maple pecan butter
Just to set the record straight, I have never ventured into the land of making my own nut butter. I always dismissed it, speculating that it was too complicated or time consuming a task. Now that I have made it – and understand how easy it is – I’m a little sad that I waited so long. Oh, how I have been missing out. Seriously missing out.
The desire to fiddle with making my own nut butter came out of the need for us to be on a pretty strict rotation diet. The pecan butter we were eating by Artisana contains cashew butter. But, we have our own (separate) rotation day dedicated to cashews. Sadly, I came up empty handed in my search for a (strictly pecan) nut butter. I understand why manufacturers do it: cashews render the pecan butter extra creamy.
Without cashews, some liquid was going to be necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency. I remembered my love: the maple masala pecans I made a year ago after sampling them at the farmers’ market. If you’ve never given them a try you should: pecans and maple syrup are such a stellar combination.
Pecans, like macadamia nuts, have a higher fat content than most other nuts. But, don’t let that scare you off, it’s the good kind (mono and polyunsaturated). According to The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry pecans have the highest antioxidant level of any nut out there (yes, even more than the beloved walnut). They are also a great source of protein, iron, calcium and B-complex vitamins. Never mind that eating nut butter satisfies your appetite. For a snack, spread some on apple slices or banana halves. We had it for lunch in the form of pecan butter and jelly sandwiches. The sky is the limit – go ahead, shake it up a little bit!
Side note: You don’t have to use soaked and dehydrated nuts. I choose to do so because I digest them much more easily (ahem, without any of the lovely side effects of un-soaked nuts: gas, bloating, discomfort).
2 cups pecans, soaked overnight in filtered water with salt, thoroughly rinsed, then sun-dried (or dehydrated) for 12-24 hours.
2 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup (I prefer Grade B) or honey (depending on your taste)
1. ) In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the dried nuts for about 20-25 seconds, until they resemble coarse crumbs.
2.) Through the feeder tube, with the motor running, pour in the maple syrup/honey one tablespoon at a time. The pecans will form a ball of sweet, spreadable nut butter. Scrape down the food processor and transfer nut butter to an airtight container. Refrigerated, mine lasted a full week. We ate it all before the nut butter had a chance to spoil. The second batch shared the same fate.
3.) Makes about one 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup heavenly maple-y pecan goodness.