained in the skin of the walnuts, however these phenols are what makes the humble walnut one of the most nutritious nuts out there, so leave it on!!

One of the items on my list to experiment with is making a bread using the walnut butter, so watch this space! I am also really keen to make a macadamia butter, but I love macadamia nuts so much that I am almost too scared to make it as I know that I will be unable to resist the temptation of the smooth creaminess of it!

Walnuts are one of the less glamorous, less publicized nuts on the market, but they are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are a rich source of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as containing a particularly beneficial form of Vitamin E, and loads of phytonutrients which are known to reduce cancer risk for many people.

As with all of the nut butters, this is super easy to make, and requires just nuts and a pinch of salt.

Walnut Butter

2 cups raw walnuts
a pinch of salt (about 1/8-1/4 tsp…adjust according to your taste preference)

1. You can choose to either lightly roast the nuts prior to blending, or you can use them raw if you prefer. If you choose to roast them, preheat the oven to 160C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the nuts on the baking tray and roast for around 5-10 minutes or until just golden. Remove from oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.
2. In the blender place the nuts and the salt. Blend until a smooth creamy consistency is achieved. This will take anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the power of your blender. You will have to stop a couple of times to scrape the sides of the blender (and also to give the motor a bit of a break so it doesn't burn out!

Pour into a glass jar with an airtight lid to store. During the summer it is best to keep this in the fridge to prevent it going rancid.