Creamy, natural, and a beautiful shade of chocolate, this DIY version of your favorite childhood chocolate spread will be a staple in your pantry. All it takes is 5 ingredients and a blender to whip up in no time.
I have to admit, this recipe was a total accident.
You probably already know about my nut butter addiction, and the resulting collection of various types on my shelf. My record was six jars at once. There was the standard creamy and chunky peanut butters, of course. On top of that, though, I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s mixed nut butter and their crunchy peanut butter with chia and flax seeds. Also they have incredible (and cheap) almond butter. Sunbutter also makes the top faves list now; I use it in sauces like this one, when I need something nut-free.
Despite all that, I always meander down the PB&J aisle, on the hunt for cashew butter. When my family went to Oregon a couple summers ago I had it for the first time and can’t get it out of my mind. Unfortunately, all the ones I find either have added oils or cost my right arm. After carefully considering the tradeoff, I concluded that that arm is too valuable to give up.
After yet another disappointing hunt at the store last week, I was making lunch and happened to glance upon my cashews. Aha, lightbulb! Thankfully all my roommates were out of the apartment at the time, which meant I had zero compunctions about letting the blender run for as long as it needed.
After tossing the cashews into the oven to toast, I had another epiphany, in the shape of hazelnuts. Ummm, guys, DIY Nutella? Gosh, you must not be feeling so great if that’s even a question for you. I mean, come on, we’re combining nuts and chocolate in a form that pretty much drizzles on anything. Apple slices? Check. Oatmeal and yogurt bowls? Check and check. Roasted sweet potato wedges? Huge check.
Or, you can be boring like me, and just have it with crackers. Sometimes you just gotta let the recipe shine on its own, you know?
Some of you might be shaking your heads at me now, wondering at my
insane slightly overdone nut butter consumption. Trust me, though, it’s all good. I’m 90% nuts and proud. Plus, the doctor even said that eating nut butter is better for digestion, because nuts themselves are so difficult for our bodies to break down. In reality, I’m doing myself a good deed.
Wouldn’t you like to do yourself a flavor favor, too? (I’m telling you, that’s going to become the next big thing. People will be posting on social media about what their favorite ‘flavor favor’ is. Be part of the movement!)
Even though it’s early, think of how excited your friends would be to receive a personalized jar of homemade chocolate hazelnut cashew butter (or this vanilla espresso almond butter) from you for the holidays. It’ll win you the best gifter award, hands down.
This is a flavor you definitely don’t want to miss. Toasted hazelnuts and cashews blend into a butter that is less overpowering as peanut butter (not that I think that’s such a problem, but to each her own). Salt is really your friend here, and who doesn’t like more friends? It helps develop the fullness of the cocoa, sweetened with a touch of honey. Finally, cacao nibs add a tiny bit of crunch and an extra boost of chocolate. That’s a heck of a lot of antioxidants.
I’m already dreaming of all the chocolate hazelnut cashew butter drizzles in my future. Look how creamy, just waiting to be enjoyed by the spoonful! Which, of course, you’ll do promptly, since you’re a smart human. Only equation you need to know– chocolate + nuts = yum.
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback. Leave a comment below, save it on Pinterest, or tag #lensesandlentils on Instagram to share!
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- 1 cup cashews
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- ¼ tsp salt
- OPTIONAL: 1 tsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Spread out nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 6-7 minutes, being careful not to burn.*
- Let cool a few minutes, then combine all ingredients in a high-powered food processor or blender. Process on high until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.**
- Store in an airtight jar at room temperature for about a week, or in the fridge for longer.
**It took about 5 minutes for mine to become crumbly and begin letting out the natural oils. The processing should take about 12-15 minutes, until it's smooth and liquidy.