I have this friend named Andrea who is always making stuff from scratch. She’s the kind of woman that I love to hate because she’s seemingly perfect. Only I can’t hate her because I love her. It’s very conflicting. She’s super organized, crazy crafty, über nice and the best darn cook there is.
Anyway, the other day I was talking to her and she mentioned how her and her toddler had made homemade almond butter together. Lucy, (the toddler) just had a blast pushing the pulse button on the food processor and dipping her plump little finger into the nutty goo for taste tests along the way.
Inspired by her ingenuity I decided to give it a try. You see my husband loves nut butter! He eats it by the spoon full. I splurge on the expensive all natural peanut butter because not only is it better for us but it is significantly tastier. I stopped buying the super expensive almond butter because he can’t stay out of the stuff.
I can hear the argument right now…
“Brent! Quit eating the nut butter!”
“Don’t call it nut butter.”
“It just doesn’t sound right.”
“Whatever… stop eating the nut butter. It’s expensive!”
While Brent was at the gym I decided to give this whole homemade almond butter business a shot. I loaded up on raw almonds from the bulk bin earlier at the grocery store with the sole purpose of impressing my husband.
I loaded a pound of the nuts into my Ninja blender, added a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of salt and gave it a whirl…
and a whirl… and a whirl… and a whirl
My little Ninja started to smoke and couldn’t quite take the heat. I was left with crushed up chunks of almonds sitting in my blender while I wondered how the hell you actually got this stuff to turn into butter. Was I supposed to add something to it? I decided to change tactics and poured my sandy looking ingredients into my food processor.
Penelope loved watching it whirl around and around and she especially loved getting a taste every time I took the lid off to check the consistency.
“Yay… this is fun!”
“Uh… is it supposed to look like this?”
I don’t know Penelope! Brent walked into the house while we whirled and whirled and whirled this stuff in the food processor. He looked from me to the smoke that was starting to rise from the engine and gave me a skeptical look.
So much for being super impressive.
There came a point when I felt like I was just going to have to lose hope on actually creating nut butter (Don’t call it that!). The nuts were starting to form into a doughy consistency where you could take the crumbles out and squish them together to create little balls. I started to contemplate making raw energy balls out of the stuff while silently cursing my friend who is ten times more capable than I am in the kitchen.
(I didn’t really curse you Andrea.)
Yes I did.
I thought about adding some moisture of some sort to the mix to make it come together but then I thought about the ingredient list on the jars of the stuff that I’ve bought. It just said… almonds and salt. So I held onto hope and kept processing the crap out of it.
Suddenly the sandy mixture gave way to doughy mixture which then started to give way to… butter.
Yay! We made nut butter!!!
You would not believe how excited Penelope and I were with our nut butter making ways! I proudly marched upstairs with a spoonful of the stuff and shoved it into my husbands face… “Taste it!”
He loved it and even though he didn’t really say so in so many words… I could tell he was super impressed.
Penelope and I decided to try it out ourselves in the form of banana, almond butter and chia seed sandwiches.
We were both pretty impressed too!
Now that I am a nut butter master I can’t wait to try it out using the roasted nuts from the farmer’s market. They have some amazing flavors and I bet it would be delicious. You could roast up some spiced nuts yourself and make butter out of that and give it away as Christmas gifts! (Watch out Andrea… I may end up being as crafty as you 😉 And you may or may not be able to expect a jar of nut butter as a gift some time in the future.)
Homemade Almond Butter
1 lb raw or roasted almonds
drizzle of honey (optional)
1 tsp of salt (or to taste)
Place ingredients into a food processor and process the crap out of it. If necessary give your machine a couple of breaks while processing. The key is to keep faith and keep processing. Don’t give up hope!
Example of nut butter making schedule:
Pulse until your food processor smokes- do a load of laundry. Pulse until food processor smokes- watch some TV. Pulse until is smokes- pick some weeds. Or… if you live on the wild side just pulse in one sitting like I did. If your food processor or blender doesn’t smell funny or isn’t on fire one of two things has happened. You’ve quit trying or you have a much better piece of equipment than I do.
P.S. Love you Andrea and good luck this week. I’m sure you’ll be a champ while giving birth too!