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Raw Nut & Seed Butter

Freshly made raw nut or seed butter is not only delicious but a good source of nutrients such as protein and essential fats. Raw is far more nutritious than roasted as heat denatures the essential fats which are necessary for proper function of the brain, skin, nervous system and sexual organs.


200 gr nuts or seeds of choice
oil, as needed

seasoning (optional)


Powder nuts or seeds in a coffee grinder or Vita-Mix. The powder should be as fine as you can get it although a few chunks are OK. If using a Vita-Mix be careful not to blend too long as this will heat the nuts and denature the fatty acids. Chilling your Vita-Mix container beforehand and storing nuts in the freezer can help prevent heating.

Transfer to a food processor. While processor is running, add oil one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. The consistency should be a little runnier than your normal preference as raw nut butters must be refrigerated which will cause them to thicken. The amount of oil you add will vary depending on the type of nut or seed you are using (some nuts have a higher natural oil content than others). Add seasonings as desired. Seasonings will depend on the type of nut butter being made. I have found that a dash of sea salt and a teaspoon of honey taste great with almond butter. When your nut butter is made, transfer into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. Oil will separate during storage so stir before using.

Nuts:  almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts and pecans make great nut butters.

Seeds: sesame seeds, hemp, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are also good choices; however, use caution with these types of seeds. Their oils tend to be volatile and it only takes a few "bad seeds" to ruin of whole batch of seed butter. I learned this the hard way with my first batch of pumpkin seed butter. My friend Ruth (a long time raw foodist who taught me how to make nut butter) explained that seeds should be carefully scrutinized before making your butter. Remove any that are discoloured as this indicates that they are likely rancid.

Unhulled sesame seeds while higher in calcium than hulled are usually a little bitter tasting. Hemp seed needs to be hulled for good results. Look for hulled hemp seed (sometimes called hemp nut) either in vacuum sealed packages or in the refrigerated section of your local health food store.

All nuts and seeds should be purchased as fresh as possible and stored in the fridge or freezer.

Oils: I recommend using an oil blend such as Udo's Choice or Omega Essential Balance. These oil blends help ensure your diet is rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. If you feel your overall diet is deficient in omega-3 then you can use any good brand of flax oil.

"Another excellent raw food recipe! I made raw almond butter and took it to two parties. Served with rice crackers, it was very well received. My sesame tahini was a tad bitter and my pumpkin seed butter was awful . The most likely reason is that some of the seeds were rancid. Next time I will definitely sort out any discoloured seeds."

Robin Russell, Tester

Recipe published: Summer, 2002

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Copyright © 1999-2012 Robin L. Russell