If you enjoy eating pistachio nuts and aren’t lucky enough to have your own trees, then you’ll know just how expensive they can be. This doesn’t differ when it comes to Pistachio Butter either. Store-bought versions also have a hefty price tag. My budget-happy idea is to make your own; even buying pistachios can save you money, plus you know exactly what went into your recipe. Let’s learn more about how to make pistachio butter at home.
What You'll Learn Today
What Is Pistachio Butter Made Of?
For some reason, many people seem to think making nut butter is super difficult. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. There are only two ingredients, pistachios and a little salt.
Nut butter is really simple to create at home, provided you have the right tools to hand. You’ll need a powerful blender, or my preference is a slow juicer with a nut butter blade and a stick blender to finish the butter off.
Lots of people add additional oils to their nut butter because it can help reduce blending time, but really there isn’t usually any need. I use raw, unsalted pistachios that have had their shells removed. Do the same, and the job’s going to be an absolute breeze.
You can always de-shell a bag of pistachios if you want, but it‘s an arduous task I prefer not to bother with.
Here’s how to make your own pistachio butter:
- 4 cups of raw pistachios with shells removed
- ½ teaspoon of salt (more or less to taste)
Note: For green butter, remove the thin outer skins of the pistachios. If you don’t mind the butter being slightly browner, then you can leave them on.
- Food processor/blender, or a slow juicer with nut butter attachment and a stick blender
- Silicon spatula
- Glass mason jars with airtight lids
1. Turn your oven to 330°F (165°C) to preheat for a few minutes.
2. Spread your pistachios out evenly in a single layer on a baking tray (or two if necessary) that you’ve lined with greaseproof paper.
3. Place the tray into the warm oven for 10 minutes, turning all the nuts after the first five to ensure they are cooked evenly.
4. Once you remove the nuts from the oven, allow them to cool completely.
5. Place the pistachios into a high-speed blender/processor and blend on pulse until you get the desired consistency.
You can add the salt when your nuts start to turn grainy. Note – patience is required here, as getting the nuts to a perfect smoothness can take up to 15 minutes. (Remember to allow your machine to cool down periodically.)
There is often a temptation to add oil during this process to speed things along. Try to resist this, as it alters the taste and consistency of the end product. As you continue to blend, the nuts will begin to release their own oils.
If this all seems like too much work, my personal preference is to use a slow juicer with a nut butter attachment. Then, all you need to do is feed the nuts in at the top, and they immediately come out very well processed! Super easy!
Then just finish the nut butter off using a stick blender to release more of the oils from the nuts and make the consistency smoother. You’ll need to add the salt when you begin using the stick blender.
Alternatively, you could use a slow juicer first and then transfer it to a high-speed food processor; the choice is yours.
Don’t forget to use your spatula to scrape down the sides of a food processor or the bowl you are using with your stick blender to achieve an even texture.
Basically, whichever method you choose, the longer you process, the runnier the nut butter will become.
Once the butter reaches the consistency you like, stop blending. You’re aiming for something nicely spreadable but not runny.
6. Prepare your glass jars with airtight lids by sterilizing them in the oven or by boiling them in hot water for five minutes.
7. Using your spatula, fill your jars with the pistachio butter and place the lid on securely. The butter keeps in a refrigerator for about a month, or you can freeze it for up to three months.
If you want to change things up a bit, you can try adding some other ingredients to the nut butter while you’re processing it. Some ideas are:
- Vanilla extract or powder
- Melted white, milk, or dark chocolate
- Cinnamon and maple syrup
Start by adding a little of your chosen additional ingredient and taste as you go. You can always add more, but once it’s in, you can’t take it back out.
Have fun experimenting with whatever you think would complement the pistachios’ natural flavor.
How To Use Your Pistachio Butter
Your delicious and nutritious pistachio nut butter can do a lot more than be spread on a slice of toast! Use it to make tart fillings or to create delicious pistachio ice cream. It also works great in smoothies or as an addition to porridge.
Is Pistachio Nut Butter Healthy?
If you don’t adulterate your nut butter with other ingredients, then it is very healthy when eaten in moderation.
It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds as well as healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
What Is The Difference Between Pistachio Paste and Pistachio Butter?
People often confuse pistachio paste and pistachio butter.
The main differences are in commercially made products, where other ingredients are frequently added.
Pistachio paste should be 100% pistachios and nothing else, although this can vary from brand to brand. Pistachio butter often has additional oils, sweeteners, and colorings.
The main difference comes down to consistency. Pistachio paste has a fluid, smooth texture. If you take a spoonful and tip the spoon sideways, the paste should flow off like runny honey.
Pistachio butter is thicker than paste and won’t run off a spoon even when you turn it upside down.
Pistachio butter is perfect for use as a spread or dip, while pistachio paste is more often used as an ingredient for adding to other dishes such as baked goods or sauces.
That said, they are really pretty interchangeable in most cases.
If you do buy pistachio paste or butter from a store, be careful to read the ingredients label carefully. Often almond paste is used to make up a good portion of the ingredients. This is cleverly colored with green food dye to make it look like pistachio.
Discover how to make pistachio paste in this video:
Is Pistachio Butter Healthier Than Peanut Butter?
All nut butter is high in calories and should be eaten in moderation.
Both peanut and pistachio butter contain a similar calorific amount per 100 grams. Peanut butter provides approximately 589 calories, while pistachio butter has around 572 calories, depending on any additional ingredients.
- Macronutrients – The macronutrient ratios for pistachio butter are protein, carbohydrates, and fat = 14:19:68. For peanut butter, they are 15:14:71. So, as you see, both are very similar for protein. Still, pistachios have more carbohydrates, and peanuts have more fat.
- Protein – As we’ve seen in the macronutrient scores, the protein values for both kinds of nut butter are pretty similar. On a per-gram basis, pistachio butter has 21.1 grams of protein per 100 grams, while peanut butter has slightly more at 24.1 grams of protein per 100 grams.
- Carbohydrates – Pistachio butter has 28.3 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, while peanut butter has 21.6 grams per 100 grams. Making peanuts lower carb.
- Fiber – Both have a high fiber content, with pistachio butter having the most, with 10.3 grams per 100 grams as compared to 8 grams per hundred grams for peanut butter.
- Sugar – Because nuts are a plant-based food, they do all contain a small quantity of natural sugars. Pistachio butter has 7.7 grams per 100 grams, while peanut butter contains 8.4 grams per 100 grams.
- Saturated Fat – The saturated fat content of nuts is high, especially when turned into nut butter. Peanut butter has around 35% more than pistachio butter. There is 5.6 grams of fat per 100 grams in pistachio and 7.6 in peanut.
- Vitamin A – Pistachio butter has 13ug of Vitamin A per 100 grams, while peanut butter has no significant amount, making pistachio the clear winner.
- Vitamin C – Here again, peanut butter contains virtually no vitamin C, while pistachio butter has 3 mg per 100 grams.
- Vitamin E – Here is where peanut butter wins back big. It packs 63 grams of Vitamin E compared to pistachios, 2.2mg per 100 grams, which calculates out to be 190% more in peanut butter than in pistachio.
- Other Vitamins – Pistachio butter also has more vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamin, and riboflavin, while peanut butter has more folate, niacin, and pantothenic acid.
- Calcium – Both have a good calcium content, but pistachios have more, with 107 mg per 100 grams compared to 45 mg per 100 grams for peanut butter.
- Iron – Pistachios are top when it comes to iron, with 4 mg per 100 grams compared to 1.9mg per 100 grams for peanut butter.
- Potassium – Each has a good amount of potassium, pistachio containing 1007 mg per 100 grams compared to peanut with 745 mg per 100 grams.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – The alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) in pistachio butter is higher than in peanut butter, 0.212 grams per 100 grams compared to 0.078 grams per 100 grams.
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids – The linoleic acid in peanut butter is very slightly higher than that found in pistachio butter, 13.854 grams for peanut and 13.125 grams for pistachio per 100 grams.
As you can see, both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Pistachio nut butter is delicious, nutritious, and easy to make, provided you have some patience and the right tools for the job.
These delicious little green nuts are lorded as being very beneficial to health, and they do indeed have some good levels of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Be aware, however, that when converted to nut butter, it’s very easy to eat too many calories, so make sure not to overindulge.