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BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  Homemade almond butter
Posted by: Drea, Monday, October 9, 2006, 7:16pm
Hi all, I'm looking for some homemade almond butter recipes. Suzanne blogged about almond butter recently which got me to thinking about making it at home. Almond butter here in Colorado is so darned expensive to buy in the stores.

My questions are: what type of almonds (raw or roasted), soaked or not soaked, skinned or unskinned, what type of oil, if any, and the actual process used.

TIA
Posted by: Brighid45, Monday, October 9, 2006, 7:39pm; Reply: 1
Okay--here's my version of almond butter.

I soak them overnight. In the morning I drain them, give them a light rub to get the skins off and pat them dry. I usually toast them in a cast iron skillet until they are golden brown. Then they get set aside to cool. I've found that grinding hot almonds gives you a gummy, rubbery butter.

Once the nuts are cool, I put a small batch of them in a blender--usually about a half cup or so-- and pulse grind them until the batch resembles coarse crumbs. Then I'll drizzle in just a little bit of light or mild olive oil--maybe a teaspoon or two--and pulse again a few times to blend the nuts and oil. After that, just add oil in very small amounts until the butter is the consistency you like. I sometimes sneak in a pinch or two of sea salt, but this isn't at all necessary, just a matter of preference. This makes a good butter. It won't be smooth like commercial peanut butter, but it has lots of taste! Store it in a jar with a tight fitting lid, and store it upside down. You will have to stir the oil down into the butter before using, just as you do with natural peanut butter.

This is delicious with a bit of cocoa powder and agave nectar mixed in as a dip for apple or pear slices! :)
Posted by: Henriette Bsec, Monday, October 9, 2006, 7:41pm; Reply: 2
Can you do this with walnuts as well ?
IŽve just collected baskets of wonderfull walnut this weekend
- and nutbutters are very expensive here or just only peanutbutter so it would be lovely to do some myself
Posted by: Brighid45, Monday, October 9, 2006, 7:46pm; Reply: 3
Yes! Walnuts make wonderful butter. Just follow the directions above, using walnuts instead of almonds.

If you prefer your nuts raw, then after soaking them, let them air-dry a bit before grinding. That's all you have to do. I just like the taste of toasted nuts better. :)

Henriette, I'm jealous! We haven't had a chance to go gathering nuts yet, but a friend has promised me plenty of black walnuts. I can hardly wait! Toasted walnuts with a little sea salt and just a pinch of cayenne or wasabi. . . better than popcorn! Mmmmm! :)
Posted by: Drea, Monday, October 9, 2006, 11:07pm; Reply: 4
Thanks, Brig, for your recipe. I'm soaking some almonds tonight and plan to make two batches: one roasted and one not, to see which one goes over better with the DH.

Do you think nut butters work better in the blender versus the food processor? I made some walnut butter a while back in the food processor and it turned out okay; but when I made my sprouted almond chocolate torte the other week, I used the fp and it took a long time to get to the right consistency. I may end up trying it both ways.
Posted by: Schluggell, Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 12:48pm; Reply: 5
These are the type of foods where a masticating juicer shine over a blender, and its easier to get all the butter out.

Obviously toasted gives a more nutty flavour - but its also brown.
From raw its a lot whiter and good for 'Halvah', personally I like it raw - but if you want it more almondy throw in a couple raw Apricot pits/Apple Seeds, or a few drops of Bitter Almond Extract.
Posted by: Henriette Bsec, Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 4:37pm; Reply: 6
Thanks
The walnut are really on the north border here in Denmark- but my Island is mild so they normally give a good harvest - however some summers are not hot enough to make class A nuts- large and whole- but this year they are
A+- summer was long and hot so - IŽll go and break a few bowels ... patience... ;-D
Posted by: Victoria, Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 10:14pm; Reply: 7
Quoted from Schluggell

- but if you want it more almondy throw in a couple raw Apricot pits/Apple Seeds, or a few drops of Bitter Almond Extract.


Or some almonds??   ;) ;D
Posted by: Schluggell, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 12:05pm; Reply: 8
Quoted from Victoria
Or some almonds??   ;) ;D


We were talking about Almond Butter - but I was getting at that Raw Almond Butter sometimes doesn't have enough of the Nut Falvour.

But you are right, throw in some Roasted Almonds to get more flavour.
This applies to the other nuts as well...

I know I'll be missing Black Walnuts this Xmas here in UK - the fudge here isn't even close to American either...although some are close to Penuche.


Posted by: italybound, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 2:00pm; Reply: 9
Quoted from Schluggell
These are the type of foods where a masticating juicer shine over a blender, and its easier to get all the butter out.   but if you want it more almondy throw in a couple raw Apricot pits/Apple Seeds, or a few drops of Bitter Almond Extract.


I also find making butters in the blender to be hard to 'extract'. gotta get a food processor.
On the soaking and peeling of the almonds, in my experience, you have to soak them for a few minutes in boiling water to get the skins off easily. I soaked some almonds for 2 days and spent LOTS of times getting the skins off. Forgot about the hot water 'bath'.  Walnut skins are pretty tough to get off, but the hot water bath and alot of rubbing between a towel MIGHT do the trick. :-)

Some seeds and pits are poisonous. I take it , these are not?  :)
Posted by: Drea, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 4:05pm; Reply: 10
Well my experience making almond butter this morning was a bust. I soaked two cups of almonds over night, then rinsed and drained for 12 hours. I tried to de-skin half the batch, to no avail, and then gave up and started to toast them in a unoiled cast iron pan over high heat. I think because they had been soaked, then wouldn't toast; just began to burn.

I then put the half batch into the food processor and ground to a fine powder, adding drops of walnut oil (it's all I have besides evoo), until the consistency was like a hard nut butter (not at all like the nut butters I find in the stores). The taste is not great. I also tried a half cup in the blender but that didn't work at all. I would have had to add quite a bit more of oil to make that aparatus work for me.

Some day I'll save up the money for a masticating juicer so I can make my own nut butters, but that's a long way off.

The other half of almonds I decided to just toast in the cast iron pan and add tamari to for a snack. Those also didn't turn out that good. The soaking made the taste "off".

If I try this exeriment again, I'm not going to soak the nuts first. I don't have an issue with digesting unsoaked nuts.

Thanks for all your suggestions, though. Food tastes are definitely subjective.
Posted by: italybound, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 4:12pm; Reply: 11
Drea, please DO soak the almonds in boiling water for about 15 minutes I think it is. then rinse in cold water. this makes the skins slip right off!!  It's THE trick. My fingers were SORE from my 'excursion' last. Don't know how I forgot that part except that I was so concentrating on the soaking aspect. :-)
Posted by: Victoria, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 4:38pm; Reply: 12
Italy,
Interesting you mentioned getting the skin of walnuts.  In traditional chinese medicine, walnut skins are considered mildly toxic.  Not in a life threatening way, just very astringent, maybe irritating.  Walnut preparations are skinned first.
Have you ever experimented with skinning them?
Posted by: Victoria, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 4:40pm; Reply: 13
Quoted from Schluggell


We were talking about Almond Butter - but I was getting at that Raw Almond Butter sometimes doesn't have enough of the Nut Falvour.



Just pullin' your leg a bit!   ;D
Posted by: Victoria, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 4:42pm; Reply: 14
Quoted from pkarmeier
Drea, please DO soak the almonds in boiling water for about 15 minutes I think it is. then rinse in cold water. this makes the skins slip right off!!  It's THE trick.  :-)


Just to be sure we understand.  Are you saying the water should be boiling for the 15 min. or just to pour boiling water over the nuts, off the stove and let sit for 15 min.?
Posted by: italybound, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 4:48pm; Reply: 15
Quoted from Victoria
Just to be sure we understand.  Are you saying the water should be boiling for the 15 min. or just to pour boiling water over the nuts, off the stove and let sit for 15 min.?


pour boiling water over the nuts, off the stove and let sit for 15 min. sorry I didn't make that more clear. i was really perplexed last time I made almond milk because the first time I made it, the skins came RIGHT OFF.   After some thinking on it, realized what I'd done (or not done) :-)

re: walnut skins. I tried once to get them off, but it may have been this past time and if so, well, DUH, no wonder they didn't come off.  Re: being somewhat toxic - funny that they should then be beneficial, huh?  ;)
Posted by: cindyt, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 4:52pm; Reply: 16
I make my nut butters in my Vitamix and use an easier method.  I put them into a 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes.  When they cool, I put the nuts and almond oil (or sometimes I use walnut oil which is cheaper) into the Vitamix and make the nut butter.

I make walnut butter the same way, except that I don't usually need to add oil.
Posted by: italybound, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 5:01pm; Reply: 17
Quoted from cindyt
I make my nut butters in my Vitamix .


just one more reason to get a Vitamix!!  ;D  can you make almond MILK in one of those things?
Posted by: Drea, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 5:32pm; Reply: 18
In my perfect world, I would have the $$ to buy a VitaMix AND a masticating juicer. But as is stands now, I already have a good blender, a great food processor, and a centrifugal juicer (which I hardly use BTW). *sigh*.
Posted by: Henriette Bsec, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 5:34pm; Reply: 19
I find that you can only skin walnuts  that are really fresh- the skin is still yellow- and very bitter- after a few days around the stove the walnuts are more dry- and the skin turns normally light brown- and suddenly less bitter.
My daughter can spend hours cracking the nuts and deskin them- eating the mild white nut
- so I know sheŽll be sad when they get dry :-D Did I say: teen occupation ;-D  But I hope sheŽll continue cracking the nuts....it takes time to get enough for a cake or a glass of butter.
I keep thinking how are forefathers/mothers spent long winter nights cracking nuts- not being so busy......
Posted by: Drea, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 6:01pm; Reply: 20
Quoted from pkarmeier
pour boiling water over the nuts, off the stove and let sit for 15 min.


Is this before or after the nuts have been soaked? How do you then dry them before grinding? Or is that step even necessary.

After my snafu from this morning (I ended up having to throw away the nuts I tried to toast and tamari because they tasted horrible), I want to make sure that I don't waste another batch. It's such a shame when good food is sacrificed for experimentation.
:'(
Posted by: italybound, Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 6:12pm; Reply: 21
Quoted from outdoordrea
Is this before or after the nuts have been soaked? How do you then dry them before grinding? Or is that step even necessary. (


drea, when I did them the first time, I didn't soak.  I just boiled, 'bathed' and made. Last time, I only soaked, so I too would have to experiment. When I do another batch, I'll soak for  2 days, then bathe them w/ the boiling water for 15 min, rinse in cool water  and then make my almond milk. This was for milk what I did. I'm sure you could do the same thing for butter. I think I'll toast mine a bit for butters, but not for milk. Still have to get a strainer thingee that actually gets all the stuff out. For milk I remember it being 1 C almonds to 2 C. water. HOWEVER, if you're making milk, use only a fraction of the water to get them ground up, but enough that you'll be able to strain the pulp out and still have milk and THEN add the rest of the water. I've been adding ALL the water and blending and CANNOT get all the grit out. This will be my next experiment - using only a small portion of the water when blending.   ::), oh, I mean  ;D
Posted by: 1058 (Guest), Thursday, February 22, 2007, 9:50pm; Reply: 22
Quoted from pkarmeier


just one more reason to get a Vitamix!!  ;D  can you make almond MILK in one of those things?



Yes - and soy milk, though it's more laborious.  Re.: Cleaning the container after making nut butters: it's been advised to scrape out as much of the butter as possible & then immediately use whatever's stuck to the machine in a smoothie.  To clean, you just rinse, refill halfway with water & a drop of dish liquid & run on high for a minute or so.  Then empty & rinse.
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