Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients in peanut and almond butter spread from Nutella and Hersheys? They contain around 50% sugar and not to mention a large quantity of palm oil. The actual percentage of nuts is just around 5-15%. Many of the brands selling peanut butter add many preservatives and oil too. The worst part is that kids get addicted to these choco spreads. My son, in fact, finished a bottle of Hershey’s Cocoa Almond Spread in just about a week’s time. That’s when I thought of making them at home.
The process is fairly simple and easy, provided you have the right equipment.
You will need a robust mixer grinder or a food processor to make peanut and almond butter at home. Personal-sized blenders are not easy as it may be difficult to scrape the nuts back to the blades. A full-sized blender however would be perfect.
The first step is toasting the nuts. You can do that on the stovetop using a nonstick pan On a low flame, toast the nuts, constantly flipping in between for about 10-15 minutes or till they leave a toasted nutty aroma. Or else, if you have an oven, preheat it to 180 degrees Celsius and then spread the nuts evenly on a baking sheet or a pan and heat it for 10-12 minutes. Toasting the nuts gives the butter a deep and rich flavour.
If you are using raw unshelled peanuts, remove the shell after toasting it. Almonds fortunately don’t have much prep work. Once it has cooled down, add it to a food processor bowl or a mixer grinder jar and run it. It may take a while and depending on the condition of your mixer grinder, you may need to give the equipment breaks in between. But, be patient and soon, creamy, delicious almond/peanut butter will be ready before your eyes.
You can sweeten the peanut or almond butter using jaggery, sugar, honey or maple syrup. Some people also flavour it with vanilla. But if you want to create a spread like Nutella or Hersheys, buy compound milk chocolate and melt it using the double boiler method. Then, mix the almond/peanut butter with the melted chocolate. It is not as healthy as pure peanut or almond butter. But, is still far better than store-bought choco spreads.
It would be a good idea to make peanut and almond butter in small batches as we don’t use any preservatives in this method. If you store it in the refrigerator, the spread will harden up. So, it is better to store it on the countertop. If at all you store in the refrigerator and it gets hardened, immerse the jar in hot water for a while and the spread will melt. Spread it on bread or chapati and it could be a good snack for your kids to take to school!
If you are adding compound chocolate, avoid adding any other sweetener as the compound chocolate itself will add sufficient sweetness to it.
Now, let us take a look at the step-by-step instructions on how to make peanut and almond butter spread at home.
How To Make Almond and Peanut Butter Spread At Home?
Time needed: 40 minutes.
We have used just 100 gm each of almond and peanut and 50 gm chocolate compound to make this spread. You can increase the quantity of chocolate depending on the sweetness you want.
As we store it on the countertop, we make just enough quantity to last us a month. If you want, you can make them in larger batches, and store them in 2-3 jars in the refrigerator.
The below method can be used to make peanut butter and almond butter separately. Or you can mix them both together and make peanut-almond butter spread too.
Ensure that the bowl, jar, spoon etc you use for making the spread is dry. Else, the moisture may spoil the spread quickly.
- Toast The Nuts
Spread the nuts uniformly as a single layer on a baking sheet. Ensure they don’t lay one over the other. Preheat the oven and heat the nuts for 12-15 minutes or till they let out a rich nutty aroma.
- Crush In A Food Processor Or Mixer Grinder
Once the nuts cool down, add them into a mixer grinder jar of appropriate size ( or food processor bowl) and pulse to crush the nuts uniformly.
- Blend To Desired Consistency
Depending on whether you want it to have a crunchy texture or a smooth texture, pulse continuously to blend the nuts. But note that you won’t be able to make it as silky-smooth like certain store-bought brands.
While pulsing, listen to the sound of the mixer grinder jar and scrape down the nuts towards the blade in between. It is easier and more effective to pulse instead of running the mixer grinder on a continuous mode.
The oil will gradually release and peanut-almond butter will be ready. It will take at least 4-5 minutes to blend the peanuts and almonds to release oil and reach a spreadable consistency. If the nuts are old and it is not spreadable, you can drip 2-3 teaspoons of neutral oil to reach desired consistency.
If you want plain peanut-almond butter spread, you can stop here. If you want it flavoured, proceed to the next step.
- Add Flavouring
After crushing the nuts ( step 2), you can add flavouring of your choice. Common flavourings used are cinnamon, vanilla extract, cocoa powder etc. You can also add sugar or jaggery if you want it sweet. This step is optional.
- Double Boil Compound Chocolate
To make choco nut spread, first double boil compound chocolate. For this, use a large Kadai or any vessel with a wide mouth and fill it with water to a maximum of 1/3rd its capacity. Place a smaller bowl inside and keep the chocolate bar in it. Once the water starts boiling, simmer down the flame and slowly stir the chocolate to melt it completely.
- Mix Nut Butter With Chocolate
Scoop out the nut butter from the mixer grinder jar and add it to the melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly and choco peanut-almond butter spread will be ready.
In a clean dry glass jar, store the choco-nut spread. If you have made it in a large batch, store it in 2-3 containers so that you can take out just one jar for use and keep the rest refrigerated. Immerse the refrigerated jar in warm water for 20-30 minutes to bring it to a spreadable consistency.
This method can be used to make not just peanut or almond butter, but also hazelnut, walnut, cashew and practically any nuts. The best and healthy choice is making nut butter without any sugar or additives. Consider making choco spread only if kids refuse to eat it in its pure form.
After making choco peanut almond butter spread, clean the mixer grinder jar, bowls and spoons by pouring warm diluted dish soap in it. Avoid adding cold water as this will harden the fat, which will make it more difficult to clean.