A lot of people are going nuts for almond butter … and rightfully so! The tasty spread (which is commonly referred to as peanut butter’s more nutritious relative) is loaded with protein, healthy fats, key vitamins, and minerals that help the body thrive. While it’s simple to pick up a jar of almond butter at the store, who needs all of the extra processed ingredients that many large manufacturers add to their products to extend the shelf life? Instead, why not make your own almond butter at home? You may be surprised to find out how easy almond butter is to whip up. Plus, when you make it yourself, you can customize it to fit your taste preference!
The best part about making homemade almond butter is you can control all of the ingredients that go into it. That means you won’t have to worry about refined sugar or refined table salt sneaking into your presumably “healthy” spread. The fact that you may save a few bucks by making it yourself doesn’t hurt either!
Once you whip up a batch of homemade almond butter, you can keep it in the refrigerator for a few weeks and use it as a dip or spread. I like to slather it on apple slices and dunk carrots into it. You can also add it to breakfast smoothies, overnight oats, homemade granola bars, no-bake energy bites, cookies, protein pancakes, and so much more.
Before we start planning out how we’re going to use our homemade almond butter, though, let’s talk about how we actually make it!
What You’ll Need
To make any of the almond butter recipes that I’ve included in this article, you must have a high-quality blender or food processor. When making almond butter, you will need to blend the almonds until they become a thick paste. That will take about 10-15 minutes, meaning your food processor will need to be running on high speed for quite a while. To avoid blender burnouts, try using something like a Ninja or Vitamix. These are just two examples of high-quality machines.
This recipe calls for nothing more than two cups of whole dry-roasted almonds and some course sea salt (I personally prefer pink Himalayan Salt since it contains a few more minerals and is loaded with flavor – so a little goes a long way). When you toss the almonds into a food processor and begin grinding, you will notice the nuts morph from whole to coarsely chopped. Then, after a few more minutes, they become crumbly. At this point, you’ll want to stop the blender so you can scrape down the sides with a spatula. This will ensure any almond pieces that are clinging to the blender walls will be moved back down to the bottom of the food processor and ultimately hit by the blades. Once you turn the food processor back on, you will notice the almonds start to take on a paste-like appearance. The longer you blend the almonds, the creamier it will get. This transformation happens because the almond’s natural oils are releasing, forming “butter.”
Voila – you have almond butter. Seriously, it’s that simple! Watch it in action:
So you don’t overload your almond butter with unnecessary amounts of sodium, use unsalted roasted almonds. Remember – you can always add salt to the almond butter during the blending process if you would like, but you can never take it away once it’s in there.
Additionally, while any roasted nuts will work, some brands roast their nuts for a longer amount of time than others. If you think the nuts taste too burnt before blending then you definitely won’t like the taste of the almond butter. Since the flavors become more concentrated after blending, make sure you are happy with the almond flavor beforehand.
To Oil Or Not To Oil:
While you may not need to add oil to your homemade almond butter, some people like to make it a tad creamier. Toward the end of your blending process, there is nothing wrong with adding a teaspoon or two of healthy, unrefined oil — like olive oil or coconut oil. Along with altering the texture, the oil will add some more healthy fats and vitamins to the mix.
While some recipes may call for vegetable oil, keep in mind that refined vegetable oils are far from healthy. As the name “refined” tells us, these oils are highly processed. The oils are extracted by high heat, pressure, and chemical solvents. Without getting too scientific, through processing the beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are killed. Along with stripping the oil of its nutrients, potentially dangerous preservatives are also added to these oils to create a long shelf life. So stick with unrefined, extra virgin, and cold-pressed oils. Some great choices include olive, coconut, avocado, and flaxseed.
While the last almond butter recipe is extremely healthy, if you are someone who has a sweet tooth then it may be a bit bland for your liking. That’s where this recipe comes in handy!
Simply adding a little honey and coconut oil to your almond butter mixture will transform the taste from ordinary to extraordinary. It also bumps up the nutritional value since honey is considered a superfood that packs a strong nutritional punch. Along with its many vitamins and minerals, raw honey also promotes good gut bacteria. Did you know a healthy gut microbiome promotes a healthier you?
If you are looking to keep this recipe as healthy as possible, though, make sure to use a raw honey. Many of the honey bottles that line the shelves of your local grocery store are highly processed, meaning they offer little nutrients or health benefit. So, if possible, buy your honey at your local farmers market.
This is another almond butter recipe for the sweets lover! Using wholesome almonds, coconut oil, a little sea salt, and cocoa powder, you get a delicious and nutritious chocolate spread. If you don’t have cocoa powder on hand, you can also use dark chocolate chips. The darker, the better!
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