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North Hills Monthly

Whole Food Nut Butter Inexpensive, Addicting

Feb 28, 2015 05:12PM ● By Alexa Peduzzi
Hi, everyone! My name is Alexa Peduzzi, and I run, a blog focused on whole foods for the young professional.

I started Fooduzzi as a way to feed my passion of writing. I have loved writing since I was young, and I craved a creative outlet where I could let my words flow. I'm also quite the dork; I truly love to learn.

Learning about nutrition and cooking was a newfound love for me, so the marriage between these two passions seemed natural. Healthy eating is a simple concept: fill our bodies with junk and they'll feel like junk. If whole foods are the source of the majority of the food in our diets however, we're nourishing ourselves with the vitamins and nutrients our bodies crave. I'm not a doctor, and I did not earn a degree in nutrition; however, it doesn't take a licensed RD to be able to feel the powerful difference whole foods can make in one's diet.

That's all fine and dandy, but as a senior in college, I am frequently pressed for time. Scratch that - I am always pressed for time. Between attending meetings, going to class, holding a job, and having a life, I barely have time to sleep, let alone prepare healthy dishes for myself. Is preparing whole food-based meals easier said than done?

It doesn't have to be. And I'm here to show you how. You can also find me on






With a little planning, delicious and nutritious meals can be a reality for anyone. Whether you have a batch-cooking day on the weekends, or you choose to wake up a few minutes earlier to whip up a green smoothie, you can live the whole food lifestyle. And boy, it's a tasty place to be.

I felt it was appropriate that my first recipe for North Hills Monthly was a nut butter recipe, as I am highly, irrevocably, unmistakably addicted to the stuff. I'll admit it: I'm a nut butter nut. Peanut butter will always be my number one love, but there are so many others out there: almond butter, cashew butter, pistachio butter — I adore them all.

Have you made the switch to natural nut butters yet—the ones that only include whole foods as their only ingredients? If not, check out that container of PB looming in your pantry; all of those added ingredients like sugar, hydrogenated oils and stabilizers are not the wonderful whole food ingredients our bodies love. Although I am not a "choosy mom," I am choosing to not purchase those kinds of products.

A variety of natural nut butters are widely available at most (if not all) grocery stores, but daaaaang, they are expensive. Dishing out upwards of $12 for a single container of nut butter love? I don't think so. Not on this college kid's budget! Making your own is not only cheaper, but it allows you to control each and every ingredient that is added. Today we'll be making a twist on a snickerdoodle in nut butter form. Ah, the homemade nut butter life is good.

Raw cashews and almonds give us the blank slate upon which we can doctor up this creamy delight. We'll roast them to bring out the natural oils and sweetness, and then blend them into oblivion until they break down into nut butter form. Nuts give us some protein and healthy fats to keep our bellies satiated and happy for hours. Also, pro tip: buying nuts in bulk is often much cheaper than buying their brand-name counterparts. Saving money and filling our bodies with healthy goodness? I'm so in.

To add some flavor to the party, we'll add some of my favorite spice: ground cinnamon. Cinnamon adds some warm excitement to any dish, but it works particularly well in this nut butter. The zip it adds cuts through the fattiness of the nuts so perfectly; it's a wonder why this wünderspice isn't added to all nut butters. Pure vanilla extract is another one of my favorite flavor bombs: a drop of the stuff has the ability to perfume any dish with a subtle sweetness and an addictive aroma. The addition of vanilla, along with the ground cinnamon, is what takes this nut butter into snickerdoodle land. I also like to add a little salt to bring out the flavors of everything. Omit if you wish, but I'm telling you: salt had me at "hello" and totally completes the nut butter. I also needed to add a few teaspoons of coconut oil to help the blending process. You can skip this step if you have especially oily almonds and cashews, but having the option to add more energy-dense nutrients, I opted to add it.

Voila! Making your own nut butter truly is this simple. Once you try your freshly made Snickerdoodle Nut Butter, I guarantee that you'll be addicted to its texture and pure taste. Give it a try and and you'll forget that other nut butter in a jiffy.

Snickerdoodle Nut Butter

1 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw cashews

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 and 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2-3 tsp. coconut oil (if needed to help blend)

Salt, to taste

Toast the nuts: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place almonds and cashews on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and place in the oven. Toast for about 10 minutes, giving the nuts a stir every 2-3 minutes. Nuts will be done when fragrant and golden brown; do not let them burn.

Make the nut butter: Place toasted nuts in a high-powered food processor and process until smooth. You will need to stop and scrape the sides every so often. Once smooth, add cinnamon, vanilla, coconut oil (if needed), and salt, and blend until combined.

Store nut butter in a glass container in the fridge.