I don’t know if anyone else’s mother is like mine, but she is always concerned if I have eaten enough or not. Most times when I head home to visit my parents, my mom immediately starts telling me that I have dark circles under my eyes because I am not taking care of myself and exercising/eating healthy. To be honest, the real reason is half because my eye liner runs after a busy day and half because of work stress. I am also known to get “Hangry.” Hangry- angry or cranky due to hunger. Because of this, my mom likes to supply me with big bags of almonds— and I’m talking BIG (around 5 pounds) so that I don’t have any excuses to not have food on hand with me at all times. In the past, I’ve split these bags up and stored them in my cupboards, put some in my purse, some in the freezer, and always a bag in the car.
Mom knows best– Almonds are a significant source of protein and fiber while also being low in sugar. About 23-26 almonds contains about 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fats. These precious little nuts are also high in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
You must be thinking– Where does Koko (my mom) find all of these almonds? Fun fact– Almonds are a major crop here in California, and my mom goes directly to the farmers to buy large batches in bulk, get the freshest almonds at the best price, and support her local farmers.
That all being said– let me tell you- with that many almonds around all the time, you can get kind of bored with them. I decided to pull my larger bag out of the freezer and get creative using my 16- Cup Cuisinart Food Processor and try my hand at making almond butter.
Making almond butter is MUCH easier than I could ever imagine. A few quick tips are– don’t forget to roast your almonds or else your butter might turn out bitter, use the 1:2 ratio almonds to size of your food processor to avoid overflow of the almond crumbs (ie. I used 8 cups of roasted almonds for my 16- Cup Cuisinart Food Processor), and be VERY patient. It takes a while for the almonds to release oils and start to liquefy.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. spread out one and a half to two cups of almonds on a cookie sheet. Make sure that the almonds are completely flat and not on top of each other. Once the oven has preheated, roast the almonds for 8-10 minutes. Your kitchen will get filled with an amazing aroma.
Start the food processor and watch your almonds start to break down. They will go from chopped nuts to almond flour to almond dough to sticky almond dough to almond butter, and the process can take a while- I’m talking 20-30 minutes with larger batches of almond butter.
You do not have to add anything to your almond mixture. When the oils in the almonds really heat up and start to release, it is enough moisture to help the almonds liquefy. I’ve made almond several times without anything, but recently I’ve started adding about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. This is for three separate reasons:
- Additional healthy fats
- I’ve noticed it helps add a little extra moisture in the almond flour/almond dough to help push it along.
I’ve also added vanilla (tastes amazing). Some other ideas are salt, cinnamon, honey, shredded coconut, nutmeg, chocolate chips….the world is your oyster! I feel like you really can’t go that wrong.
As you go through the process of breaking down the almonds, don’t get discouraged. You will come to a point where your almonds will heat up enough to release oils and will very quickly liquefy and turn into rich and amazing almond butter.
One piece of advice- constantly check on your food processor. I’ve never run into an issue with overheating, but this time around– my Cuisinart got so hot that it automatically shut off in the middle of making my butter. I removed the bowl from the base and unplugged it– allowing it to cool down. When it is fully cooled down, you can resume your cooking– pausing in the process will not ruin the almond butter at all.
After fully allowing the butter to liquefy– stop the food processor and let the butter cool down a little bit. Once it is more warm versus hot, go ahead and transfer it to a heat safe glass jar or container. I try to avoid plastic these days with all the implications about how hot plastic can affect our health.
You can split these up in several jars and give them out or divide them in larger containers and store them in your fridge. From what I’ve researched, this almond butter should last about 4 months in the fridge. To be honest, it only lasted a couple of weeks in my house!
Enjoy with apples, toast, by the spoonful, on top of ice cream, in smoothies— basically it goes well with almost everything.
Homemade Almond Butter
Coconut Oil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Spread out 1 1/2 to 2 cups of almonds on a cookie sheet- completely flat and not on top of each other.
- Roast the almonds for 8-10 minutes.
- Place almonds in a separate bowl to cool down and repeat steps 2-4 for your desired amount of almonds.
- Chop/blend roasted almonds in food processor for 20-30 minutes or until almonds liquefy into butter.
- At the almond flour/almond dough phase– add coconut oil and/or any other desired additions.
- Once almonds and transformed into almond butter–allow mixture to cool down
- Transfer to a heat safe container/jar