For the next few weeks, my cooking and baking will be less about the inspiration I get from my day-to-day, and more about using every ingredient up that I’ve bought and hoarded over the last year (let’s hope nothing’s been in my pantry longer than that). This includes the big pile of dried black beans I bought when I decided that this would be cheaper than buying canned (but who knew the volume increased when soaked? I have so many beans). This includes drinking unholy amounts of tea, in flavours I forgot even existed (pomegranate-mint? Seriously?). This includes the massive 1kg bag of almonds that I bought when I needed… 1/2 a cup for a recipe. Yikes.
The hard part with the almonds is that raw almonds tend to give me heartburn. I’m convinced it’s because of the high fat content, but regardless, eating them plain isn’t really an option for me. And also, eating 1kg of unseasoned almonds is kind of unappealing in itself. As puzzled as I was about the future of this bag o’ nuts, my problem was solved when my food processor shouted at me from the closet “Ericaaaaaa. Almond butterrrrr!“. Why didn’t I think of that?
Again, plain old nut butter just doesn’t get my juices flowing, so I thought I may as well add something else into the mix and see what happened. Obviously I had a bit of chocolate on hand, so I decided to use this easy peasy recipe from Oh She Glows, and see what all the fuss is about when it comes to DIY nut butters. The verdict? Soooo gooood. I like the texture of my nut butter much better than store bought, and I like that it doesn’t separate. The original recipe says the butter should be stored in the fridge, but I found it was too hard to spread when it came time for eating. I had no problems leaving it out on the counter top, since I was eating it on the daily, but if you’re going to eat it over a longer term then you might consider refrigeration. Then again, the only ingredients are almonds, chocolate, and coconut butter, none of which need to be refrigerated on their own, so you can choose your own adventure with that one. But in the end, I highly doubt this will be around in your kitchen for long, because it’s a super delicious, super satisfying option for breakfast, snacks, and yes, even dinner. Really.
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used dairy-free)
- 1 tsp coconut oil (or another oil should work)
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp salt, to taste
- Place the almonds in a food processor. Process for about 15 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute or so as necessary. This is a really long and somewhat annoying process–as soon as you scrape the bowl down and turn the processor back on, you’ll feel like everything’s stuck to the sides again within seconds. It takes a while, but don’t stop until you’ve got a creamy mixture. It will happen, I promise. It takes at least 15 minutes (see photo below for the stages of almond creaming).
- Just before the almonds are completely smooth, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a small pot. Melt on low. Remove the pot from heat when there are still some clumps left in the chocolate chips. You don’t want to burn the chocolate!
- Add the melted chocolate to the almond butter (still in the processor) and process for a few more minutes. Add the salt and process more.
- Once the mixture is smooth and creamy, transfer to a container and store in the fridge or cupboard. If you store it in the fridge, note that it firms up, so you may need to take it out about 15 minutes before you want to spread it.
I learned through this kitchen endeavour that making nut butter is a bit strenuous on a food processor. My little unit got pretty hot while I was creaming the almonds, so I ended up making this a two-evening process to let my machine cool down in between. I just stored the partially processed almonds in the fridge overnight. Either way, it’s a bit of work, but so worth the effort. If this isn’t the best nut butter you’ve ever had (and that’s coming from a true peanut butter fanatic), well I’ll be damned.