almond butter

8th April 2012

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Spring is here and the garden is exploding with colours and fragrance.  The Jasmin is in full bloom and the wisteria is in its full, lilac beauty.  This also means there is so much work to do in this explosion of growth and enthusiasm.  I just unloaded my car with bags and bags of manure and a whole box full of summer seedlings, which need to be planted today after I write this post.  But first, a favourite and a constant staple in our house – toasted almond butter.

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Roasting the nuts before grinding is optional.  I like how it brings out the wonderful nutty aroma of the almond.  If you decide to keep them raw just keep in mind the grinding process will be much longer and you will require a very powerful grinder. You can try all sorts of nut or seed butter creations, like sunflower – cashew – brazil or combining sesame – macadamia, almond – hazelnut.  Just make sure with hazelnuts you remove the bitter skins by rubbing them together after roasting.  I prefer using just almonds, as their qualities are less heating than most other nuts & seeds. 

If the nut butter doesn’t come together or you need to speed up the process,  add a tablespoon of walnut oil or oil of your choice after the first 4 minutes of grinding.  The process is a bit daunting, but just have patience and don’t quit too early.

My favourite way of eating almond butter is smeared on two halves of a Medjool date for a sweet at the end of a meal.  My son loves to eat crunchy apple slices dipped in almond butter and enjoys it with home-made strawberry jam on bread.

Makes a wonderful welcome gift for someone special.

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toasted almond butter

Makes approximately 2 cups

ingredients :

4 cups whole raw organic almonds

¼ teaspoon rock salt (optional)

preparation :

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Spread the almonds out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 12 – 15 minutes until fragrant and they are just starting to brown lightly inside, be careful not to over roast them.   Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Transfer the almonds to a food processor, add the salt and blend, using the highest setting for 1 – 2 minutes to grind them to a powder.  Scrape down the sides of the container.  The whole process takes between 12 to 18 minutes, all depending on the machine you are using, the quality & quantity of the almonds and how well they are roasted.

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After two minutes, it should look like coarse almond meal:

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After 4 minutes, the oils will start to release:

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As it keeps blending it will release more of the oils and look like this.  You may need to stop and scrape down the sides.

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Usually, by 8 – 10 minutes it will look like this.  A ball may form, break it up into a few pieces and keep blending and scraping down the sides…..

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After 12 – 14 minutes, it will look like this.  Keep going….you want to wait until the oils are fully released.

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And finally, two to four more minutes, blend until it is completely smooth with a slight sheen.

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I find that the almond butter needs to sit for an hour or two after making it for the flavours to intensify and come together.  Store in a jar in the fridge and use within one month.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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