The directions for making traditional nut butter in your food processor are relatively straightforward: just put the nuts in the machine and hit “on.” But there are a couple of roadblocks in this process that nudge me in the direction of grabbing that jar off the market shelf rather than making my own. First is the time involved: the process can easily take 20 minutes, if not more, and I’m pretty involved that whole time, scraping down the sides and putting up with the grinding noise. Second is the wear and tear on the machine during that time. Often it overheats and I have to let it rest and cool off before resuming. And third is the patience involved… it takes a long time before the nuts come anywhere close to butter, and I tend to spend the first 15 minutes completely doubting that this is ever going to actually work.
This nut butter recipe circumvents each of these roadblocks. It takes only five minutes in the food processor, requires very little intervention on your part, is gentle on the machine, and transforms so quickly into almond butter that you won’t spend a second doubting yourself. The key here is using almond flour, which is really just finely ground blanched almonds, instead of whole almonds. When you begin with almonds that have already been finely ground, you’ve skipped the first 15 minutes of processing. I also speed up the process by warming the almond meal in the oven first, which starts to release the nut’s oils and helps it convert more quickly into “butter.”
Another advantage to starting with almond flour is that almond flour is made from blanched almonds, which have had their skins removed. So the result is a little milder in flavor, and since it’s missing the bitterness from the skins, it also tastes a little sweeter. Adding just a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla heightens that natural sweetness even more. I’ve gifted this to friends and I’m always asked whether I used honey, maple syrup etc… and I’m always proud to say that the sweetness is from the almonds!
One final sales pitch for this recipe… you can save a lot of money on almond butter by making it this way. Per ounce, this recipe is about half the price of the almond butter we buy at Trader Joe’s.
Blanched Almond Butter
A technique for making almond butter that is faster, easier, sweeter, and cheaper than usual almond butter recipes. Enjoy!
- 4 cups* almond flour**
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 250. Spread the almond flour out over a baking sheet. Heat in oven for 10-15 minutes, just until almond flour feels warm to the touch.
Scoop almond flour into food processor. Process until smooth and buttery. It is possible to overprocess and turn it into almond “sauce”... so start checking it after about 4 minutes.
Add vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Adjust to taste.
Store refrigerated for one week. I’ve read online that you can freeze for longer but I’ve never tried it. Let me know if you do! You can use this almond butter on toast, apple slices, on top of yogurt, in smoothies… anywhere you like to use your usual nut butter.
*please note that if you have a mini food processor you will need to halve this amount so as to avoid overloading your machine **Almond meal can certainly be used in place of almond flour here. Generally almond meal is a little more coarsely ground, which may increase the time in the food processor by a minute or two, and often contains the skins, which would slightly change the flavor and color of the end product. It will still be easy and delicious though!