Should You Refrigerate Homemade Nut Butter?

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Homemade nut butter is an alternative to commercial varieties that may contain unwanted ingredients. The taste and texture of homemade nut butter depends solely on the type of nut used, which in most cases, is the only ingredient listed in the homemade recipe. A nutritious homemade nut butter whips up in a food processor in under five minutes in most cases, requiring nothing more than an airtight container and refrigerator to store it in.

Seal It Tight

Unlike commercial nut butters, homemade versions do not contain preservatives that help prevent bacterial growth, which eventually leads to spoilage. Although refrigeration does not kill bacteria, it does slow its growth. Packed in a tightly-sealed container, nut butter keeps for up to one month before bacteria begins to reach dangerous levels. After that point, throw the butter way, as ingesting it past this time may lead to foodborne illness.

Give It a Stir

Homemade nut butters tend to separate during their time in refrigeration. Refrain from draining off the excess oil or you will end up with a dry product. Solve the problem by giving the product a good stir after opening. Slide a clean butter knife into the container and stir, starting from the outside and working in towards the center. Rotate the container in the opposite direction of stirring, which may help the knife cut through the thickness of the nut butter.

When You Spread

The texture of homemade nut butter is firmer after refrigeration than it is at room temperature, which makes it harder to spread. To alleviate this problem, allow homemade nut butter to stand at room temperature for several minutes prior to serving. The standing time also makes it easier to stir. Immediately after use, reseal the container tightly and pop it back in the fridge.

In the Freezer

Freeze any nut butter that you don't think you will eat within a month's time. Freezing keeps foods safe to eat indefinitely, although quality does diminish over time. Thaw homemade nut butter in the refrigerator; transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator the day before you plan to use it. For the smoothest texture, allow the thawed nut butter to stand at room temperature for several minutes before serving. Refrigerate immediately after use.