Once upon a time, there was nothing I loved more then peanut butter…on toast, fruit, in cookies, and on sammies…it was a healthy way to get some extra protein and ‘good fat’ in my diet. After I swore off regular peanut butter, I set out to find the perfect natural one (Trader Joe’s brand is pretty perfect, imo).
All of this changed once I starting following food blogs and discovered nut butters. Why had I never known about these??? The concept was so simple…there are other nuts in the world…why not other nut butters? Almond butter was the most widely used alternative, and my first one to try. Of course I loved it, but wow was it expensive! At nearly $7 for a jar, it cost twice as much as a jar of natural peanut butter. There had to be a better (read: cheaper) way.
We recently bought a food processor to handle some tasks that the regular ole’ blender couldn’t handle. Perfect time to make my own almond butter! I consulted Heather’s recipe for nut butter, and went to work.
First, I spread some raw almonds (about a ziploc bag full) on parchment paper and popped them into the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, turning them once or twice. You’ll know they’re done when they get darker and the kitchen smells like roasted nuts.
Once the nuts cooled a bit (about 10 minutes), I threw them into the food processor and went to town.
It took about 10 minutes to achieve the consistency I was after! Halfway through, I tossed in a generous pinch of salt and a squeeze of honey. The result was super smooth, spreadable, and perfectly blended until the bottom of the jar – fantastic!
It tasted better than any store-bought version. We used it in everything from green monsters to oatmeal.
The next experiment was cashew butter. I used Goan cashew nuts, toasted for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees, and later added a pinch of salt and glob of honey into the mix.
It took about 15 minutes to achieve an acceptable consistency. The mixture kept balling up and never really got completely smooth. Most recipes I found included some additional oil, and I’m guessing this would have ensured a better result. It’s still great on toast and in smoothies, but not nearly as spreadable as the almond butter.
I love the idea of substituting other nuts butters for the standard peanut butter. Almonds have a ton of Vitamin E and ‘good fats.’ Research has shown that almonds can reduce cholesterol and boost immunity. Cashews have similar benefits. If you own a food processor (or even a Magic Bullet), give homemade nut butter a try!
*Update: Thanks Amber for the kind words! I forgot to mention in the post: nuts (especially almonds and walnuts I think) are on the pricey side. I get my nuts in huge 5-lb. bags from the Indian grocery store for under $10. If this isn’t an option, try and find them wholesale, or buy in bulk…if you can.