A peanut butter and jelly might be the quintessential school lunch for the average American kid, and for good reason. It is a delicious combination of salty, sweet, and gooey. While we’d never knock a classic, we do love a good underdog story, and in this case, it’s walnut butter.
Walnuts are not always the first nut grabbed out of the trail mix and are rarely chosen for desserts and candies. And although pecan logs and peanut butter cups are undoubtedly delicious, walnuts certainly have something to bring to the table.
Walnuts have been studied for their antioxidant properties and brain health benefits (because of their omega 3’s). There are also about 12 grams of protein in 1 cup, making this recipe worth 24 grams of plant-powered protein!
Walnut butter, and other nut butters, have certainly become more popular in grocery stores in recent years. Any nut (and some legumes) can be “buttered” simply by roasting it in an oven and adding it to a high-powered blender.
One of the issues with store-sold nut butters is that they have additives and preservatives to keep them from spoiling on the shelves. By making your own homemade walnut butter, you can decide how much sweetener (and which type), how much salt, and add in other flavor enhancers to suit your taste.
We use just a pinch of salt, maple syrup for some sweetness, and a little cinnamon for a perfectly warm, creamy butter.
By roasting the walnuts, the natural oils are released so you do not need to add any additional oil (or calories) to this recipe. Your house will smell amazing from the roasting process alone and you’ll visibly feel the oils on the outside of the walnuts when they come out of the oven.
Walnut butter will keep for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container (like a jar) in your refrigerator.
Top with jelly for an upgraded WB&J, drizzle on oatmeal, or eat with your favorite fruit. Happy snacking!
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