I had occasion to require almond butter, for someone allergic to peanuts, like legitimately allergic, not like every child born after 2004 is "allergic."1
Just about every almond butter on the market has the self-defeating warning that it may have traces of peanuts. How frustrating. I wondered what I was going to do and then it hit me: why not make some? You made your own ketchup, you nerd; almond butter is practically normal.
This offers no protection from the "may contain traces of peanuts" label, it just moves one more step down the chain, but the probability of a giant nut clearing house, where all the nuts intermingle before being separated, is pretty unlikely, I reckon. Conversely, an almond butter maker probably makes other nut butters, and probably doesn’t dedicate grinders for each kind of nut.
Sorry for that geeky aside. Let’s get to it!
Another thing about those nut butters in the store: wicked expensive. Almonds are a pricey nut, but not in comparison to blended up almonds. You’ll save tons of money on homemade almond butter. So you can afford the good nuts. Get unroasted, unsalted almonds for this. Bulk food stores are a perfect source of tasty nuts.
Makes 3/4 cup
- 1 cup almonds
- A pinch of salt
- up to 1/4 cup roasted almond oil (optional)
Roast the almonds on a baking sheet in a 350F oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until coloured and fragrant. Tip on a plate to cool.
Put the almonds and salt in a food processor, the small bowl if you’re food processor comes with one. Wazz until the almonds are little bits and can’t be broken down by the blade anymore. You’ll find the almond paste gets pushed to the sides so the blade just spins hitting nothing. Stop the food processor, scrape the sides and wazz again.
At this point, you can add the oil if you wish. For the batch pictured, I used about 1/6 cup of roasted almond oil. It was quite thick, but I was using it for something special. For a slightly runnier version for spreading on toast, add 1/4 cup. Vegetable oil will suffice if the posh roasted almond oil is a little too pricey for you. Wazz until combined, continue until it looks like almond butter is supposed to look.
Store in the fridge.
- If you’re not allergic and your significant other is not allergic, guess what? Your kid isn’t either [↩]