Wanna hear how weird I am? I deeply dislike peanuts and peanut butter by itself. A peanut butter sandwich? Disgusting! But any other food that has peanut butter as an ingredient? There’s a good chance I’ll love it. Reese’s peanut butter cups, peanut noodles & peanut flavoured chicken are so delicious! Its the same problem with me and Oreos – how can anyone eat that cookie? Hypocritically enough though, I was heartbroken when that Oreo O’s cereal was discontinued in 2001 (does anyone remember it? By far the best cereal / dessert / snack of all time. I loved it so much I made up a song about Oreo O’s which I will serenade you with once you bring me a box). Oreo pie, ice cream, truffles and cake all remain my 3rd favourite flavour after chocolate & cookie dough. Actually, its tied with cookie dough. I don’t want either flavour to feel neglected.
But I digress. I spent my whole life actively despising peanut butter, choosing cheese time and again as my toast’s bff. Recently though, other types of nut butter have started to become popular which has totally opened up a new world for me. Who would have thought? Almond, Cashew & Hazelnut butter are becoming trendier although you still only seem to find it at specialty stores. Want to hear another mind blowing revelation? It is shockingly easy to make at home.
Do you have a food processor? Almonds? Vanilla? …And that’s it. Oh. And you need a bit of patience. I prefer that the almonds be roasted before because that flavour is unparalleled. Rabin and I once ate out all the almonds before they even saw the food processor.
I like the option to add in whatever I want. I find vanilla and cinnamon push the butter into the ‘gourmet’ category. You can always use different spices, half of a different kind of nut, or an entirely different nut altogether.
Vanilla Almond Nut Butter
2 ½ – 3 cups Almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 and toast almonds for about 7-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Remove toasted almonds from tray and place in food processor with vanilla. Grind for 10 – 15 minutes. Although you’ll see the almonds turn to dust at first, be patient. Remember that ingredient?
Closer to the 12 minute mark, you’ll see this magical thing happen – the natural oils of the nuts will emerge (late bloomers much?) and the mixture will start to get creamy. Stop occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl once almonds start to clump up.
Keep mixing until you see this:
Use in place of regular peanut butter. Eating it by the spoonful is also an option.
I also love making my own granola bars since I know exactly what goes in it. Since peanut butter is sometimes used to bind the dry ingredients, and you can replace that with almond butter as well. I plan to post soon about the joys of making your own granola bars so you can always whip up another batch of almond butter then. And then invite me over.