This whole recipe started with a ploy to get out of eating peanut butter.
Foodwise, peanut butter has always been sort of a booty-call food to me.
In the world of Ali, a booty-call food is one that I eat for a purpose other than taste. Booty-call foods serve a simple purpose and unless I am seeking that purpose, I have no use for them.
Peanut butter, I have found, is one of my best early-morning pre-run fuel foods… but, unless I need fuel for an early morning run, I want no part of peanut butter. Booty. Call.
I’ve tried other nut butters as well…and, eh. I’m not sure if it’s the taste or the texture or what, but I don’t really care for them.
I’m going to blame my mom for this. When all the other kids were getting Peter Pan and Jif and Skippy, I was getting natural peanut butter. You know, the stuff with the big oil slick at the top? Nasty. She used to slap that on hard-as-a-rock all natural whole wheat bread and put that in my lunch! I nearly choked to death on a daily basis trying to get that down. I swore that I would never do the same to my kids. “Wonder Bread and Jif for all!” I declared.
(Sigh. There’s no Wonder Bread or Jif in this house – but ONLY because whole wheat bread has come a long way since the dark ages and natural peanut butter does not require an oil slick at the top anymore.)
So, onto my brilliant idea…homemade almond butter. Maybe if I can control what goes into the recipe, I would like the result…
Honey Almond Butter
- 8 oz Raw Almonds
- 1.5 Tbs. Honey – I use an orange blossom honey, but any quality honey will work.
- Sea Salt
- Baking Pan Lined with Foil
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Spoon
- Food Processor – I used a mini-processor for this. If you want to use the big guy, I would double or even triple the recipe.
- Gather your ingredients:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread the almonds over the foil-lined sheet in a single layer. You don’t need oil or butter – almonds have plenty of fat already. They will roast up on their own.
- When the oven is ready, place the sheet in the oven and roast for 10-12 minutes.
- While the almonds are roasting, measure out the honey into a mixing bowl. Set it aside. You will want to have it handy immediately as the almonds come out of the oven.
- When the almonds are done, remove the sheet from the oven and pour the hot almonds into the mixing bowl with the honey. Toss to coat:
- Sprinkle with sea salt to your taste.
- Sneak a taste at this point! These will be salty and sweet and warm. Heaven! I don’t blame you if you have more than one or two.
- When you have ceased your sneaking, pour the mixture into your food processor.
Now, get ready. Making almond butter in the food processor is a test of courage and belief. No, I am not kidding. This will take some time to do, and you will get to a point where you think that this is not going to work. It’s almost like hitting the wall in a race. Push on through because the almond butter will appear.
- Process! The processor will ground the almonds roughly and then into a fine ground. Take time to scrape the rogue almond dust off the sides of the bowl. You will do this a lot. Keep processing. Scrape, process, scrape. Test the processor. Is it getting hot? Give it a moment to cool down. Resist the urge to add oil to the mix.
- In time, the almond butter will mix into a smooth and creamy texture:
When it does, taste it. I tasted mine and it is so much better to me than peanut butter! Add more salt or honey if you like. You may also elect to add a little cinnamon to the almonds when you pull them out of the oven. Store this in the refrigerator and enjoy before a run.