Counter top full of soaking nuts and seeds as I spend my Monday morning squeezing out a bag of nut milk and pulling trays of roasted nuts from the oven before blending them into a batch of yummy nut butter…I’m sorry have I entered a parallel universe.
Gradually over the past few years I have changed the way I live my life. My old habit of toast for breakfast went out the door (except on Sundays) and my fridge now contains bottles of left over smoothies, containers of cooked quinoa and jars of cashew cheese.
Without even realising it I have made small and frequent changes to the things I eat and the way I cook and I couldn’t be happier.
I found myself in the kitchen last Sunday (you all know I love my Sunday cooking/prepping) roasting fresh almonds in the oven before transferring them to a processor and pulsing them into a creamy, nutty, almond butter. The old me would bought a jar from the shop and called it a day. The new me has come to realise that if I can make it, then that is exactly what I’m going to do!
The great thing about this, is that I now have a fridge that is full with jars of nut milk, my cashew cheese, bottles of dressings and curry pastes all waiting for me…yum.
Anyway back to the almond butter. You might think, as I used to, why spend 30 minutes in the kitchen making almond butter when you can easily add to your trolley at the supermarket. I have to say fair enough, you have a point, this will take longer, but what you make is pure; no preservatives, no fillers, no chance of poor hygiene (I hope) and it will taste so much fresher and better.
Making almond butter or any nut butter for that fact is really rather relaxing as you watch the nuts turn a delicious golden colour. There is also the plus that when I make something from scratch I instantly feel more connected to my food. You won’t see me spreading this nut butter onto of a crappy piece of white bread. No, I want to cherish it because I spent the time making it. I’ll likely fill a medjool date with it, then sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy all the wonderful flavours.
Back to basics
I like to think of making my own nut butters, milks, cheeses, spreads, jams etc as going to back to the ways of our grandparents. My Nonna (Italian Grandmother) would make her own pasta sauce from her own homegrown tomatoes and she would also make her own special homemade pasta and then eat them together. She would make biscuits, bread, and lasagne. This is the way it should be. Connected to our food, treasuring our food and understanding exactly where it came from. I know that my almond butter is a 100% almonds. Can you confidently say that about the almond butter you buy in the supermarket? I don’t think so. Today foods are packed with so many additives, sugars and preservatives it’s scary. Food is not the same as is used to be, so to make sure that we are eating real foods, the only logical answer is to make as many as possible ourselves.
This might seem a little old fashioned, but I don’t mind this one little bit. Spending time connected to my food, understanding what works and what doesn’t and then making delicious, healthy, clean meals, makes me truly happy.
Taking the time to make fresh almond butter for Matt and I gives me great pleasure for the balance of the week and this in turn motivates me.
I challenge you to give it a go. I know for a fact you will find this A LOT easier than you might think (I certainly did) and really, nothing much beats the smell of roasted almonds being blended, or the taste of spreading a thick layer onto fresh buckwheat crepes topped with strawberries (are you drooling yet?).
Once you’ve perfected this recipe you can play around with a multitude of other flavours and textures eg maple & cashew nut butter, or maybe cacao & hazelnut butter! Let the fun begin.
Home Made Almond Butter
Makes 1 cup.
- 2 cups of raw unsalted almonds.
Turn the oven to 150 degrees “bake” and line a tray with baking paper. Tip the almonds onto the tray and spread out evenly. Place them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they are golden in colour. You only want them to lightly brown and not to crisp up too much.
Once the almonds have turned golden, take them out and let them rest for 30 minutes or until they have cooled down. Once they are cool place them in a high-speed food processor and blend for 5 minutes. Make sure to stop every few minutes and recover the nuts on the sides of the bowl to ensure all the nuts are evenly bended.
The nut butter is ready when it’s a creamy smooth texture. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Ways to use your delicious nut butter:
- Add it to the middle of a medjool date and eat in one mouthful.
- Thickly spread over rice cakes with cucumber on top.
- Added to smoothies to give you a boost of healthy fats.
- Dolloped on top of your morning porridge – yum.
- Our just eaten straight out of the jar while its still warm (my favourite) .