Homemade cashew butter is luxurious, creamy and is very simple to make! I love spreading cashew butter on to toast, stirring into oatmeal and spooning into dates. We use a 12-cup food processor (10-cup should be sufficient), but a large high powered blender should also work.
3 cups (16 ounces) raw unsalted cashews
1 tablespoon oil like avocado oil, grape seed oil or use coconut oil for a slight coconut flavor
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Honey or maple syrup, optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the cashews to a round or square cake pan (or rimmed baking sheet).
Roast nuts for 3 minutes, shake pan then roast another 3 to 5 minutes or until the nuts are lightly browned and smell nutty (careful, they can burn quickly). Let cool until you can handle them.
If you are making crunchy cashew butter, add 1/3 cup of the roasted cashews to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 3 to 4 times, or until the nuts are chopped into very small pieces. Transfer the chopped nuts to a bowl and reserve for later.
Add the roasted cashews to the bowl of a food processor. Process 1 minute then scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the oil, and then process another 2 to 3 minutes until the cashew butter is shiny and smooth. Depending on the brand/variety of nuts you are using, this may take slightly longer. As you process them, the cashews will go from whole nuts, to a fine powder, to a clumpy mess, and finally to a creamy smooth substance. Stopping and scraping or breaking up any large clumps will help to quicken the process.
When the cashew butter is smooth and creamy, add the salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Process for 10 to 20 seconds and then taste. If you feel it needs it, add additional salt, cinnamon or vanilla. To sweeten it, add a teaspoon or more of honey or maple syrup and process another 5 to 10 seconds so that it is well incorporated.
For crunchy cashew butter, stir in the reserved chopped cashews.
Store in a sealed container, like a mason jar, for a few weeks. It will last longer when stored in the fridge.