nut butter making you nuts?

2 Oct

Before we get into this post, you need to go watch this video from the Vita-Mix people. Click on “nut butter” under the little TV screen. Just the first few seconds or so, but you have to hear how this chef/actor pronounces the words “nut butters”. I freaking love it, it just cracks me up. I can’t come close to replicating it, but Jim and I certainly try to.

I don’t make nut butters in my Vita-Mix, or haven’t yet at least, because I’m very happy with the nut butters we buy at Trader Joe’s, so why mess with something good? When talking about natural nut butters, the biggest complaint I hear is that they are hard to mix and get stiff in the fridge. I’ve found a simple solution so you’re not tempted to buy something icky like Jif.

First off, when buying a nut butter, make sure it only has, at most, 3 ingredients. Nuts, salt (if salted) and possibly oil if it’s a nut that doesn’t have a lot of oil in it, but seeing oil listed should be rare. Before you use it, and then refrigerate it, the nut butter needs to get mixed very well because the oil and solid separate after the nut butter is manufactured. If it’s not mixed, it will turn into a hard mess when refrigerated. Jim used to curse up a storm when mixing nut butters because the oil would slosh around, over the lip of the jar and onto his hands and the counter and often times when we’d get to the bottom of the jar there would be some hard, stiff butter that hadn’t gotten oil incorporated into it. Enter this simple solution:


When you get home from the store, flip the jar upside down on your counter for an hour or two. This gives the oil some time to fight it out with gravity and it will begin to seep into the nut butter mass and incorporate itself. When you later open it to mix it up, you’ll be in for smooth stirring.


Look at that, beautiful, creamy and smooth! Now no one has any excuse for eating chemical spreads aka “regular” nut butters. Nature knows better!

*to be fair, the nut butter pictured is sunflower seed butter and it has another ingredient I didn’t list above- sugar. This is because sunflower seeds are bitter, so a small bit of sweetener is added, but that is unusual.


17 Responses to “nut butter making you nuts?”

  1. Hope October 2, 2009 at 6:53 am #


  2. Vegyogini October 2, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    I’m with you…Trader Joe’s nut butters are the only ones I buy! It bugs me so much that all those commercial brands are loaded w/ chemicals and sugar.

    As for the separating, well, I admit that I like the non-oily hard, bottom-of-the-jar stuff, but that’s because I don’t ever eat nut butter sandwiches. I usually only grab a spoonful if I need a pick-me-up. I bought a natural nut butter stirrer, though, and it works really nicely. Thanks for your tip; I’ll give it a try!

  3. erica October 2, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    I’ve been wanting to try the peanut butter mixer by Witmer’s no-mess mixer. Then I realize my cashew butter doesn’t have a serious problem with oil seperation.

  4. Courtney October 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm #

    You know, I have always read how hard it is to make nut butters in the Vita-Mix (hard to get it moving etc.), but I recently made some for the first time, and it was super easy! If you can find a good deal on nuts, you should give it a try 🙂


  5. jessy October 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    ah ha ha! that is just too funny! thanks, Kris!

    i don’t make my own nut butters either (actually, i don’t own a vitamix, but some day….**sigh**) – but i love me some trader joes nut butters too! i can’t believe i’d never thought to turn the jar over to let the oil get a move on. you’re brilliant – and thanks for the tip! happy mofo’n!

  6. jenitreehugger October 2, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    That’s a Scouse accent for you.

  7. Ricki October 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    I’ve made my own nut butters for a while now, in the food processor, not VitaMix (REALLY easy in the food processor!). But occasionally if I run out or want something quick, I keep a jar or two on hand, and always store them upside-down until I open them! Wish we had Trader Joe’s here. . .

    • Kris October 4, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

      I lived a long time before Trader Joe’s (the B.T.J. era) and it’s a time and place I hope I never have to return to. My heart goes out to you, Ricki.

  8. Sandy October 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    Do you store it upside down in your fridge as well?

    • Kris October 2, 2009 at 7:49 pm #

      Nope, once it’s mixed you’re all set.

  9. warrior two October 2, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    “So you’ve added the nuts…what else are you going to add?”
    “That’s it,” she says, implying that he’s stupid and wasn’t paying attention. :))

  10. DJ Karma October 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    Turn the thing upside down…Duh! Why didn’t I ever think of that? Thanks for the tip- am sick of getting oil all over the counters! 😀

  11. Nora October 2, 2009 at 8:03 pm #

    Don’t think of it as a smoothie…think of it as a cold blended oatmeal/grain kinda deal, but instead of oats, cereal! Someone even commented on my post that they heat their’s up and eat it like oatmeal!

  12. Mo October 4, 2009 at 8:00 am #

    Omigosh! This is absolutely amazing. Why didn’t you tell me this before?! Hee hee.

  13. tahinitoo October 4, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    Best tip ever Kris! I always make a massive mess when stirring new jars of nut butters and this will be the solution! Yay!

  14. Vegetation October 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    I need to try this! I just sloshed half a jar of oil (well not really, but it felt like it!) over my hands when stirring my jar of almond butter 2 days ago. It really does put me off buying the natural one’s. Not any more!

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