A new take on the classic cashew butter recipe. Smoky cashew butter is an easy upgrade from run-of-the-mill homemade cashew butter. Sweeten it up or make it spicy, raw cashew butter makes a perfect snack. Without the use of chemicals or refined sugars, this cashew butter is perfect on gluten-free crackers, apples, or celery. Better yet, try it on your next burger (I know – weird, but oh, so good).
Whenever Mr. Peel gets out the smoker (we use a charcoal smoker similar to this one here), I frantically search the fridge and cabinets for anything I can throw on. The smoker doesn’t come out often, so I put it to good use when it does. Smoked almonds are an all-time favorite, cod fillets, and even fresh jalapenos can be smoked until fully dried and crushed into chipotle powder.
Today, I was out of almonds, so I figured cashews would work. Unfortunately, the only ones I had were already soaking and destined for a basic raw cashew butter. Mr. Peel said that we should make smoked cashew butter, and a tasty new idea was born!
How to Smoked Cashews
First, just like with regular cashew butter, you will start with raw cashews that have been soaked. Drain them and lay them out on a towel. They don’t need to dry completely, but you don’t want to see big water drops.
There are three ways I have seen to roast nuts in a smoker. If you have a basket with a fine enough mesh, that’s great – you’re all set. But there are two other options that don’t require buying special equipment. You can either line your basket with foil poked with holes or simply hook a ham netting onto a smoking basket. I use the second option.
Smoking times vary based on your preference and type of wood (we used applewood). We typically smoke cashews for 35 to 40 minutes. I prefer a lighter smoked taste, you can go up to 60 minutes.
How to Make Smoky Cashew Butter
Once the smoked cashews have cooled enough to handle, place the smoked cashews and salt in a food processor or blender and process on low for 5-8 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Smoked cashews will produce a thicker butter than the typical cashew butter. You can add avocado or olive oil if needed.
If your cashew butter turns out too smoky you can additional raw cashews to reduce the impact of the smoke flavor.
You can also create sweet or savory variations of your cashew butter. Here are some of our favorite variations, but feel free to create your own!
Sweet Cashew Butter
- maple syrup or honey
- pumpkin pie spice
Savory Cashew Butter
- pink peppercorns
- chipotle powder
You can even get crazy and use your cashew butter in our Vegan Buckeyes!
What are some other ways we can use this smoky cashew butter? Share your ideas in the comments!
Smoky Cashew Butter
- 2 cups organic raw cashews
- water to cover
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or use EVOO
- Place cashews in a bowl and soak for at least one hour, no more than four hours
- Drain cashews and spread on a towel to remove excess moisture
- Heat smoker to 200F and prepare apple wood (or other wood of choice)
- Line smoker rack with aluminum foil, smoke cashews for 30- 60 minutes depending on your desired smoke level
- Once smoked, remove the cashews and allow them to cool
- Place cashews and salt in blender or food processor, whirl on low for 8-10 minutes until creamy
- Slowly drizzle in oil until you reach desired consistency, add additional seasonings as you prefer
- This recipe is for a charcoal smoker using applewood
- If you over-smoke the cashews, you can add additional soaked cashews during the blending stage to bring down the overall strength
- AIP Compliant: Not elimination phase appropriate