Homemade Almond Butter and Accidental Caramel-ish Dip
Happy Friday! Today I learned about patience. Let me explain a bit – I have always wanted to make my own almond butter, and I have attempted several times but always came up with a clumpy mess. After this morning’s effort though, I learned (once again) that persistence is key. I am learning life’s lessons from food…it definitely must be time for the weekend!
Making your own almond butter is quite simple actually: you need almonds, a food processor and as mentioned before, patience. I’ve heard others that use a Vitamix with success but I can’t speak for that high-powered blender myself. In a nutshell, you add the nuts in whichever form desired – raw or roasted/toasted – and then turn on the processor…stop and scrape the sides, turn back on…stop and scrape the sides again, turn back on…stop and scrape the sides yet again, turn back on. You will keep repeating this method over and over until you get the smooth consistency that you find in high-quality jarred versions from the store. It takes a little time for the almonds to release all of their oils and that’s where the perseverance plays a part My handy-dandy KitchenAid food processor was put to work and began to get heated at the base but don’t worry, this is ok!
This is the basic process for creating your own homemade nut butter. From there, you can then make different variations – raw, roasted, roasted and salted – as well as various flavors – chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, flax etc. If you want chunky nut butter, you can add in 1/3 cup or more of chopped almonds after desired consistency is reached.
I made roasted almond butter (as I prefer the deeper flavor to raw), and after successfully achieving the silky texture I so desired, I got a little carried away and decided to make a super combo of flavors. Let’s just say I went overboard in the experimenting department and added flax, chia seed, sea salt, vanilla, cinnamon and a little stevia to slightly sweeten. Is that considered overkill?
Looking back, I should have added these ingredients a little at a time instead of all at once. At first, it became a thick paste mixture, so I added some coconut oil to thin along with some almond milk. Turns out the chia, flax and almond milk created a caramel-like texture that made the almond butter flavor fade into the background and I was left with a delicious but sticky mixture that I used for a yummy dip for apple slices. Although it was a “happy accident”, I am not sure I will be recreating the same flavor combo using the same method as before…it was a lot of trouble for an apple dip : ) Next time, I think I will add either honey or maple syrup as the sweetener, use a teaspoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of flax and some vanilla and leave it be.
Homemade Roasted Almond Butter
2 1/2 cups raw almonds
1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out almonds. Bake for 8 minutes, stir and return to oven for another 7-8 minutes or until roasted and slightly fragrant (don’t them them burn!).
2. Remove sheet from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Place roasted almonds into bowl of the food processor and process for about 10-15 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl every 30-60 seconds as needed.
Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups (more or less, I kept tasting it!)
On a more serious note, I wanted to share the info about the The Great Fundraising Act in case you haven’t heard of it already. It’s an online auction and fundraiser to benefit Susan from The Great Balancing Act. A few weeks ago, 25-year-old Susan was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and the blogging community has rallied around her to help raise money for her medical expenses. The live auction will take place this upcoming Monday, July 25 – bake sale items are up for auction or you can make a monetary donation. Click here for more information and here to check out all the items up for bid, I strongly encourage you to take part if you are able!