Almond butter is a delicious and nutritious spread that can be used in many ways. Its rich, creamy texture makes it perfect for spreading on toast, adding to smoothies, or just eating straight out of the jar!
While store-bought almond butter can be expensive, it's surprisingly easy to make your own at home.
This article will provide an in-depth guide to making creamy homemade almond butter with just a few simple ingredients.
Why Make Your Own Almond Butter?
There are several great reasons to make DIY almond butter rather than buying it pre-made:
Cost Savings - Raw almonds are much cheaper to purchase than jars of almond butter. Just 1 pound of almonds yields about 1 pound of almond butter, which equals a standard 16 oz jar. Buying raw almonds in bulk compared to the store price per jar results in big savings.
Control Ingredients - By making it yourself, you control exactly what goes into the almond butter. Store-bought versions often contain added oils, salt, sugar, and preservatives. Going homemade allows you to customize to your taste and dietary needs.
Superior Texture - The texture of homemade almond butter is unmatched. It comes out incredibly smooth, creamy, and easy to spread. Store-bought can be gritty or oily in comparison.
Flavor - Nothing beats the true, bright almond flavor you get from homemade. The nuts are freshly roasted and ground right before consuming.
Quick & Easy - With the right appliance, almond butter can be whipped up in just minutes. It's one of the easiest homemade staples you can make.
To make creamy almond butter, you'll need two basic appliances:
- Food Processor - A food processor with an "S" blade is ideal, as it provides the power and capacity needed to grind almonds into butter smoothly. Models with a 10-12 cup capacity work great. High-speed blenders can also work.
- Oven - You'll need an oven to toast the almonds prior to processing. Their natural oils are released when warmed, which helps facilitate the transition to butter.
If you have a food processor and oven, you're all set! Now let's get to the ingredients.
Homemade Almond Butter Ingredients
Part of the beauty of DIY almond butter is that the ingredient list couldn't be simpler:
- Almonds - Raw, whole almonds are a must. Skin-on is fine, no need to blanch. Toasting them brings out more flavor.
- Sea Salt (optional) - Adding a pinch of sea salt helps enhance flavor. Start with 1/4 tsp and adjust to taste.
- Flavorings (optional) - Vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup are all tasty mix-ins. See the recipes below.
And that's it! With just almonds and salt you can make basic homemade almond butter. Now let's get into the easy method.
Follow these simple steps to make smooth, creamy almond butter:
Step 1: Toast the Almonds
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spread 3 cups of raw almonds evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 7-10 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Shake the pan halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Step 2: Transfer to Food Processor
Once slightly cooled, add the toasted almonds to your food processor fitted with an "S" blade.
Step 3: Process into Butter
Turn on the food processor and let it run for 10-15 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides with a spatula. The almonds will go through stages - from finely ground, to a doughy ball, to a loose butter-like consistency that comes together into creamy almond butter. This step requires patience as the natural oils slowly release. Don't be tempted to add liquid or oil prematurely.
Step 4: Season and Store
Once silky smooth, you can add any flavorings like vanilla or salt at this point. Give it another quick blend to incorporate. Transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge for 2-4 weeks.
And just like that, you have homemade almond butter from scratch! The initial processing time may take some patience, but the payoff is worth it.
Once you master basic almond butter, get creative with flavors! Here are some tasty mix-ins:
- Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter - 1 tsp cinnamon + 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- Honey Vanilla Almond Butter - 1 tsp vanilla extract + 2 Tbsp honey
- Cocoa Almond Butter - 2 Tbsp cocoa powder + 2 Tbsp sugar
- Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter - 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Chai Spiced Almond Butter - 1/2 tsp chai spice blend
- Nutty Butter - Mix in pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or peanuts
Let your imagination run wild creating your own signature almond butter flavors!
While homemade almond butter is easy, here are some tips if you run into any issues:
- Not smooth enough? Try processing for a full 15 minutes to allow the oils to fully release.
- Too dry? Add a bit of neutral oil like grapeseed or avocado oil, a tsp at a time.
- Blender overheating? Give it breaks to rest and cool down periodically.
- Added honey and it seized up? Stir in some oil to thin it out again.
- Floury texture? Be sure to toast nuts first to unlock oils. Try a slightly longer roast time.
Have patience and experiment until you achieve the perfect creamy consistency you love.
Homemade almond butter is endlessly versatile! Beyond just spreading it on toast or fruit, here are the top ways to enjoy it:
- Swirl into oatmeal or chia puddings
- Use as the nut butter in overnight oats
- Add to smoothies for creaminess
- Make energy bites or bliss balls
- Use as the filling in homemade granola bars
- Swap it into any cookie recipe in place of peanut butter
- Spread it between banana slices and drizzle with chocolate
- Mix it into yogurt with fresh berries
- Add a spoonful to your morning hot cereal
- Make a creamy nut butter dressing or sauce
- Spread it on pancakes or waffles for breakfast
Get creative and let almond butter enhance your favorite foods!
Storing and Shelf Life
Properly stored, your homemade almond butter will keep for:
- Pantry - 1 month at room temperature
- Refrigerator - Up to 4 months chilled
- Freezer - 6+ months frozen
For best quality, store in an airtight glass jar in a cool, dark place like the fridge. If separation occurs, just give it a good stir before using it. Frozen almond butter may need to be thawed before spreading.
Is Making Almond Butter Healthy?
Absolutely! Almonds are packed with beneficial nutrients:
- Healthy Fats - Providing mostly monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids
- Fiber - Just 2 Tbsp delivers 4 grams of filling fiber
- Vitamin E - An antioxidant that may help lower cholesterol
- Magnesium - Which promotes healthy blood pressure
- Protein - 6 grams per serving helps avoid energy crashes
Studies also show that people who eat almonds and almond butter regularly tend to be leaner. The monounsaturated fats provide satiety. So slather it onto that apple without guilt!
Can it be made in a blender?
Yes, a high-speed blender like Vitamix works too. Use the tamper to press the almonds into the blades.
How long does it last?
About 1 month on the counter, 3-4 months refrigerated.
Do I need raw almonds?
Raw nuts have the mildest flavor, but roasted work too.
Can I use almond flour?
You need whole almonds, not almond meal or flour.
Can I reduce the recipe?
Yes, but smaller batches may not come out as smooth.
Why is mine grainy?
It likely needed to process a bit longer to release oils.
Should I add oil?
No added oil is needed if you roast the nuts first.
Why can't I add liquids early?
Adding honey, etc. too soon prevents the oils from properly releasing.
Is almond butter paleo?
Yes, almonds are paleo-friendly. Just avoid added oils.
Making your own almond butter at home is simple, rewarding, and economical. Toasted almonds get processed into a luscious nut butter with just 10-15 minutes of your time.
The end result is creamy almond goodness that tastes superior to store-bought versions. Get creative with flavored almond butter by mixing in your favorite add-ins.
Homemade allows you to take control over ingredients for a healthier spread. So give this easy DIY almond butter recipe a try today!
Homemade Almond Butter Recipe
- 3 cups raw almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds on a baking sheet.
- Roast for 7-10 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned.
- Add almonds to a food processor and process for 10-15 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides, until smooth and creamy.
- Add any optional salt, vanilla or cinnamon. Process briefly to incorporate.
- Store almond butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 months.