Almond butter, which is equally as delicious as regular peanut butter, is more nutritious than most other types of sandwich spreads and consuming it promotes a whole host of health benefits. In addition to helping your heart, almond butter can help lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, manage weight, and is full of antioxidants. Almonds are also high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats that are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. The good fats contained in almonds keep you healthy (just like eating avocados)!
You barely even need a recipe for this because the ingredient list is super short. It’s seriously only one thing!
And the equipment list isn’t much longer; you’ll need a food processor, an oven, a spatula, and a mason jar. You can try this with a food chopper (like KitchenAid), but the difference is that a chopper must be pulsed whereas a food processor stays on. You run the risk of your chopper (and your thumb) overheating because you need a good, solid 12-15 minutes of run time with a little bit of stop time factored in to get the consistency right.
The best thing about this recipe, besides it’s overwhelming nutrition benefits, is that if you can be patient and NOT use the olive oil, the almond butter you’ll create is Paleo and Whole30 approved (before adding extras). Plus, you made it and know exactly what’s in it so there won’t be a single ingredient you can’t pronounce.
Here are some of the health benefits of the things you might add into your almond butter base:
Honey: Containing no fat or cholesterol, honey is a natural sweetener that can help fight allergies and provide energy.
Cloves: Known to reduce inflammation and improve digestion.
Cinnamon: Protects heart health and acts as an anti-inflammatory, as well as being natural food preservative
Sea Salt: Wonderfully high in minerals that promote skin health.
DIY Almond Butter
2 cups unsalted almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread almonds into a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Bake about 5-7 minutes (watching closely and shifting with a wooden spatula as needed to prevent burning).
- Transfer the nuts directly into a food processor (you can do it right away, no need for them to cool).
- Turn on the food processor and let it run between 12-15 minutes stopping intermittently to scrape the sides of the bowl. After 8-10 minutes, you can add a little olive oil .
- When desired spread consistency is reached, remove food processor blade, add any extra ingredients or flavoring (see notes below) and mix thoroughly with a spatula.
- Transfer to a strong-seal lid glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
- As mentioned above, it is important to stop the food processor every few minutes to scrape down the sides of the bowl, but also to give the motor a little rest and time to cool in order to prevent overheating.
- The nuts will start to cream up after about 8 to 10 minutes. Patience is a virtue here as this process takes time, but if you’re a little impatient or don’t have much time to spare, you can add a scant one tablespoon of light-flavored olive oil (if you’re not Paleo or Whole30) to help it along after it begins to cream.
- Try customizing your almond butter by adding a teaspoon of coarsely ground sea or kosher salt. For a spicier mix, add in ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of cloves with one tablespoon of honey. For a sweeter flavor, add in two tablespoons of hazelnut spread.
- To make your almond butter crunchy, set aside 5-10 roasted almonds when you pull them from the oven, grind them in a chopper or coarsely chop with a knife and stir them into the spread.
- It’s not uncommon to have to stir your almond butter before use if it’s been sitting in the fridge as the oil from the almonds may separate and rise to the top (just like at the store).
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