Happy New Year, everybody! I don’t know about you, but 2016 is off to a fantastic start for me. I’m on day two of thirty of the Whole30, and I feel great. It’s been interesting trying to break habits I didn’t even know I had- reaching into the bag of tortilla chips for a snack, pouring myself a glass of wine while I’m cooking dinner, putting honey in my tea, etc. But it’s also been a really fun challenge so far- I’ve already cooked so many delicious things, like this sweet potato and caramelized onion hash with baked eggs for New Years Day breakfast. And steak with mashed potatoes for dinner last night! Holy moly. Deliciousness.
I am, however, speaking through the lens of “I am on vacation and have all the time in the world.” I know I have to be very prepared for the upcoming work week if I’m going to be successful.
So I’ve been spending a lot of time making things from scratch, including this homemade almond butter! It’s DELICIOUS, and requires only one ingredient (and a pinch of salt, with a little bit of patience).
A while ago, I posted about how easy it is to make homemade peanut butter. Seriously, if you still buy your peanut butter at the store, you need to stop. All it takes is four minutes and a food processor (and it’s way cheaper than buying the fresh ground stuff!). The basic premise is this: add peanuts to your food processor, press on, and wait for four-ish minutes. Boom. Done. Amazing.
But alas, there are no peanuts allowed on the Whole30 (peanuts are actually a legume). Other nuts, however, are a big part of the Whole30 diet. So, I tried almond butter! With wild success.
Almond butter is made using a very similar method to homemade peanut butter… but it is a wee bit more difficult. There are fewer natural oils in almonds, so it needs a bit of coaxing and more time to effectively release the oils in the nuts to create a smooth, creamy consistency.
Here’s how to make almond butter at home!
First, make sure you have a good food processor. I have this one by Cuisinart and I love it.
The next step is optional. Warming up the almonds in the oven helps the oils to release a bit faster. I warmed them at 250 degrees for about ten minutes. This step isn’t essential, because the friction of grinding the almonds in the food processor also creates heat, but it does help.
Add the almonds to your food processor and press “on.” They will turn to a coarse grind, then a powder, within the first few minutes. While peanut butter takes only four minutes to make, almond butter takes more like 15 (gasp!).
After the first few minutes, the ground almonds will start to stick to/climb up the sides. Every couple of minutes, stop and scrape the sides down to incorporate it with the rest.
Here’s where the patience comes in. If you can wait for a little while and deal with the noise from the food processor, your almond butter will form! Promise! It will start to get creamy at around 12-13 minutes, and after only a few more, you will have perfect almond butter.
In the last minute or so, add a pinch or two of salt if you want. And in case you are wondering, this process works with all kinds of nuts- cashews, pecans, etc. Or a mix!
One last note: I make my own peanut butter instead of buying the fresh ground because it’s SO much cheaper ($2.99 per pound compared to $9.99 per pound). I bought my almonds for $6.99 per pound without even checking the fresh ground, and after realized that the fresh ground was only a dollar more per pound. Usually it’s about $10-$13 per pound (like Justin’s), but since it’s so inexpensive at my grocery store (HEB) I may just go ahead and spend the extra buck next time. Make sure you check to make sure it’s worth your while to make it from scratch- if you find a good deal on almonds, or if the only almond butter you are able to buy is expensive or has extra unnecessary ingredients, you should definitely make your own!
Recipe below! Enjoy :-)
Homemade Almond Butter
- Food Processor
- 1 lb. raw almonds
- pinch kosher salt optional
- If you have time, warm the almonds in the oven on a baking sheet at 250 degrees for about ten minutes.
- Add almonds to food processor.
- Turn on and grind for about 5 minutes. When the almonds start to climb up/stick to the sides, begin pushing them down with a spatula or wooden spoon every couple of minutes.
- Continue this way for an additional 10 minutes, or until almonds turn into a creamy buttery consistency.
- Store in the fridge for up to one month.