Green Your Life: Homemade Almond Butter

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Food-Matters/green-your-life-homemade-almond-butter.aspx

In my quest to become less dependent on store-bought products, I have discovered that you can make comparable homemade versions of many of the things you buy every day. Making baba ganoush and frozen dog treats at home—not to mention dryer sachets—greatly reduces your trash heap as well as the number of unnecessary chemicals and preservatives you come in contact with. Plus, the more you make at home, the more you can appreciate the work that goes into the things you use. This week I made fresh almond butter, and I was pleasantly surprised at how simple the ingredients list and preparation was. 

homemade almond butter 
Making homemade almond butter is really easy and turns out a tasty snack. Repurpose an old jelly jar with a secure lid and make your own fun label. Photo By Dani Hurst. 

Ingredients: 

2 cups almonds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup canola oil, or any oil you have on hand
1/4 cup honey (optional)
 

1. You can make almond butter with raw almonds, but roasted almonds offer a more robust flavor. If you do choose to use roasted almonds, spread the 2 cups of almonds on a baking sheet and cook them at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring them around halfway through to ensure even cooking. 

2. After the almonds cool, place them in a food processor with the salt and blend until fine. 

3. Next, add the oil and continue to blend until smooth. 

4. If you like a little sweetness, add honey or sweetener of your choice. 

5. Scoop out of food processor and put in a container with a tight-fitting lid. 

roasted almonds 
For that extra smoky flavor, roast the almonds in the oven before you blend them. Just make sure to stir them halfway through cooking so they don’t burn. Photo By Dani Hurst.

One of the great things about making nut butter at home is that you can customize them to fit your personal taste. If you like a chunky butter, stir some chopped almonds in the butter right before you serve or store it. You can also substitute other nuts—such as hazelnuts, cashews or macadamia nuts—for the almonds, or combine different nuts and sweeteners for more adventurous butters. If you’re looking to make this experience even greener, skip the plastic containers and store your fresh butter in a repurposed glass jelly jar. 

This was the first time I’ve ever made nut butter, and while it tastes great, the consistency is a little too crumbly. My advice to anyone trying this recipe is to blend the almonds and oil in smaller batches so the mixture is more homogenous and less clumpy. This recipe makes just enough to fill an 18 oz. glass jar, but if you want to make less, simply cut the recipe in half.