Almond Butter, a great alternative to peanut butter

If you like nuts and you like peanut butter but are tired of the same old stuff or are allergic to peanuts don’t despair their are alternatives.  My mom has always hated peanut butter, but she loves whole peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.  She also like to snack on healthy things and she was getting tired of the same old textures all the time.  On the advice of an acquaintance at the local health food store she decided to try almond butter.  She loved it.  Only problem is it isn’t cheap and in our area it can be hard to find.

One day while making some cookies that called for almond butter I realized that I had run out, but I had a bag of raw almonds in the freezer.  To my surprise there were actually directions on how to make your own nut butter in the instructions of the recipe. Being that I’d purchased the 16 oz. bag of raw almonds while on sale I was able to produce a pound of almond butter for about 50% less than I’d pay for a jar of it at the grocery store (if I could find it).

Almond Butter

1 pound raw almonds

2-3 tbsps. vegetable oil

sugar, honey, stevia, or other sweetener to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread the almonds evenly across a cookie sheet and place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to toast.  Keep an eye on them so they do not burn.  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

Once cool put the almonds in a blender or food processor and blend until they are a fine meal or powder – stop sooner if you want chunkier nut butter.  Slowly add one tablespoon of oil at a time allowing it to become incorporated into the mix.  If the butter looks too dry you can always add more.  A piece of advice – do not use extra virgin oil or sesame oil. These have strong tastes of their own and can overwhelm the toasted almond flavor.

Now add the sweetener, if desired.  Do this a little at a time and test it as you go.  I barely put in a tablespoon, maybe a tablespoon and a half of honey to my almond butter.  Usually, I’m going to pair it with chocolate, jam, preserves or more honey so I don’t want it too sweet.  There are also savory recipes that call for almond butter so you may want to omit this step altogether.

Enjoy this rich and good for you treat on crackers, toast, cookies or even on ice cream.  I’ve put it in smoothies because it gives a nutty richness that is oh so delicious.

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