Saturday, June 22, 2013

Homemade Almond Butter

We like almond butter... a lot.  So when Trader Joe's began having a shortage on their almond butter, I decided to make my own!  It tastes completely different than any store bought brand I've had, and I love it.  It has a different consistency (much thicker and less runny) and a fresher taste, plus I put cinnamon in mine which adds some depth of flavor.  

Don't get me wrong, I still love Trader Joe's almond butter... evidenced by the fact that I went EXTRA early one day this week and bought 8 jars :)  You see, lately they have been getting a small amount each day, so there's a limited supply that's gone by mid-day.  I went at 8 am when they opened to make sure they wouldn't be out!


Either way, homemade almond butter is amazing and something you should definitely try to make if you have a food processor or high powered blender.  Even though we have a large stock of Trader Joe's almond butter, I will still be making the homemade kind because it's just that good!!

Homemade Almond Butter

2 cups raw almonds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a few pinches coarse salt

1. Get out your food processor.  I use a kitchen aid 5 cup food processor, so the directions that follow are what works for this food processor.  If you have a different food processor or a vita mix, your method may vary.  Just search for "homemade almond butter" and you will find lots of resources out there.  

2. Put 2 cups of raw almonds in the food processor.  We buy big bags of raw almonds (with the skin on) from Sam's club, and they work really well!  We store our almonds in the fridge, and in my experience, cold almonds work especially well for making almond butter.

3.  Turn the food processor on and process for about 2 minutes, or until you hear the blade whirring but not actually mixing anything.  At this point the almonds should be finely ground, and will probably have built up on the sides of the food processor.  Use a knife or the handle of a rubber scraper to push the meal off the sides of the food processor (and off of the bottom if necessary) and then turn the food processor on again.

4.  Continue to mix in 1-2 minute increments, turning the food processor off after 1-2 minutes and scraping anything that has clumped up on the sides and bottom.  Clumping is exactly what you should expect.  Just break it up with your knife or rubber scraper handle (don't forget the sides AND the bottom of the food processor) and distribute the mixture somewhat evenly in the food processor and continue to process in 2 minute increments.  

5.  The whole mixing process will take around 15-20 minutes, so don't worry if it doesn't seem like your almonds are making any progress!  They will!  It's kind of like magic at the end... you'll go for a while and think that nothing is happening, then all of the sudden- almond butter!  

6.  Eventually, the mixture will start to ball up, which means it's getting close to being creamy.  Continue your process of scraping the sides and bottom and distributing the mixture one more time.  

7.  The mixture will ball up again, and this time just let the food processor keep running, because the ball will "fall" and that's when the mixture will start to get creamy.  The inside of the food processor may also start to have some condensation and become hot.  This is normal!  

8.  Once the mixture is creamy and being whirled around the food processor evenly, add about 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a few pinches of coarse salt, and continue to process for about 1 minute.  

9.  Scrape the almond butter into a glass jar (don't use plastic) with a lid. 

10.  I know this will keep for up to 3 days, and would imagine it would be fine for around 2 weeks, but I doubt you will need to worry about that because I guarantee you will eat it all long before 2 weeks rolls around!

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