Nuts are some of the most nutrient dense foods for snacking. They lower cholesterol, reduce risks of heart diseases and provide several other health benefits. In making hazelnut butter, hazelnuts are used with or without toasting. The final result is somewhat similar to peanut butter in texture and taste. As expected, hazelnut butter is quite pricey, and making a homemade version is less expensive than buying commercial products.
Hazelnut Butter Nutrition Facts
Nut butter is always a healthier alternative to margarine and alike bread spread. It contains impressive amounts of proteins (2 g in 1 tablespoon), unsaturated fats (more than 9 g in 1 tablespoon), vitamins and minerals. Made from fatty nuts, hazelnut spread does contain lots of calories (about 94 calories in 1 tablespoon serving amount). But, the type of fats that contribute to hazelnut butter calories are essential for smooth functioning of the bodily processes. As a thumb of rule, too much of hazelnut butter is not good, and having it in moderation is the key to good health. You can learn more on hazelnut nutrition facts.
Tips to Make Hazelnut Butter
Butter made from hazelnut is not so demanding like peanut butter and almond butter. If you like the taste of hazelnuts, you will love to have the spread as well. Preparation of hazelnut butter is as simple as grinding hazelnut in a food processor, until you get a rich and smooth paste. But, with a little more effort, you can certainly make a more flavorful bread spread with these nuts. Here's how to make hazelnut butter at home.
Step #1 ~ Prepare Hazelnuts
Hazelnut butter can be prepared from the chopped nuts directly. You can grind them in a food processor for 2-3 minutes. As for whole nuts (2 cups), consider toasting them in heated pan for 5 minutes for added flavor. Another alternative is to keep them in the preheated oven (400° F) for 5-7 minutes, or until the skin starts separating from the nut.
Step #2 ~ Remove Skin
This preparatory step is not required if you are using chopped hazelnuts. In other words, keeping the skin intact doesn't alter texture and taste of resulting spread. For the toasted nuts, you can use a clean kitchen towel to wrap the nuts, and rub vigorously to loosen the outer skin. If required, repeat rubbing step to remove skin completely.
Step #3 ~ Select Vegetable Oil
A small amount of vegetable oil (1 teaspoon) is used to improve the texture of hazelnut paste. The choice of oil for using in hazelnut butter recipe is up to you. Some people prefer adding hazelnut oil only to complement the true flavor of hazelnuts. But, you can even use grape seed oil, almond oil and olive oil as per your preferred taste and availability.
Step #4 ~ Grind Hazelnuts
So, you are done with preparatory steps for how to make hazelnut butter. Now, add toasted nuts in a food mixer, and blend for 1-2 minutes, until they turn into coarse sized pieces. Add the chosen oil along with a dash of salt and sugar. Run the mixer again for another 3 minutes. Most likely, you will get a smooth paste, which consistency is similar to that of peanut butter.
Step #5 ~ Store Hazelnut Butter
Before transferring homemade hazelnut butter into an airtight container for storage, taste it to check if the salt and sugar amounts are perfect or not. If yes, add butter into a jar by using a spoon. Seal it properly and butter can be stored in the refrigerator for many months to come. You can also gift this homemade nut butter to your friends and relatives.
Hazelnut butter can be served in many ways. Simply spread it over bread or cookies, and they will taste delicious. Another way of enjoying this nut butter is mixing it with fresh fruits. Also, you can use this in baking sweet goodies and any other recipe that calls for peanut butter. Regarding storage, hazelnut butter in a sealed container can be kept for 6 months. Once opened, make a point store it in the refrigerator to preserve the unsaturated fats in their natural forms.