Move over peanut butter and almond butter – raw cashew butter is our new favorite 1-ingredient homemade nut butter. It’s super creamy and versatile, and a great dairy-free alternative for everything from cashew-al dips to decadent desserts.
What’s in homemade raw cashew butter?
One wholesome ingredient – cashews.
There’s plenty of ways you can modify your homemade raw cashew butter recipe and dress it up to be sweet (cinnamon, cacao, maple syrup, honey, or coconut nectar) or savory (salt and spices) and even extra drippy (avocado oil or melted coconut oil).
But we like to keep it simple and au natural – cashews only, nuttin’ else. You can use your cashew butter in other dishes, from dips, to spreads, to sauces, to cupcakes, and many more.
Cashew butter benefits
Cashew butter is subtle, neutral-flavored, and naturally creamy and sweet.
It’s packed with healthy fats like oleic acid (reduces inflammation), as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The latter two are heart-healthy at helping lower bad cholesterol and decreasing your risk for heart disease.
Cashews are also a great source of magnesium, protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin E.
Raw cashew butter vs. roasted cashew butter
Raw cashews vs. cashews that are dry-roasted or toasted without oil have nearly the same nutritional value (very minimal nutritional differences).
However, store-bought cashew butter typically uses cashews roasted in oil and sometimes salt and other ingredients. Which means an increase the number of calories, sodium, and fats.
Roasting nuts in general helps them release their oils, and makes them faster and easier to blend. It will also change the flavor to be stronger, which is great if you eat it as a spread.
In the end, you’re the boss of your nuts, but you may want to stick with raw cashew butter, as it’s more versatile if you’re planning to use it in other dishes.
How to make raw cashew butter
Step 1: Soak your cashews in water overnight (or for 4 hours).
Your cashews will be nice and plump (the water will be cloudy). Let them dry on a baking sheet.
Step 2: Pour them into a food processor and let them churn into creamy cashew butter for 18-20 minutes (a few more or less, depending on the strength of your food processor).
Step 3: Put into a mason jar or sealed container and store in the refrigerator. You can leave them at room temperature too, but they won’t last as long.
What to eat with cashew butter
Raw cashew butter is a powerhouse when it comes to its many different uses. Some ideas to get you going:
- As a dip
- As a pasta sauce
- In desserts (cookies, cupcakes, brownies)
- As a replacement for peanut butter (for paleo, keto, and pegan diets)
- As a spread on sandwiches or toast
- With fruit (apples) or raw vegetables (celery and carrots)
Cashew butter tips
- Use cashew pieces instead of whole cashews – it helps your cashew butter come together faster (less nut breaking down to do). Cashew pieces are also typically cheaper than whole cashews.
- If you’re crunched on time but want to soak your cashews, you can soak them in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Drain, then rub them dry on a clean kitchen towel, and into the food processor they go!
How long does cashew butter last?
When stored in an air-tight container, cashew butter can last up to 2 weeks (unrefrigerated) or a few months in the fridge.
Should I use a food processor or blender?
We’ve used both a food processor and a high speed blender (Vitamix), and we definitely recommend a food processor for 3 reasons which all stem around time saved.
A food processor means less time spent scraping down the sides (you’ll need to do this frequently with a blender), less time spent resting your blender (a blender will heat up super quickly), and less time spent scraping up all the nut butter stuck at bottom of your blender (much easier to get out from a food processor with shorter height and wider opening).
Do I need to soak cashews?
Soaking cashews (and all nuts) lead to 2 main benefits. First, soaking them releases phytic acid, which are naturally found in nuts, seeds, grains, and beans. Phytic acid has anti-nutrient effects, as it blocks the ability for your body to absorb key minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium.
Second, soaking your cashews makes them softer, which makes them easier to blend. Luckily, cashews are already softer by nature and easier to process into butter than other nuts like almonds or hazelnuts.
How do I thin out my cashew butter?
Patience is a virtue with cashew butter! It’s best to let your food processor run and let the nut butter come together after at least 15 minutes.
All said, homemade raw cashew butter will be thicker than store bought cashew butter. Most cashew butter uses roasted cashews, since this brings out its oils and makes it both faster and easier to turn into cashew butter and have a more flavorful aroma.
So if you prefer a thinner consistency, you can either roast your cashews and/or add 1T of avocado oil or melted coconut oil per each cup of cashews you use.
To roast your cashews, spread them on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil in a single layer, then roast at 350° F for 10-12 minutes or until they’re slightly browned. Then, just like the raw cashews, add them to your food processor.
Homemade Raw Cashew Butter
- 2 cups raw cashews
- (Optional) Soak your cashews overnight or for 3-4 hours, then put them on a baking pan to dry.
- Place your cashews into a food processor, and let it run for 18-20 minutes, until you get a creamy and drippy consistency. Scrape down the sides every 5 minutes or so. Blend for a longer time if you prefer a creamier consistency, and a shorter time if you prefer a thicker texture.
- (Optional) Make it sweet or savory. For a sweet cashew butter, add 2T coconut sugar or maple syrup, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional). For a savory cashew butter, add 1/2 tsp salt and 2T nutritional yeast for a subtle cheesy-like flavor.
- It’s typically a 2:1 ratio when it comes to raw nuts to nut butter produced. So 2 cups of cashews, will yield about 1 cup of cashew butter. We usually end up with 1 cup plus maybe 1 teaspoon of cashew butter.
- If you find your food processor getting too hot, let it rest for 30 seconds, and put it back to work.
- Raw cashews are naturally sweet, so your raw cashew butter will have a delightful sweetness to them after they’ve been processed.
- Let the raw cashew butter cool down for a few minutes after you’re done processing. Nobody needs to be scalded by hot nuts!
Serving Size 1 tbsp
Servings Per Container 16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 104 Calories from Fat 73.8
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.2g 13%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2.2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 5.7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0.6g 2%
Protein 3.4g 7%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Did you try this recipe?
Drop a comment or tip below, pin it on Pinterest, or share a photo of your goodies on Instagram and tag us #ainayums!