I've loved peanut butter for as long as I can remember, so until recently, I never gave almond butter much consideration. But when I began contemplating making some kind of nut butter at home, almond butter seemed like the way to go. It would be a nice change of pace from my routine jar of Jif, and besides, I still had almonds leftover from making almond milk.
Although similar in use, peanut butter and almond butter do vary in taste. Whereas peanut butter is smooth and mild, almond butter is a little nuttier, a little heartier, a little more filling. Almond butter also has a bit more calcium, iron, and vitamin E than peanut butter, and making it at home ensures there's no preservatives and added sugars (except for the honey, of course!)
The entire process is incredibly simple. All you need are raw or roasted almonds (they're easy to roast yourself), a food processor, and whatever additional add-ins you prefer. Maple syrup and cinnamon would be fantastic. Melted dark chocolate would be divine. But I was in the mood for a sweet and salty combo, so honey and sea salt was the way to go.
Enjoy your nut butter on toast, waffles, or graham crackers, on bananas and apples, and even in baking (almond butter cookies, perhaps? Or maybe our quinoa-pistachio granola bars!) Although it will cause it to become a bit thicker, I recommend storing your almond butter in the fridge. Remove it several minutes before you need it, allowing it to come to room temp. and become much more spreadable.
Honey Sea Salt Almond Butter
- 1 1/2 cups raw almonds (or buy them dry-roasted)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tbsp. honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread almonds on an ungreased baking sheet and roast for about 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Watch them carefully so they don't burn! Let cool completely.
Place cooled almonds in a food processor and process about 5-7 minutes, until creamy. The almonds will go through several stages—the mixture will look very dry and crumbly before they release their oils. Pause the processor and scrape down the sides when necessary.
Scoop the almond butter into a bowl and mix in the sea salt and honey. Add more of either to taste (I added a bit more sea salt at the end). Scoop into a jar or tightly sealed container and place in the fridge.