How to screw up nut butter

This is a short post. For reals! I’m doing my best to write that Keto ebook I promised the hundreds of you (I kid…it’s like 3 of you and 1 of you may be my mom). But hey! I hold to my promises even if they take a long time. So this is a quick, short post about nut butters so I can get back to that.


Here’s the deal…

Since my nutritional journey started a couple months back, I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make a lot of the things I love in a keto-friendly version. It’s a slow effort. Took me a couple months to try out some keto pizzas but I found one I like and now that’s definitely in the rotation.  But sometimes I just make exceptions for foods where I think “No. This is perfect the way it is. No need to ruin a good thing. Just treat it like a treat.”

But yesterday, as I got done unpacking everything from our recent Wisconsin Dells trip, I sat down with a jar of Justin’s Hazelnut Butter and I picked up my spoon and dug in. Yes, I’m fully aware that even 2 tablespoons of this deliciousness is 9 grams of NET carbs. I’m also fully aware that I probably ate 30 grams of NET carbs in one sitting and then proceeded to think about what I could eat that would be zero carb the rest of the day.

But that’s when I finally thought – why do I do this? I know there is cane sugar in this bad boy. If I just made a version of this myself, I could easily make this low carb PLUS reap all the benefits of fueling my body with delicious nuts. So that’s when I decided that yesterday was a nut butter day.

So, I did what I always do – look for a couple recipes that hit on the ingredients I think should go into this and then be realistic when I look in my cupboard and modify it some more.

The recipe I found claimed to be the “organic, keto nutella of my dreams” (maybe I’m paraphrasing). So I started there.

It called for walnuts and hazelnuts. I had walnuts, cashews and pecans. Close enough!  It also called for erythritol and cacao powder – two things I also had. Or…thought I had.


Here’s where things go wrong – part 1

For this recipe, you’re supposed to roast the nuts. Easy peezy…I thought. I laid all my long forgotten nuts on the pan and set the oven to 400. I say long forgotten because that was also the appeal of this recipe – using up a ton of nuts I had gotten for other recipes that were now going unused.

I put them in the oven, set the timer for 10 minutes – per the recipe – and walked away.

Hey guys – did you know that you should NOT cook pecans for 10 minutes at 400 degrees? Well now you know. Because of my improvisation with the pecans, I ended up screwing myself early on because pecans should really just be roasted for about 5 minutes…at 350 degrees…because they cook a lot faster than cashews and walnuts. DOH!

What does a burnt pecan smell like? Popcorn, actually.

But this did not deter me. I mean, it was probably still fine. I’d be adding cacao powder and sugar, surely that would cover up the slight burnt taste from one nut.


here’s where things keep going wrong – part 2

So, I was ready. Maybe my nuts were a little on the toasty side, but hey, it’s all in the name of science and experimentation. Onward and upward!

Next up – melting coconut oil and combining that with cacao powder and erytrhitol and then mixing everything together in a food processor.

I had….two of those three items. The erythritol got lost on the way back from the dells, much to my dismay. So here’s where I took a three hour break to plan out my meals for the week so I could make my grocery list and then hit up two grocery stores and then it was late so then I had to start dinner but once that was in the oven, I could FINALLY get back to my burnt popcorn-smelling nut butter.

So – after a four hour hiatus,  I was back on the nut butter creation. First off – I was simply in awe of what my new food processor could do to nuts. SO COOL.


here’s where things keep going wrong – part 3

I measure out what I thought would be needed for cacao powder and erythritol knowing I might need to add more to mask the burnt flavor of the pecans. The first go around? Burnt nut butter taste. So I added more erythritol. Second go around. Burnt nut butter but now super sweet. So I added more cacao powder. Third go around? Sort of burnt nut butter that has a hint of chocolateyness. Good enough!

The end product was not great, but it was at a point where I was like – I could manage with this batch and then perfect the next batch I make. Calling it a day!

But that’s not where this story ends. Oh no.


here’s where things keep going wrong – part 4

You’re probably wondering, what’s left? For me, at this point, the last step is going back and actually calculating the nutrition facts. I never go off what someone else’s recipe says 1. Because we may use different brands of ingredients and 2. Especially in a case like this where I heavily modified it – my nutrition counts could be very different.

And this is where my mind was a bit blown. I looked up the nutrition value of all the nuts I used – the pecans and walnuts felt close to what I knew were in almonds. The cashews, though? Holy carb bomb!! I checked multiple sources on this because I just couldn’t believe that a nut could have such high carbs. But it was true. So basically, my low carb nut butter was completely sabotaged from the beginning when I decided to throw cashews in the mix. Granted, it’s still lower carb than Justin’s hazelnut butter, but not by much. And the taste is horrific in comparison. Why would I suffer through eating burnt nut butter when it’s not even low carb? The whole point of it is ruined!

So – word to the wise – don’t include cashews (or pistachios, I learned), in your nut butters if you’re on keto and trying to go low carb.


Today is a new day…

And today? I am going to make a new nut butter. This time, I might only use pecans because actually, they have the best macros for keto. But this time, I will not burn them. And it will be delicious. And then maybe I can share that recipe with you all. One can only hope.

Happy Sunday!


7 thoughts on “How to screw up nut butter

  1. gmacspurr says:

    …did you know you can buy nut butter that’s just nuts and no sugar or crap that companies put into nut butter? Or if you make it yourself all you need to do is whizz up nuts in a blender until they go all creamy.

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