HOMEMADE NUT BUTTERS
Toasted peanuts, almonds and cashews taste best. If you buy them raw, they are easy to toast at home. Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet lined with kitchen parchment and bake on the oven's middle shelf at 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. For a lighter, smoother almond butter, look for blanched almonds, which lack the skin.
Start to finish: 10 minutes
Makes about 1 cup
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups raw or toasted peanuts or cashews
1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil, preferably grapeseed
1/4 teaspoon fine salt (optional)
In a food processor, combine the nuts, oil and salt, if using. Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides several times, 1 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a glass jar with a lid and chill until ready to use. The nut butters will keep for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
Nutrition information per serving (based on 8 servings) using peanuts: 180 calories; 140 calories from fat (78 percent of total calories); 15 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium; 6 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 7 g protein.
Nutrition information per serving (based on 8 servings) using cashews: 160 calories; 120 calories from fat (75 percent of total calories); 14 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 65 mg sodium; 8 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 4 g protein.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She currently stars in public television's "Sara's Weeknight Meals" and has written three cookbooks, including "Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners."