Why You Should Add Coconut Oil When Making Cashew Butter

Making cashew butter can be as easy as soaking the raw nuts and blending them up until they make a yummy spread. But as with many simple recipes, there's a key ingredient you can add to elevate your batch to the next level. If you've got a little coconut oil on hand, adding it into your cashew butter mixture makes the final product richer, smoother, and even a little tastier. Plus, the added ingredient will help your nuts blend up more easily than a thick, cashew-only butter.

What is it about coconut oil that brings these qualities to your nutty spread? It's made up of around 90% saturated fat, and can be used as an emulsifier in the blender to keep the oils evenly distributed, which results in a more uniform consistency throughout. Plus, the coconut taste pairs well with cashews, although it's so mild you'll hardly be able to notice it's there. You'll get a yummier, more spreadable cashew butter, and you'll only be using two ingredients in total.

How to make a smooth cashew butter

When making cashew butter, you can either start with raw or roasted nuts — but for the smoothest spread possible, try roasting them yourself so that they begin to let their oils out. Then, dump them in the food processor (or blender) without the coconut oil and let them blend up until they reach a somewhat smooth consistency, pausing to scrape down the sides as more oils release from the nuts. You could stop here for a one-ingredient butter, but if you're using coconut oil, toss it in the processor at this point and continue blending. You shouldn't need more than a few teaspoons of the stuff to get a velvety smooth consistency, but you may need a little patience, as it can take up to seven minutes to get there. For a more spreadable butter, you can also keep processing everything past the recommended timeframe.

To really amp up the coconut flavor, add in some coconut flakes along with the oil before blending everything up. And if you'd really like to capitalize on the rich texture and turn your spread into a dessert-worthy butter, feel free to add everything from vanilla bean powder to chocolate chips to pumpkin spice. You'll be licking your spoon clean, all thanks to coconut oil.