Additional article within the series of posts about butter and spreads made from nuts, and the focus is on nuts! In addition to a detailed recipe on how to make butter from this great food, there are also ideas for combining and serving, as well as useful information about the nuts themselves and their nutritional values.
Certainly, walnuts do not need to be presented! I believe that it is the most present type of nuts in homes in our country, as well as that it is most often used as a part of treats. And the old ones, like baklava, walnuts and the like. In addition to often reminding us of our favorite childhood cakes, nuts are extremely nutritious and it would be very wise to include them in your daily diet!
They are an excellent addition to salads or baked vegetables – they give crunchiness, enrich them with healthy fats and make an interesting contrast of flavors. They are a good substitute for pine nuts when you make pesto with basil or something similar, and the difference in price is big. In Greece, I learned that the combination of walnuts, honey and thick yogurt is the best in the world, and I don’t even have to mention that they are a great sprinkle for various types of hot and cold cereal and fruit porridges.
When making a fruit / vegetable drink, you can add a handful of walnuts to make it more nutritious and keep you full longer. One such example is this smoothie with strawberries and walnuts.
As is the case with other nuts, walnut butter is very easy to make. In fact, you need to blend the fruits themselves until they become a uniform, almost liquid mixture, and for that you need a strong chopper or multipractice (in English food processor). Walnuts are very soft, so the process itself will take less time than with hazelnuts or almonds and there is no need to add oil because a large part of their weight is made up of fat.
If you love walnuts themselves, it’s impossible that you won’t enjoy this masher. Mild, yet intensely nutty in taste, it is fantastic as a spread for pancakes or some toast, with a small addition of honey or maple syrup. This is my favorite combination, you need to check out why!
I searched the internet for what can be found here and I wanted to compare how much more profitable it is to make homemade compared to buying butter. There aren’t many choices, but the price difference is significant. If we compare the price per kilogram, the finished product is two to three and a half times more expensive than the walnuts themselves. If you add to that the fact that the homemade version is very easy to make and that, in addition, you can control how much you will toast the nuts, whether you will add some spice and the like, ready-made butter does not sound attractive to me. According to what I found, there are only two or three manufacturers in our country, the composition of the spreads themselves is excellent, and some are even organic, so if you really want …
Nutritional profile of walnuts
Walnuts are a great food, extremely nutritious thanks to the large amount of polyunsaturated fats, minerals and vitamins.
They are one of the most important plant sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids. They are necessary for the functioning of our organism, but we do not make them ourselves, we must take them from food. They are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, they are necessary for the proper development and growth of muscles and tissues, for the good functioning of the eyes, joints, the efficiency of metabolism and the preservation of the skin. There are two main types of these acids, those obtained from fatty fish and seaweed (EPA and DHA) and another type, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), present in flax and chia seeds as well as in nuts. Both types are necessary for our body and it is important to include these foods in our daily diet.
Walnuts contain a significant amount of antioxidants, mostly located in a thin brown skin. They are rich in magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and to a lesser extent other minerals, then B vitamins and a specific type of vitamin E (gamma-tocopherol).
About 65% of their composition is made up of fats, which classifies them as high-calorie foods. So, although they are very healthy and recommended for eating, nuts should be consumed carefully. For example, if you take 50g a day, it is important to remember that it is about 320kcal, which is a strong snack or a lighter meal.
Due to the specific type of fat they contain, walnuts are very perishable and it is important to store them in a cool and dark place. When making butter, considering that they are the only ingredient (+ pinch of salt), try to keep them as fresh as possible and discard those that are dark, dried and smell like rancid.
Notes on how to make walnut butter easier and faster
Since I came across different results when making this particular spread, I think it is important to mention some details that make a difference. So it is, at least in my case, with the multipractice and nuts I’ve used so far.
My experience is that when I blend raw, unroasted nuts, the butter is grainy in texture, gooey and not as lubricating. I believe it is a reaction of oil and water from the nuts themselves, as it is reminiscent of the texture we get if we add a small amount of liquid (or liquid sweetener) while stirring any butter from the seeds or nuts. When I toast them so that they are only partially dried and only slightly change color, then everything goes as it should. The butter is easily and quickly whipped and is quite smooth and liquid. In addition to the color, you can also rub the nuts lightly between your fingers, and if you feel that the skin is dry and that it is peeling in some places, you will know that they are ready.
- Carefully inspect nuts to remove impurities and fruits that have changed color or changed smell and taste due to standing.
- Toast them just enough to start to smell a little and dry out. They should not get a dark color. (More details in the recipe section)
- Make sure the whisk is dry and if you use a sweetener, avoid liquid versions.
- Blend more warm walnuts.