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Nuts are some of the best foods to give your homemade recipes a boost of natural nutrients. Their natural crunchiness also helps enhance the taste of the recipes, making them more satisfying and filling. But then, how can you get the crunchy texture? Can you chop nuts in a blender without turning them into butter?
Well, a Simple answer is YES, you can efficiently chop nuts if you have a nice blender for dry ingredients. It’s actually one of the best few ways to perform the task. If you try to dice the nuts on the chopping board with a knife, you’ll have them flying all over the counter.
You can Chop Nuts in a Basic Blender But…
When you use your blender for making nut butter at home, it’s often wise to roast the nuts before use. The same applies when chopping the nuts, whereby the process helps bring their natural oils to the surface, resulting in a crisp nutty texture and flavor.
But once the roasted nuts have cooled, they get very stiff- it’s what brings out the beautiful crunchiness, anyways. And for that, the blender you intend to use for chopping should have the right features to handle dry stuff.
It’s not a must for the machine to be expensive to qualify for blending tough ingredients. Basic blenders like Oster and Ninja can work on the task decently. You only have to remember these brands usually process ingredients by chopping them at a high speed. So, the blade has to be sharp all the time to achieve the desired blend consistency.
Even then, though, the blade in the basic blender will end up getting duller over time as you chop the roasted nuts. Then at some point, your machine will even struggle on the simplest blending tasks, unless you sharpen or replace the blade.
Vitamix is Still Better on the Nuts
As I’ve mentioned times and again, a dedicated high-power blender like Vitamix 750 or 5200 usually blends by pummeling through the ingredients. It’s the same reason we saw the Blendtec Classic 575 and Total Blender with a blunt-and-thick blade.
If you plan to chop nuts in a blender more often, these high-power brands will be the best to have. Besides the pummeling power, they also utilize premium parts, including hardened blades, metal drive gear, and tough jars. Thus, can serve you for many years even after working on the tough ingredients daily.
Use Single-serve Personal Cups for Small Blends
In the Nutribullet vs Nutri Ninja review, we concluded you can blend roasted almonds for a runny or spreadable butter. So, it’s also very possible to chop nuts for sprinkling on your desserts or use to bake.
Meanwhile, the final texture of the sliced, diced, or slivered nuts is usually coarse. If you run the blender continuously on high, this kind of texture will be tricky to achieve. You’ll more or else end up with butter.
To get the diced nuts, process your ingredients in short pulses. And this includes when using either the personal or countertop blender. If the machine doesn’t have the pulsing option, blend the mixture on the lowest speed setting.
How Can You Chop Nuts In a Blender Without Turning into Butter?
Typically, it’s pretty easy to chop nuts in a blender. The process is even faster with pre-roasted nuts from the store. But for the best benefits, we’re going to roast our own nuts.
The steps here are partially similar to the way we make almond butter in Vitamix:
Step 1: Roast the Raw Nuts
Grab a clean, dry baking sheet and spread your nuts on it. Then place in the oven and bake at about 163°C (or 325°F) for 10-12 minutes or until when ready.
Step 2: Let the Hot Roasted Nuts Cool Down
Once the nuts have baked, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool down to room temperature. When hot, the nuts can go over 212°F, which could end up melting your blender container.
At over 212°F, it’s also not safe for blenders with glass jars due to the risk of cracking. But it could work with stainless steel jar on Vitamix if not for the rubber centering pad and plastic housing.
Step 3: Load the Nuts into the Blender Jar
After your home-roasted nuts have cooled enough, add an appropriate amount into a dry blender jar and secure the lid
Step 4: Start the Motor & Chop
Finally, pulse the mixtureuntil the nuts are chopped well enough to your liking. You’ll have to pulse a bit more times for a finer fineness than a coarse texture.
Once done, transfer your chopped nuts into the serving bowl, use what you can, then store what remains in airtight containers.
Tip: If the purpose of the diced nuts was to use as sprinkles on a dessert, you necessarily don’t have to skin them. But delicate recipes, such as when baking a cake or cookies, require the skin to be removed. When left on, the skin will separate during cooking and mess up your recipe results.
In this case, you’ll want to blanch (a method of skinning foods) all the nuts before roasting them. And to do that, you only need to put the nuts in a medium saucepan with boiled water and let them sit there for about 2-3 minutes. Then, drain the nuts (with a colander), pour some cold water to cool them off, and start peeling immediately.
Alternatively, you can soak your raw nuts in a beaker/ bowl full of cold water overnight. In the morning, after you’ve drained out the water, the skin will come off the nuts with a gentle squeeze.
Use the Food Processor Bowl of your Blender
At this point, there’s no reason to go to the store for a bag of pre-diced nuts again. It’s not the healthiest thing to do, plus a little more expensive than when you DIY.
As you can see from my short DIY guide, it’s pretty easy to chop nuts in a blender. And the best part, you can start making your favorite diced nut blends that are unavailable in the store.
Speaking of best, a food processor is still better than a blender at chopping nuts from its razor-sharp blade. If you have a blender like Oster or Ninja, work with the food processor bowl provided instead of the blending pitcher.
Vitamix also does have a food processor attachment and various blades for better precision and consistency over the mixture. But the accessory can only work with the smart Vitamix A2300 and A3500, or any other Ascent and Venturist machine.