Making your own hazelnut butter is the best!. Creamy and nutty with natural sweetness, hazelnut butter is delicious spread on toast, cooked in curries, drizzled over oatmeal or baked into your muffins. This super easy nut butter is done in just minutes AND it's vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free so everyone can enjoy it!
I first created this recipe for Edible Vancouver Island magazine and have gotten rave reviews on this creamy spread so I knew I better share it here too.
I love using hazelnuts in many of my recipes because they grow so well in the PNW. If you grow these nuts, it's a great way to use up some of your filbert harvest.
I have one ingredient in this picture because that is all you need. This hazelnut butter recipe is the purest nut butter you can make with nothing but nuts (and maybe a pinch of salt to taste). The end result is thick, rich and temptingly tasty. No added oil and no added sugar needed.
You can mix and match other nuts too. Try making almond butter, cashew butter or even macadamia, peanut, walnut or pecan butter. This works with almost any tree nuts. It is a extremely minimal, fast and easy recipe.
Hazelnuts - are also known as filberts or cobnuts according to species. These tasty little nuts are easy to grow, delicious and nutritious to eat and make fantastic nut butter, purees, baked goods and more.
For this recipe, you can use fresh shelled nuts or pre shelled bagged nuts from the store. Lightly roasting them (as described in the recipe) helps the skins come off and enhances their rich and unique flavor.
There are many well known health benefits of hazelnuts. Full of antioxidants, hazelnuts are nutrient dense little bites full of unsaturated healthy fats (Omega 6, Omega 9 and oleic acid), fiber and protein. They also have tons of vitamins like vitamin E, thiamin, B6 and folate and are rich in minerals like manganese and copper, and have smaller amounts of iron, potassium and zinc.
In short, this pure hazelnut butter is a nutritious part of a your daily diet and a quick and easy heart healthy snack that is a good source of protein. (See nutritional information below.)
See recipe card for quantities.
15+ Ways To Use Hazelnut Butter
- Drizzle over ice cream and sprinkle a little cocoa powder over top.
- Mix it into salad dressing in place of tahini or peanut butter for a creamy vegan vinaigrette.
- Spoon it over bananas for a healthy treat.
- Spread it over toast.
- Pair it with your favorite jam on a sandwich.
- Mix it into curry to add a little thickness and body.
- Add a scoop to your morning smoothie or afternoon milkshake.
- Swirl it through warm oatmeal.
- In baking. (Add to brownies to make a marble effect, make chocolate nut butter cups, hazelnut cookies etc.)
- Add soy, honey, ginger and garlic for a Thai style marinade or dip. (Use it instead of peanut butter in this Peanut Dipping Sauce!)
- Mix it with toasted oats, dried fruit and chopped nuts for energy balls or bars.
- Twirl a spoonful through your pancake batter before cooking in the skillet.
- Mix it into plain frosting for a nutty twist on cupcakes, banana bread or chocolate cake.
- Use it as a filling in crepes. (Try pairing with caramel or chocolate sauce and fruit.)
- Fill a bowl in the middle of your fruit platter for fruit dip. (Use plain or mix with sweetened cream cheese or cool whip)
- Add to cold noodles and thinly sliced veggies, a squish of lime and a dash of sweet chili sauce for an Asian noodle salad.
Just roast and puree hazelnuts for a nutty and delicious hazelnut spread. The natural oils in the nuts help this blend up into a naturally creamy butter that you can use in place of any store bought tree nut butter.
Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 350’F.
Spread shelled hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking tray and roast 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a tea towel, folded over to cover them, until cool enough to handle.
Rub warm hazelnuts with the tea towel to remove any extra husks or skins that have come loose. (Bits of hazelnut skin or husk, make the nut butter feel scratchy instead of smooth.)
Add hazelnuts and salt to the bowl of a high-powered food processor and turn it on. Stop the processor occasionally to scrape down the sides.
A few more minutes will turn it into a paste. Keep on blending! (This will take approximately 10 minutes, don't give up! If your food processor gets hot, stop it to let it cool down a bit before continuing.)
The nuts will first turn into a coarse meal and then to the consistency of a based nut flour.
Finally your hazelnuts will turn into creamy butter. Taste it once you like the consistency and continue to blend if it is still too gritty for your taste. Season to taste with extra salt or a pinch of sugar if desired.
Hint: The best hazelnut butters are the simplest. You can add a pinch of cinnamon, cocoa powder or sugar at the end but I think the best homemade nut butters are pure and let the nut flavor shine through.
- Peanuts - Make peanut butter. The classic nut butter, it's better when it's homemade! Roast and rub the skins off just like for hazelnut butter and season with the salt to taste.
- Almonds - Almonds work fantastic in this nut puree. No need to try and get their skins off but a light roast before blitzing will definitely enhance the unique almond flavor.
- Mixed Nuts - If you`ve got leftover Christmas nuts or other mixed nuts, try throwing them all in to make a gourmet nut puree blend. No special instructions required.
Raw Hazelnut Butter - For raw hazelnut butter, simply use raw hazelnuts and skip the roasting step. If your nuts are exceptionally fresh and tasty, this is a delicious variation to try.
A food processor of some type is essential to making any nut butter or nut puree. I have had great success with my Braun, Kitchenaid and Cuisinart food processors. (Yes I have three, don't judge, I'm a food blogger!) I have not tried it in a Vitamix or Thermomix but I suspect they would work well.
A regular blender will not work very well because there is not enough liquid to keep things moving in it.
Hazelnut butter will keep very well but how you store it depends on how long you want to keep it. 2-4 weeks in a cool, room temperature pantry, 10-12 weeks (3 months) in the refrigerator and up to a year in the freezer.
While homemade hazelnut butter lacks the preservatives of commercial varieties, it still has a remarkably long shelf life and doesn't spoil easily. If it does, there are usually one of two culprits and they are easy to spot or smell. (If by chance your nut butter has gone bad, toss it and start fresh.)
1. The first thing is contamination. If you're jar or equipment were not clean when you made the puree or if something such as toast crumbs get in, you can get mold. You can easily see mold, so just have a good look. To prevent this, use clean jars for storing and clean spoons for scooping it out.
2. Age will make nut butter go rancid. Left at room temperature, your fresh nut puree should last 2-4 weeks. (The warmer the temperature, the quicker it will get old tasting.) Give your nut butter a good sniff to check. If it's gone rancid, it will have a distinctive 'old' smell that is not appetizing.
To prevent this, store your fresh hazelnut butter in the fridge or freezer.
In summary, you can smell and see if nut butter/puree has gone bad (and taste too, but let's let our eyes and noses decide.) So don't be scared, it is not easily spoiled.
Well, kind of. Nutella is hazelnuts and chocolate so it smells like half Nutella! I once travelled to Italy and spent time in Alba. When going out for dinner, I exclaimed, "I smell Nutella!!" Our Italian dinner companions told us it was because the Nutella factory was nearby. The smell was unreal and oh so heavenly!
To achieve the Nutella aroma at home, you will need to mix some cocoa or chocolate into your hazelnut butter. Spreading it over some warm toast helps enhance the scent.
This is a contentious subject but nutritionists say that almond butter is the healthiest. Close behind are peanut, pistachio, hazelnut and walnut butters.
It really depends what health benefits you are looking for.
Some nuts are higher in good fats, others higher in vitamins or protein. Once you decide what's most important to you, you can then decide which nut butter fits the bill.
All of the nut butter choices above are good healthy choices.
My top tip for this 2 ingredient hazelnut butter is to use the freshest, sweetest tasting hazelnuts you can find. Give them a quick roast to really enhance their flavor and enjoy it while it's freshest.
Homemade Hazelnut Butter Recipe
- 4 cups shelled nuts such as hazelnut, walnut, almond or pecan
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 350’F.
- Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a tea towel.
- Once cool enough to handle, rub the nuts with the tea towel to remove any extra husks/skins. It can be helpful to shake the nuts in a colander to try and separate the husks from the nuts.
- Pour nuts (minus the husks that you’ve rubbed off) and salt into a food processor and turn it on. Stop the processor occasionally to scrape down the sides. The nuts will first turn into a coarse meal, then a nut flour, then into a paste and finally into a creamy butter. Taste it once you like the consistency and continue to blend if it is still too gritty for your taste. Season with extra salt or a teaspoon or 2 of sugar if desired.