Almond Butter
January 19, 2004 4:02 AM   Subscribe

I love Almond Butter but here in the UK a little jar that holds about 300 grams costs around £4.00 or $7.00. I decided to try and make it myself. I bought a bunch of almonds, put them - as I was advised into a food processor, using the steel blades and turned it on - what I ended up with was finally ground almonds. I have looked everywhere from google on down and found nothing useful. What i am after is a pure almond butter, with nothing added, like the stuff that comes in the expensive jars from health food shops. Can anyone tell me how to this?
posted by donfactor to Food & Drink (16 answers total)
Maybe you have to add a little almond oil to the ground almonds? It could be that your nuts are a little on the dry side, so to speak.
posted by misteraitch at 4:24 AM on January 19, 2004

I'm not trying to be snarky here, but did you try this?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:28 AM on January 19, 2004

Depends what you mean by "Almond butter".

Do you mean ...
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
1 tbsp finely chopped almonds
1/2 tsp almond extract

or do you mean pure Almonds in a peanut butter format?

I use Suma for health foods. They're cheap and have quite a wide variety of products, but I don't know if they make / can provide what you want. Worth sending an email IMHO.

I second the "Adding of oil" option to turn your powder into a paste.
posted by seanyboy at 4:33 AM on January 19, 2004

Sorry, I notice that you mention you tried Google. Perhaps that first hit wasn't definitive enough for you...the sixth hit from google has a full recipe, though, as do this and this, a little further down the result list.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:34 AM on January 19, 2004

Also, I think you need fresh almonds, and maybe you've been using dried almonds. Don't know where you would get fresh almonds from, but your local Chinese / Indian wholesaler is always good for this kind of thing.
posted by seanyboy at 4:48 AM on January 19, 2004

Here's another recipe, and, if you swing that way, you can buy a nut butter machine. I also have to include this peanut butter machine site, because the text is just too irresistable: "A Simple but unique machine to make peanut Butter. Can be operated even by housewives. Feed the roasted peanuts and the peanut butter emerges out from the delivery chute."
posted by taz at 6:34 AM on January 19, 2004

Also, I think you need fresh almonds, and maybe you've been using dried almonds.

You need "raw" almonds, if they're dried, it because they've been roasted.
posted by thomcatspike at 6:54 AM on January 19, 2004

I get almond butter ground fresh at a farmers' market. They do not add anything, and I always have to stir the oil back into it before I use, so I think thomcatspike has the answer. Given that, I think a combination of raw and roasted almonds would be best: raw for their natural oils and roasted for the extra flavor. Try a small batch of half and half and alter as necessary.

BTW, a spoonful of almond butter in stir-fry goes a LONG way!
posted by mischief at 7:07 AM on January 19, 2004

And I would suggest blanching the almonds and removing the dark brown skin, as it is horribly bitter.
posted by silusGROK at 7:18 AM on January 19, 2004

Just don't eat too much - you might poison yourself
posted by BigCalm at 7:22 AM on January 19, 2004

Thanks all. Its the 'neat' stuff' that I'm after, no added anything. And I guess that using fresh, unroasted nuts is my best bet or maybe a mix with the powder which has been sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks . The problem is that at the weekly organic market near where I live they don't specify whether the nuts are fresh, dry or roasted. I don't think they know. They just buy them in and expect the buyer to know. Anyway, if that doesn't work I'm off to the Farmer's Market in LA where I first got hooked on this stuff or else I'll be back here again.
posted by donfactor at 9:46 AM on January 19, 2004

donfactor, looking at the various recipes, and at sites like this that sell almond butter, it seems that it can be made with either raw or roasted nuts...
posted by taz at 10:10 AM on January 19, 2004

Might try using a blender rather than a food processor. That's how we make peanut butter, no oil needed.
posted by tsitzlar at 12:49 PM on January 19, 2004

Yes, tsitzlar is right, use a blender. I make an Italian almond meringue cake that calls for finally ground almonds. When I only had a blender I had to very carefully grind the almonds so they wouldn't turn into butter. With a food processor, as you've found, that doesn't happen. The blender kind of mashes as well as chops. Also, a natural food store near me has a help-yourself-almond-butter-grinder and they use roasted almonds.
posted by TimeFactor at 1:49 PM on January 19, 2004

Yo, you factors, Don and Time - stop saying "finally" when you mean "finely."

That is all.
posted by soyjoy at 2:39 PM on January 19, 2004

I've made cashew butter (also quite good!) out of just cashews, and I think one problem may be volume. Food processors require a lot of nuts (about 2 1/2 cups in my big one) to cover the surface area sufficiently enough to get ground into butter, whereas a blender can do it with a much smaller quantity, since the blender jar is quite a bit "skinnier" than the processor's mixing bowl.
posted by sixdifferentways at 1:33 AM on January 20, 2004

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