Brazil nuts are high in a mineral called selenium, which is a powerful mineral, with too many benefits to list. Selenium can be supportive in the areas of thyroid health, male fertility, healthy immune function and red blood cell metabolism, and is part of the “anti-aging” nutrient group. Even though selenium is a very important mineral, we need very little. Some research suggests that having two brazil nuts a day can meet your daily selenium requirement. We enjoy a heaping spoonful of this butter with crisp celery sticks for a healthy and yummy afternoon snack.
To soak or not to soak? That is nut butter question. In choosing between soaking and roasting your nuts it is important to decide what it is you most want from your nut butter, is it texture? Or nutrition? Roasting nuts in the oven at 350 degree’s for 10-15 minutes releases the nuts’ natural oils and will give more of the “store-bought” texture faster then if the nuts are soaked. This method does work really well and I have used it several times, however, it is important to mention that by heating the nuts in the oven they can oxidize, losing the good stuff like delicate vitamins and heating nuts can make the good fats we want turn rancid. The healthier alternative is to soak the nuts as a means of softening them and preserving their nutrient profile as much as possible. Now when you soak them and place them in the food processor it takes longer and you need to add oil such as coconut oil to help it process into that desired nut butter texture.
The choice is yours on which preparation route you choose to take with your nuts, I tend to make the choice based on what I want out of the recipe. If I am using the nut butter in a raw dessert, I will often roast them for texture and a deeper taste. If I am making a batch of nut butter for a healthy dip with fruit that week, then I will take the extra time to process soaked nuts to ensure I am getting the most optimal nutrition from the nut butter.
The pictures for this post illustrates the texture of the nut butter when the nuts are roasted. I wanted to do this to give you a comparison as my Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread was done by soaking the nuts. The difference in texture you can see to help form your decision.
Homemade Brazilnut Butter
- 2 cups plain brazil nuts
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- pinch fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (only include if you choose to soak the nuts)
- Place the brazilnuts on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes OR soak them for 2-4 hours (select method based on description above).
- Process all ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender until well combined, smooth and creamy. The roasted nuts take about 5-8 minutes and the soaked nuts can take 8-12 minutes.
- Scoop it into a glass jar with a secure lid and refrigerate.