I’m normally not a huge fan of almond butter. I mean, given the choice, peanut butter would always win over almond butter any day. But a few weeks ago, I went to buy some almond butter because almonds are clearly more nutritious than peanuts and I had resolved that I would learn to love it because of the superior health benefits of almonds over peanuts. The only problem was that when I reached for a jar in my grocery store, I almost dropped it when I saw the price – $10.99! I saw a smaller, 12 oz jar for $8.99 but still…I decided I would figure out how to make it myself.
And man oh man, I am so glad I did too because I made it even better than any store bought almond butter I’ve ever had. Even more so than Justin’s (and for a whole lot cheaper). I added in a few special ingredients that are totally optional, but I think they make this almond butter amazing. Now that I’ve made my own and come up with such a great recipe, I would take this over peanut butter any day of the week. I think it tastes better and I feel a lot better knowing that I’m getting lots of nutrients and healthy fats.
You really only need almonds and a food processor (or a high power blender) to make almond butter, but I also added in some honey and a fat pinch of sea salt for a subtle, yet perfect salty-sweet balance, and some coconut oil to 1.) give a really creamy texture, and 2.) sneak in some extra healthy fat. The result was AMAZING. Every afternoon since I made my first batch, I look forward to snack time – an apple and almond butter – and it has kind of been my favorite thing to eat lately.
Click through for the full instructions! :)
Let me first start by saying that making almond butter isn’t necessarily easy – it’s not difficult, no – but it’s not like you can just whip up a batch super quick for a snack. It’s certainly not as easy as making almond milk. I’ve seen other bloggers talk about how easy it is and didn’t take them much time, but that has not been my experience (just keepin’ it real!). It takes a while – like an hour, maybe more, maybe less depending on your food processor – but in the end, I think it’s worth it because 1.) you know exactly what’s going in to it and can even tweak it to your preferences, 2.) it’s much more cost effective than buying store bought (I can buy a 1lb bag of raw almonds at my grocery store for $5, which will yield 16oz of almond butter) and, 3.) it really is kind of amazing when it finally comes together and you feel like you just did the impossible.
When you start out, you’ll want to make sure your almonds are dry. If you’ve rinsed them for any reason, make sure they are super dry by the time you’re ready to use them. You don’t add any of the optional add-ins until the end – let the almonds do their thing uninterrupted first.
First, grind down your almonds to meal – this is almond meal, if you want to make almond flour with out first making milk, you would take this and dry it out in a dehydrator or in your oven at it’s lowest setting for a few hours.
Once I’ve gotten my almonds ground down to pulp, I like to switch out the blade for a dough hook. The reason being, I noticed the blade would eventually throw the almonds up the sides and the blade would just spin without coming in contact or mixing the almonds. No matter how many times I stopped and scraped down the sides, the blade just wouldn’t incorporate them – but when I switched out to this dough hook, it started working immediately. The edges have more surface area to grab the almonds, rather than slicing right through them. You may be able to make almond butter with just your regular blade. I know a lot of people have, but this is what worked best for me.
UPDATE: I have a pretty big food processor, so I discovered that if I double this recipe, then I can leave the regular blade on because the added quantity seems to give the blades enough to go through, rather than just pushing it up the sides. I hope that makes sense…? Basically – if you don’t have a dough hook, no worries. Just make sure you have enough almonds so that there is constant mixing. If they just push up the sides and the blade goes round and round without touching the almonds, then you need more.
After a while, the texture will change almost to a play-dough consistency. That’s a sign that you’re about 75% there. Keep going. Also – experiment with speeds on your food processor or blender. If you’re not seeing much happening after a while with the speed set to high, set it to low or medium for a while and sometimes that helps break it up.
Finally you’ll get to a point where it’s just about there and you feel like finally – finally! – it’s going to miraculously turn in to almond butter. This is the point at which I like to add the coconut oil, honey and salt. I feel like the almonds have pretty much released most of their oils and the honey and coconut oil help it along in the final stretch.
Ingredients and Equipment
3 cups raw almonds
food processor or high powered blender
rubber spatula for scraping down the sides
2-3 tablespoons honey
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
- Start with dry almonds – place in food processor and blend on high until the almonds are the consistency of fine meal.
- If desired, switch out blade for dough hook (UPDATE: I no longer need to switch out the blade for a dough hook, see my note above for full details). Continue blending for several minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides as you go along.
- Keep blending until almonds have released almost all their oils – when the almonds are about the consistency of play-dough – and add in coconut oil, honey and sea salt or any additional flavorings you like. Or, just leave plain if that suits you!
- Blend for a few more minutes until finally – miraculously! – it turns in to a smooth, creamy consistency just like any other almond butter you’ve had.
- Store in refrigerator.
Yields 16oz almond butter.
If your food processor or blender gets really hot and is heating the almonds, give it a rest. Not only for the benefit of your appliance, but it seems to me that the almonds release their oils better at room temperature. I don’t know if this is true or not, but from my experience, when I’ve been blending for a long time and no new changes in consistency are happening, I walk away for a while and let it all cool down and by the time I come back and start blending again, it progresses almost immediately.
Also, take your time and just keep at it. I swear, every time I make this, I get to a point where I think it’s not going to work, and then out of nowhere, the almonds just finally come together to make the butter. Every time it shocks me!
One last thing – I like to store mine in the fridge. I’m not sure if you absolutely have to, but all the labels of natural nut butters usually say to, so I do. If you find it’s not very spreadable once refrigerated, just leave it out on the counter for a few minutes, or heat up your serving size just enough to get it to be a little more malleable.
If you try it, be sure to let me know how it goes! I love hearing tips and tricks from you guys if you discover them so make sure to share with everyone in the comments :)