I am allergic to peanuts, and in my search for a satisfying alternative,I found Almond Butter. Then sticker shock set in . . . OMG a 16 ounce jar can cost as much as $12.65 at my local health food store.  That is WAY out of my budget!  Almond ButterSo, I checked into making it at home. To my delight, I found that I can buy a pound of raw, organic almonds (with brown skin on), at my health food store, for $6.79/pound.

 So, the other day, I bought four pounds, and brought them home, to make my own Almond Butter.  I have a Vitamix (5200) with 64 oz. container, so I used that.  But, if you don’t have a Vitamix, I have seen online, that you can do it in a food processor.  I have an 11 cup Cuisinart, so the next time I make it, I will give that a try.  The thing, that I found with the Vitamix, is that you have to work a bit, to get the Almond Butter out of the bottom, of the container, with a small, long handle spatula. However, processing the almonds, causes the Almond Butter to heat up, so it is possible to get most of the butter out of the container, with a small spatula.

After some online research, I learned that it is best to lightly roast the almonds, in a 225 degree F oven, for 30 minutes, before making them into Almond Butter.

Make sure you sterilize your jars, tops and rings, before starting your food processor.  That way, when the butter is finished, it can go straight into the jars.

The recipe is fairly simple:

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups roasted almonds (My 3 cups weighed one pound)

1/4 cup coconut oil – melted, if it has solidified in a cooler rooms

Sea Salt – optional:  1/2 to 1 tsp ( I like my Almond Butter on the salty side, so I use 1 tsp of salt)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Place the roasted almonds in the Vitamix container with the salt and coconut oil.

2.  Using the tamper, with one hand, use the other hand, to gradually turn the variable speed control from “1” to “10”, pushing the almonds down in the corners, going from one corner, to the next in a circular pattern (front right, back right, back left, front left . . . front right, back right, etc.). This keeps pushing the almonds down toward the blades, and keeps the ingredients evenly distributed.  I found, that by going up slowly, and pushing the almonds down continuously, it is easier to manage, as you bring the speed up.

3.  Once the variable speed is to “10”, turn the “variable/high speed” lever to the up position (at this point, I always turn the variable speed back down to “1”).

4.  Continue to push the almonds down in the corners, following a circular pattern. After about 45 seconds to one minute, you will notice the almonds are  starting to turn to a course paste, and your Vitamix will make a grinding noise, but keep going, as this will only last a few second. As the butter heats up, it will start to almost flow in a circular pattern, but don’t let up on the tamper – keep it going continuously.   At this point check your mixture. It is probably a bit thick and course.

5.  Continue to blend 15-30 seconds longer, until the mixture is smooth, or a texture to your liking.  The mixture will be warm and easy to scoop with your spatula.  As it cools down, it will get more firm.  Putting it in the refrigerator, will make it even more firm, since it has coconut oil, which solidifies when cold.

6.  This recipe allowed me to fill a 16 oz. (pint) jar, with almost a half jar left over.  I wouldn’t try making more than 3 cups, at a time, in the Vitamix, as it might bog it down, and make it more difficult to get a good consistency. As you can see, from the photo, I managed to get four pint (16 oz.) jars, plus about 1/2 cup (4 oz), in another jar.

I had enough almonds left over, that I could make three more jars.  I figured, since I had some in the bottom, of the container, that was hard to reach, I might as well use up the almonds I had, and only have to thoroughly clean the container once.  Now, I have enough to last for quite a while.  To keep my Almond Butter fresh longer, I used my Food Saver Vacuum Sealer to seal the jars.  However, if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, your jars of Almond Butter, will keep well in the freezer.

Since I didn’t use my Cuisinart food processor, I am not including instructions right now. However, the next time I make Almond Butter, I will do it in my Cuisinart, and will include instructions, under the Vitamix instructions.