Around my freshman year of high school, my mom’s allergies really started to flare up. She could barely make it through the day without Kleenex, despite taking medicine round the clock. The blossoming flowers and pollen caused even more issues, creeping their way into her sinuses, so she decided to have allergy testing done.
After pricking her with needles corresponding to 144 different common allergens, the doctor presented Mom with her results: not chocolate (thank goodness!!) but lots of other foods and just about every single plant out there.
Mom started receiving allergy shots a couple of times each week to help decrease her reactivity towards her biggest triggers and modified her diet as well. She eliminated peas (she literally jumped for joy about those—she’s hated them since she was a tiny girl!), raw tomatoes and bell peppers, cantaloupe, walnuts, peanuts, and countless other foods.
But because our family loves peanut butter, especially on toast in the mornings, Mom started to search for alternatives. Although she bought quite a few jars of nutella for her English muffins, she also picked up almond butter from Trader Joe’s, way back before it became popular.
I tagged along on one of her trips to TJ’s, and as we walked around the aisles tossing produce and snacks into the cart, we stopped at the nut butter shelf to refill Mom’s almond butter stash at home. While she grabbed a jar, I scanned the other options and noticed something I’d never heard of before: cashew butter.
Since cashews are her favorite nut, I nearly mentioned it to Mom… And then saw the price sticker. That much for a tiny jar of nut butter?? Oh my! So I kept my mouth shut and walked to the register with her to check out instead.
Because I’ve been nut-butter-obsessed lately, eating both my almond butter and peanut butter out of the jars with a spoon (does anyone else do that?), I wanted to add a new variety to my stash: this Easy Blender Cashew Butter! That might have been a bad idea though… After sampling it again and again and maybe even again, this new jar won’t last long at all!
Since this recipe only includes two ingredients—cashews and salt—let’s talk about the equipment you’ll need.
In other words… The blender. I highly recommend a high-speed blender that can handle staying on and crushing nuts for at least 10 minutes. (My parents’ 30-year-old blender would probably fizzle out after just a few minutes!) Ninja, Vitamix, and Blendtec are the best options. I currently own and love this blender. If you don’t have one of these high-speed blenders, then use a food processor instead. (I have this one.)
Now add the cashews, turn on the blender, and wait. And wait. And wait. It’ll take about 10 minutes for the blades to turn those nuts into thick, creamy butter, and you may need to occasionally scrape down the sides with a spatula. But all of that patience will pay off!
As soon as the blades stop, the cashew butter will be very warm and slightly liquidly from the heat of the blender’s motor. Transfer it to a jar, and place that in the refrigerator to help it thicken to a peanut-butter-like consistency. It takes a few hours, if not overnight, but when you dip in your knife spoon…
- 2 cups (240g) roasted lightly salted cashews
- ½ tsp salt, or to taste
- Add the cashews to a high-speed blender, and blend on low for 8-10 minutes or until creamy, scraping down the sides with a spatula as necessary. Add the salt, and blend for 20-30 seconds. Transfer to a jar or airtight container, and store in the refrigerator.