I have a problem. A big problem. I am addicted to peanut and almond butter. It’s not good. The amount of time it takes me to finish one jar is frightening. I don’t even spread it on anything or make or bake anything with it. I just eat it with a spoon. Sometimes I will put a teaspoon in my smoothies to give it a little kick of flavor and nuttiness, but otherwise, into the jar my indulgent licking spoon goes. Once, I finished 3 jars in a week. THREE!
Granted they were all different, we were moving into our nyc apartment, and they were pretty much all I ate during that time period other than protein bars. One was Peanut Butter and Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, one was Low Fat Extra-Crunchy Jif (I know low fat is technically bad for you but I just love the texture! it’s not as oily as the full fat. it’s also impossible to find in the city…) and of course Justin’s Maple Almond Butter. Oh Justin’s; how you torment me so. Staring at me in the nut butter aisle with your $12.99 price tag. But unless you decide to lower your price, or someone lovingly sends me a jar in a care package, our relationship is OVER.
I’m officially cutting you out of my life. I can’t take it anymore. I get to enjoy you for, what 3 days?, where you treat me like a queen and tickle my taste buds with maple almondy goodness. And then you are gone. Gone forever until I glutinously decide to drop another $13+ dollars on your spoon licking goodness. You’ve been replaced. Replaced by a $6.99 price tag with an equally as satisfying homemade taste.
Here are some notes I took before I decided whether or not I should roast the almonds first:
- Roasted nuts are more likely to go rancid then raw nuts
- Roasted nut butters are best eaten alongside fruits or on crackers and toast.
- Raw nut butters are best used in dressing, dips or sauces.
- Either raw or roasted nut butters are suitable for baking.
- Roasting slightly reduces the vitamin content of the almonds. During the roasting process, raw almonds may lose up to 15 percent of their own healthy oils.
- (Somehow) roasted almonds contain 9 additional calories per oz. than raw (unless they are dry roasted)
- Raw almonds have 12 g of fat per ounce, while roasted have 14 g
- Roasting the almonds first makes the grinding process faster and smoother. You are less likely to get that burning smell after your motor has been running for a long time when you use roasted almonds.
- Raw nuts can harbor bacteria such as Salmonella, which is why they are no longer sold in California.
All this information could also just be referring to roasted almonds purchased from the store rather then roasting them yourself at home, so I think I’m going to roast them just for a little bit so it doesn’t take 10 years to grind them in my food processor. If you are interested in reading more, here are some of the sources I used for my research: Nutritional Information: Raw Almonds vs. Roasted Almonds Differences between Roasted and Raw Nut Butters Health Benefits of Nuts: Raw vs. Roasted
- 1 lb raw almonds
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon of salt
- 2 tsp. canola or coconut oil (or any neutral oil) - optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Spread the raw almonds evenly on a jellyroll pan or rimmed cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
- Once the almonds have cooled completely (you will hear snaps, crackles and pops coming from your kitchen - don't be alarmed as I was. It's just the almonds doing their thing) pour the almonds into the bowl of your food processor.
- Process the almonds for roughly 15-20 minutes, taking care to stop and scrape down the bowl occasionally. I also like to give my food processor 5 minute breaks every once in a while to prevent it from getting over heated. (I've already burned up one food processor motor from making nut butter, so i'd rather not doing it again if I can help it)
- Right before the almond butter reaches your desired consistency, add the salt and maple syrup. DO NOT add prematurely, or else the grinding process will take twice as long. Feel free to add a bit of neutral oil if you prefer a creamier texture.
Here are step-by-step images of the grinding process. Notice I think I added my maple syrup a touch too early, so I had to grind it for much longer afterwards.