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1-ingredient Pepita Butter {vegan, keto}

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Smooth 1-ingredient pepita butter you can make at home in a blender (or food processor). It is naturally vegan, keto, paleo, & more!

overhead shot of a jar of pepita butter atop a colorful napkin

An Easy & Affordable Alternative to Peanut Butter

Back to school time is always a reminder of the need to create nut-free alternatives for packed lunches. Many districts have school-wide bans on peanuts and tree nuts, so it pays off to keep alternative options in the home pantry. 

I’m starting with a delicious alternative to a school lunch favorite–peanut butter–that pays off immediately (by not breaking the bank!). It requires 1 ingredient and is 100% customizable (e.g., salt, sweetener, additional flavors) to suit you tastes and needs. 

It’s roasted pepita butter. You will love it. As a bonus, you can still call your sandwiches PB & J (pepita butter & jelly)!

glass jar of 1-ingredient pepita butter in a decorative tin

The Many Benefits of Pepita Butter

School lunches inspired this post, but pepita butter is for one and all to enjoy! Pepitas, which make up 100% of this recipe, are naturally:

  • Keto
  • Vegan
  • Paleo
  • High in protein
  • High in fiber
  • Rich in minerals & antioxidants (e.g., Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Copper & More)
  • Low oxalate
  • Rich in healthy fats (including omega-6 fats)
  • Low FODMAP

The cost & convenience of making your own pepita butter are worth singing some praises, too. It is rare to find pepita butter in stores. Once found, be prepared to spend upwards of $16 for a 12 ounce jar! That is, so long as you do not faint in the aisle. Make your own, at your convenience, for about 1/4 of that price.

How to Make Pepita Butter 

The good news is that making pepita butter is easy! Really, I mean it. It just requires a bit of patience towards the end. I’ll get to that in a bit.

Step 1: Roast the Pepitas

before and after pictures, side by side, of raw and roasted pepitas on a sheet pan

Spread 2 cups (227 grams) of raw pepitas on an ungreased, rimmed, large baking sheet. Slide the sheet into a preheated 350F oven and roast for 7 to 10 minutes.

You will know the pepitas are ready when they become fragrant (toasty!), begin to puff up (tiny blowfish), and (some, but not all) turn a light golden brown at the edges.

Cool the pepitas before processing them. Leave them on the sheet pan to cool, or speed things along by pouring onto a dinner plate.

Step 2: Process. Stop & Scrape. Repeat.

This is is the second and final step for making pepita butter. However, it is the Groundhog Day of recipe steps because you will do it over and over until you achieve creamy pepita butter.

You can use a high speed blender (like a Vitamix or a Blendtec) or a food processor; they work equally well. It’s a simple process, but, depending on your machine, plan for it to take about 5 to 8 minutes (I like to listen to a podcast or music as I go).

4 phases of making pepita butter in a high speed blender, from whole pepitas to smooth, creamy pepita butter

Place the cooled, roasted pepitas into the blender and process into a fine flour. Stop and scrape down the sides. Process more. The oilss in the pepitas will begin to break down, transforming the flour into what looks like clumps of moist sand. 

Keep going! Use a silicone spatula to scrape the nooks and crannies. If this is a first-time making nut or seed butter, you will invariably reach a point when you think “There is NO WAY this will ever be creamy butter!” I guarantee, it will happen. Persevere and continue to process, stop and scrape, and repeat.

Keep going until you have a completely smooth butter. Done!

ovehead shot of creamy pepita butter in a glass jar

What is the Pepita Butter Yield for 8 ounces Pepitas?

8 ounces of pepitas consistently yields 1 and 1/4 cups of pepita butter when I make the recipe. I scrape every last teeny tiny bit out of the container with a silicone spatula!

2 cup liquid meauring cup filled with 1 and 1/4 cups pepita butter

Tip: Watch out for Overheating

Even the best food processor or high speed blender gets a powerful workout from making nut  or seed butter. Check the sides of the container periodically. If it starts to feel warm, take a break to let the engine cool before proceeding.

Add Flavorings If You Like

Keep the pepita butter perfectly plain, or tailor it with any number of flavors. Consider stirring or blending in any of the following:

How Do I Use Pepita Butter?

a black plate with flax crackers topped with pepita butter and toppings

Pepita butter can be used just like peanut butter, or any nut or seed butter. It has a mild, toasty, nutty flavor that goes with everything. It can also be used as a replacement for almond butter or peanut butter in recipes. 

Happy blending!

More Delicious & Easy Vegan Spreads to Try:

  1. Oil-free Tapenade
  2. DIY Almond Butter
  3. DIY Coconut Butter (2 ingredients, keto)
  4. 4-Ingredient Chickpea Flour Mayonnaise
  5. Easy Cashew Mayonnaise
  6. Vegan Cashew Boursin Cheese
  7. Creamy Broccoli Hummus
  8. Green Pea & Basil Spread

 

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