Chai spiced cashew butter – a delicious, flavourful homemade nut butter; you’ll want to slather it on everything!
Have you ever tried making your own nut butter? It is really easy to do and you can make so many different delicious combinations. The only problem is that you do need a food processor or blender that is powerful enough to cope with it – I did once manage to burn out the motor of a flimsier model whilst making praline paste (which is basically the same as nut butter).
To make this chai spiced cashew butter I used my new Froothie Optimum 9400 power blender which made extremely light work of the task. What usually takes 10-15 minutes in a regular food processor took merely a couple of minutes in the Froothie. I have had the Optimum 9400 for quite a while now but it has taken me some time to get round to writing a review of it; that does mean that I have had a good chance to put it through it’s paces first however!
The Optimum 9400 blender is designed to bring professional level quality to the home cook. It’s high powered 2238 watt motor makes light work of difficult tasks such as grinding nuts, ice, spices or coffee beans, and it makes incredibly smooth smoothies, soups and sauces. It takes literally 30 seconds or less to grind nuts or oats down to a fine flour (if you want them chopped rather than blended to dust simply use the pulse function instead), and only a little longer to turn that flour into creamy nut butter.
You can even use it to make soups and custards right in the blender – with prolonged blending (4-6 minutes) it heats the ingredients so there is no need to pre-cook!
The blender comes with a super handy tamper tool which you use to make sure that no ingredients get stuck and that everything blends smoothly. I find this invaluable when it comes to blending thicker mixtures such as hummus, nice cream and nut butters. It also comes with a mesh bag for straining homemade nut milks, a silicone scraper and an inspirational raw foods recipe book.
The 2 litre BPA free jug is easy to clean – simply half fill with warm water, add a drop of washing up liquid, blend briefly then rinse. You can also get a smaller 750ml jug which is perfect for making individual smoothies. The blender is available in white, black, red and silver.
Are there any downsides? The cost for one; a power blender is an investment and they do cost a pretty penny. The Optimum 9400 retails at £399 (currently on offer at £339); which is actually somewhat cheaper than other rival models. Initial cost aside, this blender is a kitchen powerhouse which can be used for so many tasks and I use it almost daily. It is very sturdily built and has a five year warranty which covers replacement of motor and parts in the unlikely event that it does break.
The one issue that I have had with it is that it is difficult to make small quantities of things as if there is not enough in the jug then the tamper tool can’t reach. The recipe below for the chai spiced cashew butter was the smallest amount that I could make whilst still ending up with a smooth, well blended nut butter. Apart from this minor issue, I couldn’t be happier with the blender and it will certainly be getting a lot of use in my kitchen!
On to the cashew butter. This is a smooth, creamy nut butter with the addition of tasty chai spices. It is wonderful on toast, or just anywhere where you would usually use peanut butter. I toast the cashews a little before blending to add extra flavour, and add a touch of honey/maple syrup for sweetness. You can vary the spices to suit, and you can also replace half of the cashews with almonds if you like.
I find that cashews don’t contain enough oil of their own to make a really smooth butter without the addition of a little extra oil. You can use melted coconut oil, or a mild flavoured oil of your choice (I quite like using hazelnut oil.). The cashew butter should only take a couple of minutes to blend if you are using a power blender (make sure you use the tamper tool), but can take up to 15 minutes in a regular food processor. Either way, make sure that you keep an eye on your machine to insure that it doesn’t overheat. If it starts getting hot, switch it off for 20 minutes before continuing to blend.
Chai Spiced Cashew Butter
Makes 1 large jar.
- 315 g (2 1/2 cups) raw cashews
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (or use a mild flavoured oil of your choice)
- 1 Tbsp honey/maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground star anise
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Spread the cashews out in a roasting tray and place in the oven for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool a little then place in your blender/food processor.
Blitz until the nuts are finely ground and clumping together in a rough paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides as necessary and if you are using a Froothie, use the tamper tool to make sure that it is all evenly blended.
Taste and add more spices as needed (bear in mind that the flavour will deepen as it sits however). If you find that the cashew butter is too thick, add a little more oil and blend again until it reaches the desired consistency. Store in a jar in the fridge.
*I’m a Froothie ambassador and was sent the Optimum 9400 to review. If you click on the above links and purchase one of their products I will receive a small amount of commission. All opinions are my own. I only recommend products that I love and use myself.