Last month while visiting my brother and sis-in-law in Phoenix, we visited a Trader Joe’s store. I purchased a jar of almond butter there and then proceeded over the next month to languish over the jar, inserting a small spoon in it and savoring each nutty tasting in order to slowly stall to the day when I scraped the jar clean.
Seriously, I never even put it on a cracker.
When that dreaded day came, I decided to do some research and found that making almond butter is unbelievably simple. With its two ingredients of raw almonds and salt (or even omit the salt if you choose), I could do this.
Forty-five minutes later, I had three jars of delicious homemade almond butter that cost me about $6.
Not $6 apiece, but total. I experimented with raw nuts, but then went ahead and popped enough for one recipe into the oven to toast. The toasted recipe is good, but I almost prefer the raw, and enjoy the healthiness of the raw nuts a bit more. My first batch was made plain and simple, but you can stir in a touch of cinnamon, orange peel, vanilla or for you Nutella lovers, try adding in some powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
Let me show you how I did this.
I purchased a large 3 lb. bag of raw almonds at my local Sam’s Club.
If you have a really strong food processor, go ahead and start with 2 cups of almonds, if doubtful use one cup. I read some recipes where people started with the shaved almonds and that may work too, but I wanted the most bang for my buck and bought the giant bag of raw ones. I have a basic Cuisinart and it worked just fine when I switched from one cup to two. The recipe will be for two cups but like I said, if you worry about overkill on your food processor, halve it.
I measured out two cups of raw almonds into my food processor.
Then I put on the lid.
What? You want to know where the rest of the ingredients are?
Other than pinch of salt later in the game, that’s it. Honestly? At the third batch I made, I just sprinkled the salt right in from the beginning, so do that if you like – I used about 1/2 teaspoon.
Easy peasey right?
Pulse your food processor until the nuts break up a bit. This took me about 20 pulses or so.
Then pop the lid back on and turn it on a steady run, stopping to scrape down the sides every 4-5 minutes. My food processor just has one speed, but if you have more than one, just go ahead and use medium or high.
Then, are you ready for this? Let it run for 15 minutes.
Seriously walk away and let it run. After 3-4 minutes it will become almond crumbs.
Then it will start to change…the crumbs will be a little “oilier” looking.
This is due to the oils releasing out of the nuts. But you need to keep processing for the fullness of the oils to be released and cause the creaminess to occur. After a few more minutes the sound of the food processor changed. These oily crumbs started becoming chunks, forming together and flipping around the sides of the processor. This was the point on batch number one that I added a bit of salt, but the next two batches, I put it in at the beginning.
And after a few more moments, they started to become a rough paste.
Seeing as this was my first batch, I thought this was a good stopping point (about 10 minutes). I scraped the nut butter out of my processor and pressed it into a jar.
If you are a “chunky” peanut butter lover, you may want to stop at this point. If you prefer your nut butters creamier and more oily, keep processing another 3-5 minutes and your almond butter will look more like my second batch.
This one ran for 15 minutes.
And for my third batch, I wanted to experiment with roasted vs. raw almonds so I threw 2 cups of almonds onto a baking sheet and toasted them in a 350º oven for 13-15 minutes.
Then I repeated the exact same process. I found with the roasted almonds, the processing time only took about 12 minutes to complete to the creamy stage.
The nut butter was darker in color and a little richer in flavor.
And it had a little more oil on top than the other raw almond butter I made, probably due to the heat extracting the oils from the nuts.
Now realizing that this once precious treat was now easily accessible to me anytime and for mere pennies, I went ahead and indulged in the luxury of spooning some over crackers.
I must tell you, after the three batches, I think I might prefer the more-textured first batch that was less processed. It doesn’t spread as easily, but I love the feel of the larger texture of the nuts and the flavor when less-processed.
But that’s when I just use a spoon and sit down and lick each delectable gooey bit of it right off.
**Store in jars or plastic containers. Will store out of refrigeration for one week, 3 months in the refrigerator and six months in the freezer.
Word of warning. I have made this many many times in my Cuisinart basic processor with no issues. Please use at your discretion depending on how strong you believe the motor in your processor to be.
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