Homemade Nut Butter
Come autumn, the harvest of almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts begins in earnest. Turning them into your own homemade nut butter not only makes storing easy, but also transforms an everyday snack into a rich, spreadable butter. A blender produces the smoothest results, but only a heavy-duty one is up to the task. As an alternative, use a food processor; the butter will just be a bit coarser.


  • 2 cups untoasted pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1-1/2 to 4 Tablespoons canola, vegetable, or other neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. Put the nuts in a heavy-duty blender or a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
  2. Add the salt and purée until the nuts become fairly smooth, adding only enough oil to help the nuts break down.
  3. Add the honey and pulse to mix.
  4. Transfer the nut butter to a sterile jar and store in a cool, dry place or the refrigerator.

Make Ahead Tips

The nut butter will keep at cool room temperature for up to 2 months, or in the refrigerator for 6 to 9 months.


Chunky Nut Butter: Coarsely chop 1/4 cup of the nuts. Make nut butter with the remaining nuts, and then stir in the chopped nuts by hand.

Flavors: You can adjust the flavor notes even more by adding additional honey, salt, maple syrup, cinnamon, or vanilla.

Serving Suggestions

Nut butter is delicious any time of day, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. Here are a few tasty ways to use yours up:

  • Make banana and nut butter sandwiches.
  • Top a bowl of oatmeal with a spoonful of any nut butter.
  • Toss lo mein noodles with almond butter, soy sauce, sautéed snow peas, carrots, and scallions.
  • Dollop cooked green beans with hazelnut butter.
  • Swirl any nut butter into vanilla ice cream.
  • Spread pecan butter between two shortbread cookies.
  • Blend hazelnut or almond butter into smoothies.

Southern pecans and Cajun seasoning give this fried chicken its Southern accent.


  • 2 pounds chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 2/3 cup plain yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pickled Okra Salsa


  1. Place chicken and buttermilk in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Seal and chill 1 hour. Remove chicken from buttermilk, discarding buttermilk.
  2. Combine pecans and next 4 ingredients in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken in eggs; dredge in pecan mixture, shaking off excess. Arrange on a baking sheet. Pour oil to depth of 1 1/2 inches into a cast-iron Dutch oven or 12-inch (2 1/4-inch-deep) cast-iron skillet; heat to 350°. Fry chicken, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and chicken flakes with a fork. Drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Serve with Pickled Okra Salsa.

Note: We tested with Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning.

Pickled Okra Salsa


  • 5 whole pickled okra, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with mild green chiles, drained


  1. Pulse first 6 ingredients and half of tomatoes in a food processor 4 to 6 times or until thoroughly combined.
  2. Stir in remaining diced tomatoes. Serve immediately, or cover and chill.
  3. Store in refrigerator up to 7 days. If refrigerated, let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving