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Food on Fridays with Ann
I came across two different websites recently that posted how to make nut butter. Adrienne of Whole New Mom explained it so simply, I decided to dive in. A bag of unsalted almonds sat on a shelf in my cupboard. Might as well give it a try (please visit her site for the directions, but here’s how it went down in my kitchen).
I pulled out my small food processor, but a Vitamix would also work (and the Vitamix would speed up the process, but I wasn’t in a hurry). Plopped the main blade onto the processor.
Dumped in the bag of almonds. Adrienne gave precise measurements of 1.5 pounds of nuts, but I have no idea how much I used.
I pulled out a bottle of grapeseed oil, in case I wanted it creamier, and the salt, in case I wanted it saltier.
I turned on the processor (plugged my ears) and stood there muffling the deafening sounds of almonds clattering against the metal blade, the plastic sides of the processor, and other almonds. As they blasted to bits, the clatter softened to a dull roar and eventually to a whirr. At that point, the almonds looked like meal that could be used in place of flour for baking.
I turned it on and off to let it rest, but I don’t know if this was necessary. Then I had to turn it on and run it for quite a while as it advanced through various stages, including a globby, pre-butter stage.
Then, like cream suddenly turning to butter while churning, the almonds released their oils and smoothed into a buttery consistency while whirring. Magical.
The first time I tried making almond butter, I didn’t trust the process, the magic. In that meal period, I thought it needed help and poured in some grapeseed oil. I should have waited. The next time I tried it, I waited and let the almonds go buttery in their own sweet time. I drizzled just a tiny bit of grapeseed oil in, just to make it a smidgen creamier.
These batches of almond butter have tasted so natural and delicious, I will never again bother with a jar of pre-made almond butter or any nut or seed butter, for that matter. Instead I’ll buy my own almonds and control the amount of salt to my liking (some people might like it with more sugar, and this process allows flexibility to adjust).
The process for how to make nut butter is so simple, so fast (maybe 10-15 minutes in my food processor; less time in a Vitamix-type blender), I’m astonished. You should see me explain this in person. My eyes are wide with astonishment, I gesture and try to recreate my amazement over that shift from meal to lumpy clumps to smooth and creamy butter. Can it really be this easy? Yes. Make some tonight.
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Photos by Ann Kroeker. “Pin” these images in a way that links back to this particular page, giving proper credit.
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