Here is my now not so secret recipe for one of my top selling raw nut butters! It makes a great Christmas gift packaged in small mason jars. Although not as smooth as the one I make and sell (because it is stoneground) this butter is equally delicious and is ground in a food processor. Once processed if you have a vitamix you can puree the butter again to make it even smoother. I always sprout and dehydrate my hazelnuts to enhance their nutrient content and digestability however; you can also make this recipe with raw or lightly toasted hazelnuts. Toasting the hazelnuts really enhances the flavour as well. Raw cacao paste is available at natural food stores. It is essentially cacao nibs ground into a paste.
makes 3, 1 cup mason jars or 6 1/2 cup jars.
- 6 cups of sprouted and dehydrated hazelnuts (or raw or toasted, see note below)
- 1/2 cup of coconut sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of melted cacao paste
- pinch of salt
To sprout the hazelnuts soak them in water for 12 hours. Strain, rinse and then dehydrate at 117 F. for 24-36 hours until thoroughly dried.
To toast the nuts preheat your oven to 350 F. Spread hazelnuts onto a large cookie sheet. Roast for about 10 min. or until they begin to brown slightly and are fragrant. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool before rubbing the nuts gently between your palms to remove the skins.
In a food processor grind the nuts for about 2 minutes. They will break down and begin to release some of their inherent oils.
Set up a double boiler on your stove, a larger pot with a few inches of water in it and then a stainless steel bowl on top.
Chop up the cacao paste and place it in the stainless steel bowl over the boiling water. Stir until melted.
With the food processor motor running, add the melted cacao paste, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt.
Continue to process until smooth. This can take up to 10 minutes. The mixture and your food processor can tend to heat up as you mix so feel free to give it a break. If you are using raw nuts it is best to keep the mixture from overheating to keep the enzymes in tact. Process for 3 minutes, give it a 15 min. break or so and repeat until your desired consistency is achieved. Allow it to cool before blending again in a vitamix blender if desired. Pour into mason jars, allowing the mixture to cool before sealing. The butter will remain fairly liquid at room temperature but will thicken up substantially in the fridge. It is delicious at room temperature drizzled on ice cream or desserts and chilled spread on toast or fruit slices.