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How to make your own Almond Butter

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There is never a dull moment in the Nouveau Raw Kitchens and today didn’t let me down.  I have been meaning to a do a post on how to make your own nut butter for some time now (several years actually)  but I just never got around to it.  I wanted to provide a stack of photos so you could watch the progress as whole nuts turn into a butter.  So today, I finally did it.  Setting up for the photo shoot proved to be interesting.  I only have my iPhone for taking pictures and thank goodness my girlfriend Ruthie gave me a special holder that attaches the iPhone to a tri-pod.  Boy, don’t I feel all “up town”. hehe

With the food processor in place, the almonds soaked and dehydrated… I was ready.  Small snafu… the tri-pod was too short and I couldn’t get a shot looking down into the machine.  So, I shortened the tri-pod and placed it on the counter.  Next snafu… Now I was to short to see the “camera” screen to take the pictures, so I had to break out the ladder.  Yeah, it was beginning to look pretty darn comical around here.  With everything in place and the camera angled perfectly, I took my first picture.  The battery went dead. lol  Ok, I fixed that and we now had endless power surging through the iPhone.

I turned the food processor on, set the timer for 2 minutes and things were well on their way.  Whats that I hear?  My camera iPhone is ringing?!!  I climbed up the ladder, got on the counter and looked at the screen of the phone.  I was, the bank… the bank?  Oh gosh, I have to take this call.  I slid the bar over which answered the call and I switched it to speaker.  “Hello”…. It was Tracy from the bank…. “Oh dear Tracy, can I ask you to hold on for a second?”  I climbed off the counter and down the ladder, turned off the food processor (which had to be ringing in her ears haha), ran over to the timer and paused it.  I scampered back over to the counter and climbed back up to take the call.  I am sure she couldn’t understand why I was giggling, making grunting noises from climbing all over the counter and so forth. After hanging up, I turned my phone back into my camera and continued with me project.

I stopped the food processor every two minutes and removed the top so I could take a picture.  You might be hard pressed to see a difference between some of the photos but after all that work, I was bound and determined to bring you along on my adventure of making almond butter. :)  It took 26 minutes to turn 2 cups of almonds into 1 1/4 cups of almond butter.  Keep in mind that this will vary depending on your food processor.   So don’t be shocked if it takes more or less time for you to make.  My example is just a template.   I learned many other things during this process… all events listed took place in two-minute intervals.  I can guzzle 16 oz of water, I can run through the house like a mad woman taking dirty clothes from the hamper and into the washing machine.  I can use the restroom,  I can sing the “American Anthem” ok, maybe hum most of it in under two minutes, I can use the restroom,  I can do 246 jumping jacks on the mini trampoline, I can wash a sink full of dishes, and once again use the restroom (darn that 16 oz bottle of water) and I can trip over the trash bag on the floor, snagging my big toe on it, thus dragging it as I half stumble through the kitchen, only to find that I left a trail of garbage all over the floor.  So, making nut butter can teach you more than you can imagine!  lol

Now let’s get moving so I can show you the process.  :)

Ingredients: yields 1 1/4 cups

Preparation:

  1. Make sure that you followed the process for soaking and dehdyrating the almonds.  DO NOT use wet almonds for this, it won’t work.
  2. Place the almonds in the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade.
  3. Every few minutes, stop the machine and scrap the sides down and clear the soon to be nut butter out from under the blade.
  4. Be patient.  The nuts will go through several stages; dry and loud, small and crumbly, slightly moist, back to large chunks, moving onto more of a paste and them before you know it… you have a butter.
  5. Transfer to a sealed glass container to store in the fridge for several months.

Sous Chef Suggestions:

  • Only make nut butters in high-powered blenders or food processors.  Please take caution that you don’t over heat whatever appliance you choose to use.
  • If you are concerned about the nut butter getting to warm through the process, you can monitor it with a thermometer gun.   Freezing the nuts prior to making the nut butter can help keep the almonds cooler when you start the process.
  • You can add 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp+ sea salt, 2 Tbsp sweeteners (honey, agave, etc), vanilla, cacao powder, etc but be warned that if you add any additional liquids it will shorten the shelf life.  Add these ingredient at the very end, stirring them in by hand.
  • Want a blonde color almond butter or one that might be easier to digest?  Remove the skins before starting the nut butter process.
  • Don’t have almonds?  Use your favorite nut!

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28 thoughts on “How to make your own Almond Butter

  1. Chris says:

    Wow! This has been on my list to make, too. Just curious, can you make it with just a cup of nuts? I’m not sure if it will still work in the food processor, or if you need the larger volume of nuts.
    Thanks!!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Chris… truthfully, I don’t think 1 cup is enough volume, not to mention after going through all that work, you might as well make a full amount. Have a great evening. amie sue

  2. Joanie Stuart says:

    May I ask what horse power/brand your FP is? I have a 15+ Kitchenaide and am wondering if it will be strong enough. It struggled with the chocolate chip cookie dough but not the oatmeal raisin.
    I also have a good way to skin the almonds. I sacraficed one of my good W-S dishtowels by folding it in hald and sewing up two sides then putting a zipper the full length of the top side. After a quick blanch to loosen the skins I dampen the “dishtowel bag” and throw the almonds in. Then I rub them and toss them gently for a while and the majority (sometimes all) the skins come off.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Joanie,

      Thank you for the tip idea on skinning the almonds. :) Forgive me, but what is a W-S dishtowel? FOr me popping the almonds out of their skins is like therapy for me. haha But then I am strange like that. haha

      As far as the food processor goes… I have several brands but the one that I used for this butter was my Viking Professional model VFP 12 series (which they don’t make anymore). It has 625W. If your until gets warm during the process you can turn it off for a few to cool it back down. I hope this helps! amie sue

  3. Thank you for hanging in there and showing us the process, Amie Sue!
    And thank you for your honesty with the details! Haha!
    Now I know I’m not the only person with kitchen calamities!!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Suzie… my life is full of calamities! lol But I find great humor in them and make the best of them. :) It keeps us humble. haha Have a wonderful week Suzie. amie sue

  4. Jennifer says:

    You are so hilarious! I just love reading your comments that go along with your recipes.
    My only thing is-the one time I made almond butter the result was so thick it would not spread at all. I added oil to it but it just was hard as could be. Now at the time I did not know to soak and dry the nuts first. Could that have been the problem?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Jennifer,

      Yes, that could have easily been the problem. That and you might not have processed the nuts long enough to release their natural oils. It is very important that you soak and dehydrate the nuts before making the nut butter! I made this butter a few days ago and after reading your message I scampered off to the fridge to make sure that mine was still soft… and yes, mine is very spreadable and I didn’t add oil to mine. I hope you try again and have great success! Have a great evening, amie sue

  5. Melissa says:

    Thanks for making me chuckle this morning. The almond butter looks fabulous and I am glad to know how to make my own now. Thanks for teaching me and for the photos:) I think photos help a great deal, especially when a ladder is required to get them!!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Melissa… together we all learn. :) I would love to hear how it goes for you when you make it. Have a blessed day, amie sue

  6. Sharon McGrath says:

    Bravo! Job well done. With all those 2 min intervals you took a picture 15 times…amazing…what patience and with phone calls in between:) Thanks for the recipe! I ordered almonds and they are arriving on Friday.

    Question: Why do the nuts have to be dehydrated? Will it work if they are soaked and towel dried?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Sharon… thank you, thank you *bows* hehe It was quite an adventure and one that had me laughing at myself throughout the process. I LOVE being the kitchen! The nuts need to be dehydrated for sure! Trust me, I tried just what you suggested and I couldn’t ever get it to a creamy butter. It must have to do with the mix of water in the nuts and the oils in the nuts that prevent it. I learned a valuable lesson that day. hehe Have a wonderful day and thank you for your kind words. amie sue

  7. emma green says:

    patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to making nut butters but all the scraping and processing is sooo worth it :-)

  8. Joanie Stuart says:

    Amie Sue,

    W-S, Williams-Sonoma.

  9. Gwendolyn says:

    Dear Amie Sue, thanks for the wonderful inspiration, I am definetely going to try it. I can’t wait, it looks so yummie!

  10. Clare Cyganek says:

    I was just thinking to make nut butters. and here you are sharing how to do this. Could one do this using sesame seeds for tahini, or to use pumpkin seeds to make a pumpkin seed butter? Could one use the Blendtec twister jar for all of these?

  11. Sue K says:

    Do you think you can make creamy, spreadable nut butter in a vitamix or a green star juicer? I don’t have a food processor (yet).

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Sue,

      Hello Suzie,

      I hope your husband is feeling better!

      Yes, you can make nut butters in the Vitamix.

      Ingredients: Yield: 1 3/4 c (420 g)

      3 cups (420 g) unsalted roasted peanuts

      Directions

      Pour nuts into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
      Select Variable 1.

      Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High, using the tamper to push the ingredients into the blades.

      In 1 minute, you will hear a high pitched chugging sound. Once the butter begins to flow freely through the blades, the motor sound will change from a high pitch to a low laboring sound. Stop machine.

      Store in an airtight container. It can also be frozen for longer storage.

      CAUTION: Over processing will cause serious overheating to your machine! Do not process for more than 1 minute after mixture starts circulating freely. For recipe variation, see Cashew Nut Butter and Almond Butter recipes.

      ________________________________________

      Directions to make a nut butter with your juicer:

      Things you’ll need: About 1 cup of nuts of your choice (all nuts work well, I like hazelnuts and almonds), A few tablespoons of a neutral oil(nut oils can be found at the market), and you’re juicer!

      1) Prepare your juicer for the homogenizing function. For most juicers this means replacing the juicing screen with a blank plate.

      2) Make sure you have a bowl to catch the butter at the ejection chute.

      3) Pour in about a ½ cup of nuts and turn on the juicer

      4) Add in 1 to 2 tbsp of a neutral flavored oil on top to help it get creamy. Add the oil until it is at your desired consistency.

      5) Pour in the other half of the nuts and push it through the grinder. If you push it through fast, it will make it chunkier. If you push it through slow, it will make it more creamy.

      Additional options….

      Add in salt to taste if you like.

      Add in chopped up nuts (of your choice, a different type then used for the creamy is a nice variation) and add them in.

      Add in things like chocolate chips or shavings, or even coconut flakes for a different flavor.

      How about little chopped up pieces of dried fruit? Yes, it is good!

      Storage: Once you make it, its best if they are refrigerated right away, and eaten within a week. Store it in a glass container.

  12. suzie blair says:

    ami-sue, thank-you for posting how to make nut butters. I too enjoy your humor.

    I am getting ready to order my supplies. I am sorry it has taken me so long, but I had a sick husband. I don’t have to say anymore right?

    Suzie Blair

  13. Sarah says:

    this is awesome! i have recently started adding raw foods into my diet as i am amazed by all the health benefits that come from eat raw/ living foods. A lot of the recipes i have found use almond butter, so i tried to make some in my magic bullet, which i am now convinced is not so magical. the best it could do is a super thick almond paste. i am thinking it might be time to invest in a food processor :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Sarah,

      There is magic in the magic bullet but I have to agree, not so much for nut butters. :) It is best to have a really good machine so that a person doesn’t burn out the motors. I would hate to see that happen. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend. amie sue

  14. Janine says:

    I was just wondering if the almond butter would still be considered “raw” after 26 minutes in the food processor? Food contents in any machine where friction is created in the process can become warm/heated to undesirable “cooked” temperatures.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Janine, As long as the food processor doesn’t get to warm during the process it shouldn’t reach those temps. amie sue

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