Here’s the first thing you should know about almond butter: if you’re going to make it yourself, you need to be patient. It is not a short process. It took me a good 25 minutes to make a smooth butter out of just 1 cup of almonds, and although it was worth it, I started to get a little frustrated towards the end! I wish I had documented the process for you all, but since I didn’t, here is a step-by-step process of what to do and how to do it. The best part is that you don’t need to add salt, sugar, oil or any of the other ingredients that you may find in prepackaged nut butters. Homemade almond butter is a simple, healthy spread – literally just blended almonds!
The second thing to know about almond butter is that it’s a great alternative to peanut butter if you have certain allergies or taste aversions. In terms of nutrition, they both offer tons of protein and fibre, but almonds provide a slightly higher dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They also have quite a different taste to peanuts, which was why, after hearing about it so often, I really wanted to try it.
When making any kind of nut butter, it’s usually recommended to roast the nuts prior to putting them in the food processor. The science behind it is that the heat helps release the oils from each nut, which makes for a smoother, creamier butter. This would have been helpful to know prior to me tossing raw nuts in the processor and nearly wanting to pull my hair out 20 minutes later when the damn stuff refused to turn into butter! The raw ground almonds took quite a while to release their oils and finally produce a creamy consistency, but at least now I’ll know how to make it even better next time.
The taste was good but difficult to describe. It was rich and vaguely nutty, but not as bold or as sweet as peanut butter, which can be consumed in large quantities on its own (preferably straight from the jar – you know you do it, too!). I thought the almond butter needed a little something extra (it was a bit bland on its own), so I spread a generous amount over a banana and added some delicious, organic granola.
Next, I’d like to experiment with peanuts. My favourite PB has always been this one; I wonder if my homemade kind will be as good. Stay tuned for the results!