Make or Buy: Almond Butter

My friend, Diana, gets the same gift from me every year on her birthday.  Almond butter.  I enjoy making this for her because, besides being simple to whip up, she’s always so happy and grateful to get it.  Like I’m a kitchen diva. I say why mess with a good thing. She loves the stuff. Maybe as much as I do.

You can make it for a fraction of the cost you’ll pay at the store.  And it’s gonna taste, well, fresh–not like store-bought.

Here’s how:

Almond Butter

Ingredients:

1 pound of raw almonds :)

(I love these 1 ingredient recipes.)

You can start with previously roasted almonds or, quite simply, you can roast your own in less time than it takes to work a Sudoku puzzle (My current addiction.)

020

I use roasted almonds as opposed to raw because they release oil as they grind which makes the process faster (and easier on my food processor) but mainly because of the flavor.  Roasting gives almond butter a rich toastiness that raw almonds don’t.

So preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Pour your almonds into a roasting pan in one layer, and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes.  Let your nose be your guide.  When I begin to smell them, they’re ready.

Roasted almonds.

Let them cool just until you can handle the pan.  Then drop them into the bowl of your food processor.

It will take several minutes.  At first, the almonds will appear crumbly.  Persevere. Eventually these crumbles will transform into smooth nut butter.

It will look crumbly for quite a while.  Patience, Grasshopper...

It will look crumbly for quite a while.  Patience, Grasshopper…

After 5 to 10 minutes, and an occasional scraping of the sides of the bowl, it will be ready.
013Spoon into a clean jar or other container.
018

Tip:  I use peanut butter to help clean labels off of really cool previously used jars.  It works better than any other product I’ve tried, along with a good scrubber and some elbow grease, of course. These jars are great for packing almond butter in.  Maybe I could use the almond butter to clean them, but really, why waste it?

Almond butter is so versatile.  From sweet to savory, it’s a staple in our kitchen.

Sweet:

Add to smoothies.  Pairs well with bananas, peaches, and chocolate.

Swoon worthy when you drop a dollop into a bowl of good quality vanilla ice cream.

Slather some on a piece of dark chocolate.

Savory:

I love a good almond butter and cheese sandwich with sprouts.

Almond butter dipping sauce for your spring rolls.  Try the recipe at Iowa Girl Eats.

Spread on a piece of thinly sliced, toasted whole grain sourdough.

What about making other nuts into nut butter?   Peanuts are obvious.   I’m wondering if the pistachios I have will grind up green.  That would be lovely.  Cooking Light has a “nut butter primer” that will give you the scoop on how to turn different nuts into nut butters.

Give it a whirl!

 

 

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