I am a huge fan of nut butters: peanut butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter…I love them all, and I put them on everything. The only downside to this obsession is that good nut butter is expensive, especially almond butter, which runs anywhere between five and seven dollars per jar. On a college student’s budget, this is not exactly a practical purchase.
If there is one thing I have learned about buying food, it is that prepackaged items can almost always be homemade. Thus, instead of going without almond butter, I decided to make it on my own. This process turned out to be so simple, and I was almost disappointed in myself for ever buying almond butter from the store. All it took to make the butter was a food processor, a can of plain, unsalted almonds (I used a 6-ounce can of the Blue Diamond brand, but you could certainly use more), and a little bit of olive oil and salt.
First, I pre-roasted the almonds by evenly distributing them on a baking sheet and placing them in an oven heated to 375 degrees. They roasted for about 10 minutes—the roasting time is crucial, because the almonds can become burnt and will not make a pleasantly-tasting butter. The almonds came out of the oven and cooled for a few minutes before going into the food processor. I processed the almonds until they formed a crumbly, flour-like mixture, stirred, and then processed about three more times. After the second processing, the mixture began to clump together and then soon enough, after several minutes of patience and processing, the mixture became creamy. The butter was not as creamy as I would have preferred, however, so I added just a couple teaspoons of olive oil, as well as salt to taste, and processed again.
The results yielded an almond butter that tasted exactly like what comes in a jar from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, and I could not believe how simple it was to make. I placed the butter in a mason jar, which then went into the refrigerator. In the fridge, the almond butter should keep for several weeks.
As I have discovered on more than one occasion, a key component of eating a plethora of diverse, healthy foods is to never let prices in health foods stores prevent you from eating well. Making almond butter was a perfect example, as it was considerably less expensive to make than to buy it premade; I purchased the almonds on sale and already had the other ingredients on hand.
Further, illustrated instructions of how to make almond butter can be found here.