I hope you have some patience.
Because you’ll need it, if you want to make your own homemade almond butter.
Patience, almonds, and a food processor. That’s it!
I’m not a very patient person, which probably explains why I haven’t made my own almond butter up until now. I tried making it in my Vitamix once, but the powerful motor was almost too powerful for this particular process–> the moment I smelled something burning, I gave up! (I’m still not sure if it was the motor or the almonds burning…)
It should be noted that softer nuts, like cashews and macadamia nuts, are easily turned to butter in the Vitamix. And rather quickly! Almonds are just trickier.
With all of the almond butter recipes I’ve been churning out lately, I figured it would probably be a good idea to try making my own again.
Not only is homemade almond butter cheaper than the store-bought stuff, it also gives you greater control over the quality of almonds you’re eating. Almonds don’t need to be raw for almond-butter-making (especially if you’ll just be baking with them later), but I do think it’s important that they’re organic. If nothing else, the “organic” label ensures that chemicals aren’t used in the pasteurization process. Yuck!
So, not only will you have the satisfaction of having made your own almond butter, it’ll also be at a fraction of the cost, when compared to the organic jars at the grocery store. Win, win!
Update: This process is a LOT faster if you warm the almonds in an oven first. I place mine in an oven preheated to 250F for about 10-15 minutes, until they are warm to the touch. This helps their oils release faster in the food processor, and they don’t seem to get any hotter than they would from the friction of the food processor, anyway.
To get started, add the almonds to the bowl of your food processor, fitted with an “S” blade.
Depending on the size of your food processor, you can grind up to 4 cups of almonds at a time. I recommend sticking to about 3 cups, to make the process move a little faster.
Snap on the lid, get the food processor running, and let it do all the work!
Be prepared, the food processor will be running for a while. You’ll notice that the ground almonds will start to collect around the edges of the bowl, so be sure to stop and scrape down the sides every few minutes, just to keep everything blending evenly.
Depending on the amount of almonds you use, and the size of your food processor, you’ll notice a change start to happen around the 10-15 minute mark.
As the oils are released from the almonds, they’ll start to stick together and form a large mass that moves around the bowl. You’ll also notice that the almond butter is getting rather warm… this is why I don’t recommend spending extra money to use truly raw almonds. They’ll be “cooked” by the time this process is over, anyway!
After about 20 minutes of consistent processing– right about the time when you think you’re never going to wind up with almond butter– magic will happen.
You’ll finally have a grainy-looking almond butter.
Don’t worry, you’re almost there!
After a couple more minutes of processing, your almond butter will become smooth and creamy.
Even smoother than some store-bought brands. (If you’ve ever bought Trader Joe’s raw almond butter, you’ll know what I mean– there are always chunks of shell in there!)
Here's a quick and easy tutorial on how to make raw almond butter in your food processor. No added oil required!
- 3 cups almonds
To make raw almond butter, there's no need to heat your almonds first-- just skip to the next step. However, if you'd like to speed-up the process, you can warm up the almonds in an oven at 250 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the almonds in a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, and process them until creamy. You may want to stop and scrape down the sides every now and then, but this process will take up to 25 minutes, or less if you heat your almonds first using the step above. (You can stop and give your food processor a break, too, if you'd like. Mine usually handles it just fine, but some processors will automatically shut off for a break if they start to get too hot.)
Once totally smooth and creamy, transfer the almond butter to a glass jar and store it in the fridge. I've found that almond butter with no additives usually lasts at least a month, if not longer.
NOTE: Do not be tempted to add anything, other than possibly a drop of oil, to the almonds before they turn into a smooth butter. Adding sweeteners or water can ruin the texture of your almond butter and will affect the shelf life as well.
You can use the resulting almond butter immediately in one of your favorite recipes, or transfer to a sealed glass container to store in the fridge.
- You can use raw or roasted almonds. Raw almonds take a little longer, and freshly roasted almonds break down into nut butter faster, if added to the food processor while still warm. (You can dry-roast your own almonds for 10-12 minutes at 350F).
- Feel free to add salt or spices, to your own personal taste.
- Don’t use soaked almonds (without thoroughly drying), or add liquid, for longest shelf life. It might be tempting to add something like vanilla extract, but added moisture will reduce the shelf life greatly.
If you haven’t tried it yet, I hope you’re inspired to try making your own almond butter in the near future. Just like making your own almond milk, once you try it, you may never want to go back to the store-bought stuff again!
Reader Feedback: Have you tried making your own almond butter, or other nut butters?