You can skip to Step 2 for raw cashew butter. If you have the time, roasting adds a rich, nutty flavor. To roast: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the cashews in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until golden and fragrant, stirring the nuts and shaking the pan every 3-4 minutes, approximately 8-9 minutes total. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Place the cashews in a food processor and pulse several times to chop. Turn the machine on and allow it to run for 8-10 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides periodically, until the cashew butter is smooth.
Add the salt and puree for an additional 30 seconds (see notes for optional add-ins). Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. You can also freeze it for up to 4 months.
For variations, you can add in honey, maple syrup, or cocoa powder to taste along with the salt. Start with 1 teaspoon, taste, and add more if desired. Remember- it’s always easier to add than subtract.If you prefer crunchy cashew butter, add an additional 1/3 cup of nuts while roasting. After pulsing to chop the nuts, remove that 1/3 cup, then stir it back in by hand at the end.The cashew butter will thicken slightly once it’s cold. You can thin it out by microwaving for 20 seconds increments.Yields approximately 1 cup.