Making nut butter in a Vitamix blender is not only quick and easy but also totally worth it! All you need is nuts (no added oils) and one minute!
You wouldn’t believe the amount of nut butter I go through. I am constantly finishing jars of it and making new ones. Nut butters are definitely a staple in my diet. I am not opposed to store-bought nut butters but prefer homemade ones.
Before getting a Vitamix blender, I used to make nut butters in a food processor. I still remember the first time I made hazelnut butter in a food processor. It took over 15 minutes for the oils to start releasing and a few minutes longer to get the nut butter as creamy as I wanted it to be. I also needed to stop the food processor every minute or so to scrape down the sides so all the nuts would get incorporated.
It worked, yes, but it took a long time.
Fast-forward to today, I use exclusively my Vitamix blender to make homemade nut butters. The result is smooth and creamy nut butter in about 50 seconds.
Vitamix Nut Butters
A high-speed blender with a tamper is the best tool for making smooth and creamy nut butters.
Most of the articles you read on the internet suggest that the best way to make homemade nut butter is in a food processor, but that’s false. Sure, if you don’t have a high-speed blender with a tamper, you can make nut butter in a powerful food processor, but the process will be significantly longer. There are three reasons why a high-speed blender is a better-suited appliance when it comes to making nuts butters:
- Motor: the blade in a blender spins much faster than that in a food processor. For instance, the blade in the Vitamix blender spins seven times faster than that in the Vitamix food processor. The Vitamix blender and the Vitamix food processor do use the same base (aka the same motor horsepower), but there is a gearing mechanism inside the bottom of the food processor bowl to slow the food processor blade down.
- Blade design: blenders are designed for pulverizing, crushing, and grinding. Food processors are designed for chopping, grating, shredding, slicing, and mixing. Clearly, a blender is THE appliance for crushing and blending nuts into nut butter.
- Tamper: all full-size Vitamix blenders come with a tamper, which pushes the nuts into the blade. Using the tamper not only speeds up the blending process but also eliminates the need to stop the machine and scraping down the sides.
The only benefit of using a food processor is clean-up. Scraping nut butter from the flat sides of a food processor is much easier than digging it out in between a blender blade at the bottom of a tall container.
Tips for Making Nut Butters in a Blender
Best Nuts to Make Nut Butter
Regardless of which nut butter you decide to make, the only ingredient you need is nuts. That’s it!
Types of Nuts
There are two types of nuts – hard and soft.
Soft nuts break down easily in a blender and are therefore ideal for nut butters. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make nut butter from hard nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts. In fact, I make almond butter and hazelnut butter more often than any other nut butter. However, they are a little more challenging to make.
Another consideration is fat content – the higher the fat content, the better when it comes to nut butters. The naturally present oils in nuts facilitate the process of turning nuts into nut butter.
Here’s a little table showing the texture and fat content of individual nuts:
|Nuts (100 g)||Texture||Fat Content|
|Brazil nuts||hard||66 g|
|Macadamia nuts||soft||76 g|
|Peanuts (botanically a legume)||hard||49 g|
|Pine nuts||soft||68 g|
Of course, you don’t need to stop with nuts. Seed butters are a popular alternative to nut butters. Some of the most popular seed butters are sesame seed butter (tahini), sunflower seed butter (sun butter), and pumpkin seed butter.
Raw vs Roasted
Raw nuts are an excellent choice if you’re looking for the most nutrients. If you’re interested in the most flavor and best texture, consider roasting nuts your go-to.
When it comes to making nut butters, roasted nuts win over raw nuts every time. The process of roasting releases naturally occurring oils present in nuts, which speeds up the blending process. It is no surprise then that making nut butter from roasted nuts is easier than making nut butter from raw nuts. If you’d like to make nut butter using raw nuts, you will need to add a little bit of oil to compensate for the lack of natural oils.
Dry-Roasted vs Oil-Roasted
If you’re buying already roasted nuts to make nut butter (as opposed to roasting the nuts yourself), you might encounter two types of roasted nuts – dry-roasted and oil-roasted. Dry roasting depends solely on heat while oil roasting involves oil.
Of course, dry-roasted nuts are the more health-conscious choice, but either work to make nut butter.
How to Make Nut Butter in a Vitamix
As easy as it is, read on for a few rules to get the most out of making nut butters in a Vitamix:
- Roast the nuts. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them at 325°F/163°C until fragrant, for 10-12 minutes. The nuts will continue to roast a bit after you take them out of the oven. So, as soon as you smell that wonderful, toasty scent, know that they are ready.
- Let the nuts cool. As I already mentioned, roasting nuts releases their naturally occurring oils. These oils can get really hot during the blending process because friction generates heat. So, let the nuts cool slightly before blending. If you put hot nuts into the Vitamix plastic container, the container could melt. Vitamix containers can definitely take hot liquids and make hot soups, but hot nuts are concentrated oils that then get even hotter when blended. If you’re using the Vitamix stainless steel container, letting the nuts cool is not necessary. Just keep in mind that stainless steel conducts heat, so use an oven mitt to be safe.
- Use the right container. Vitamix offers two types of containers – wet and dry. All full-size Vitamix machines come with a wet container, the right container to use when making nut butters. Wet containers are meant for nut butters; dry containers are meant for nut flours.
- Know the required minimum and maximum quantity for a particular container. The quantity of nuts is really important. If you add too few nuts into a Vitamix container, the blade won’t work properly, and the nuts won’t break down into nut butter. If you add too many nuts, the machine might overheat and stop. The minimum quantities of nuts to use when making nut butter in a Vitamix blender are as follows:
- 64-oz (tall) container: 2.5 cups
- 64-oz (low-profile) container: 3.5 cups
- 48-oz container: 3 cups
- 32-oz container: 2.5 cups
- Choose the correct settings. Start the blender on low and quickly ramp up the speed to high. Vitamix machines have a fan that cools the motor, but the fan is running at full capacity only when the speed is set on high. If your Vitamix turns off during blending, it is most likely because you were not blending on high or used too many nuts.
- Use a tamper while blending. As soon as you turn the speed dial-up to high, insert the tamper and continuously push down on the nuts, particularly in the corners. Pushing the nuts into the blade will eliminate any potential air pockets and ensure smooth blending. As you’re blending, the nuts will go from whole to crushed to ground to pasty to creamy. After about 50 seconds, you’ll have smooth nut butter.
Nut Butter Variations
You can easily produce a range of various nut butters. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Mix nuts and seeds: combine your favorite nuts to create unique nut butter as versatile as peanut butter. My favorite combinations are macadamia nuts and cashews or almonds and pecans.
- Stir in chopped nuts or seeds: to add a little bit of texture, stir in chopped nuts to turn smooth nut butter into crunchy nut butter. You can also use seeds, such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, or sesame seeds to boost the nutritional profile.
- Add a sweetener: avoid liquid sweeteners, such as maple syrup, honey, agave, or even Medjool dates. Water-based ingredients cause fat-based nut butters to seize (fat and water do not mix). Granulated sweeteners are not ideal either because they won’t completely break down (sugar doesn’t dissolve in fat). Powdered sweeteners, such as powdered coconut sugar or monk fruit powder, are ideal.
- Pour in melted chocolate: one of the best ways to turn nut butter into a dessert is to mix in melted chocolate.
- Sprinkle in spices: cinnamon vanilla nut butter is one of my favorites! (Note: I don’t use vanilla extract, which is water-based, but rather vanilla powder). Other spices you could use are cardamom, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice. Sea salt is also great to help heighten the flavor.
- Add superfood powders: nut butters are an excellent medium for superfood powders, including cacao, lucuma, maca, bee pollen, etc. If you need a little pick me up, you could also add a little bit of espresso powder.
How to Store Vitamix Nut Butters
Natural nut butters, including those made in a Vitamix blender, have a layer of oil on top. These oils can go rancid when exposed to elements like air, light, and heat. So, always store homemade nut butters in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Freeze any nut butter that you don’t think you will eat within a month.
The consistency of homemade nut butter is firmer after refrigeration. However, you can always spoon out the amount of nut butter you need and let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
Vitamix Nut Butter Recipes
Homemade almond butter is one of the trickiest nut butters to make at home. However, with a few tips and tricks, you will have no problem turning almonds into smooth and creamy almond butter.
Have you ever wondered how to make coconut butter at home? Slightly sweet and nutty with an intense coconut flavor. If you’re not a coconut fan, this recipe might not be for you. But if the thought of anything coconut appeals to you, it’s time you make coconut butter at home.
Just like all Vitamix nut butters, this seed butter requires only one ingredient – sesame seeds. This particular seed butter is ideal for savory dishes.
Vitamix Nut Butters – Troubleshooting
Can you make raw nut butter in a Vitamix?
Yes, but you will need to add a little bit of neutral oil* to compensate for the lack of naturally present oils. That being said, soft nuts with high-fat content, such as pecans, are relatively easy to turn into nut butter even without adding any extra oil.
*The best types of oil to add are unsaturated because they stay liquid at cold temperatures. This includes almond oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, etc. Saturated oils, such as coconut oil, solidify at room temperature (below 76°F/24°C). So, if you store nut butter that contains coconut oil in the fridge, the nut butter will solidify. To get it back to a pourable state, you will need to warm it up above 76°F/24°C.
Why is my nut butter not creamy?
If your not butter isn’t smooth and creamy after about 90 seconds of blending, the reason is probably insufficiently roasted nuts. In this case, the only solution is to add a little bit of neutral oil, 1 Tbsp./15 ml at a time.
Why did my nut butter seize up?
Adding even a little bit of liquid into nut butter can cause the nut butter to seize – thicken and become pasty. Water-based ingredients include plant milks, liquid sweeteners, extracts, etc. Even dried fruit can be problematic as it contains up to 20% water, depending on the variety.
Is the separation of oil in natural nut butter normal?
Yes, absolutely! Even store-bought nut butters typically have a layer of oil on top. Simply stir the oil back in and use it as normal. You can also store the nut butter upside down to force the oil to mix in on its own. When the oil ends up at the bottom of the jar, store it right-side-up again. Repeat as the oil rises to the top of the jar.
Which Vitamix blender is best for making nut butter?
Honestly, any full-size Vitamix model can make nut butter.
Which Vitamix container is best for making nut butter?
All full-size Vitamix containers with a wet blade can make nut butters. Vitamix containers that do not come with a tamper, such as the 20-oz cup or the 8-oz bowl, are not designed to make nut butters. Vitamix containers with a dry blade are not ideal either because the dry blade is designed to push ingredients upwards (to create light and airy flour) rather than down into the blade (to create thick and creamy nut butter).
One more thing to consider is the size of the container – the wider the container, the larger quantity of nuts you will need.
Hi, I’m Petra – a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a Raw Food Chef. I have been using Vitamix for more than a decade. I own several Vitamix blenders (mainly for testing purposes) and use Vitamix exclusively in commercial settings as well.
A full disclosure – I am an affiliate of Vitamix, so if you use my links to purchase a Vitamix, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you so much for your support.
If you have any questions about making nut butter in a Vitamix (or any other questions), let me know in the comments below. I respond to all comments within 24 hours.