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Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Work is Worth It

Today I want to talk about a recipe that is less a recipe and more an ingredient - raw almond butter!
I usually buy Trader Joe's raw creamy almond butter, which is 5 bucks for a standard 16 oz jar. I consider that incredibly reasonable - cheap, in fact, when you consider that other brands sell for upwards of ten dollars.
I don't really see any reason not to buy the TJ stuff but every once in a while it's fun to make something like that at home, just to see how it works and maybe to also cut back on waste. Plus I had a huge bag of raw almonds in the freezer that I was just too easily snacking on by the handful.
So, I poured a cup of almonds into the food processor (note: I don't even have a super fancy one, just a Black and Decker one my friend bought for me a few years ago) and pressed play. Well, pulse. On and off, on and off, scraping down the sides every so often it went. I let it sit off for about a minute when the machine started to get hot (and when my ears started to hurt a bit with the cracking of the nuts and the whirring.) The whole process took about twenty minutes.
Sometimes I get incredibly excited with really simple things. When I saw the nuts first begin to clump together, I was actually amazed! As easy as nut butter is to make, it's a really powerful feeling to be completely in charge of the whole process of creation, and to see it all come to fruition.
It kind of reminds me of the farm trip I took last summer and how important it is for people to learn about where our food really comes from. It was especially obvious in this circumstance, working with such a "whole food" - actual nuts, looking pretty much like they do after being picked from a tree - and seeing them become a "product" we're accustomed to purchasing for racked up prices in a crowded, over-lit store.
I won't say I will only make my own almond butter from now on but I do highly recommend people try it at least once. It doesn't taste or look much different but you'll feel differently about eating it!

I figured the best way to enjoy such a simple food was with a simple snack:

(okay, and some processed, store-bought vegan cream cheeze too. I'm not gonna DIY that stuff.)
You seriously don't need a recipe for this, but if yr interested in looking at other posts about it, here's a really cool step-by-step photo post.
This makes me excited to make Gena's sunflower seed butter AND the surprise sitting in my pantry as we speak. But that post is for tomorrow!


  1. I'm so glad you posted this! I have like 2-3 lbs of almonds in the freezer (they were on sale for a huge bag!) and I was trying to figure out how to use them. I wanted to make almond butter but didn't really know how to go about it. Well that's not true I know you blend it until it comes together but the whole pulsing scraping down aspect will definitely be helpful with this venture :) I'm so with you, the smallest, simplest things make me incredibly happy.

    The celery with almond butter and raisins looks particularly enticing! And I don't even like celery!

  2. Nice work, Maud! I'm counting down the days (15) to spring break, and would love to attempt something like this. I only have a teeny tiny "handy chopper" that was bequeathed to me at some point (from a family member). I might have to try it in a blender!

  3. $5 for a 16-oz jar of RAW almond butter? Damn you've got it good! I've made almond butter before and I don't know why I don't make it seems like a hassle but it's really quite simple. And I agree that it's all magical when it clumps together and then thins out. And not to get all randomly philosophical on you but it's good to appreciate the simple things, seeing as life tends to be mostly simple things, with a few epic things thrown in there for good measure.

  4. Thanks for this post. I feel like I've been brainwashed that you need a Vita Mix to make homemade almond or nut butters, but a regular food processor would work, of course! Thanks for reminding us that what we have is good enough :-)

    P.S. I love TJ's too. :-)


  5. This is awesome Maud! YOU'RE awesome! Almond butter is so addictive. My latest "butter-addiction" is coconut butter though. Maaaaan. Just typing that. Need a tbsp now! Ps. Raw almond butter on apple slices................that's a yes.

    1. Ttrockwood@yahoo.comMarch 5, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      Coconut butter is just dried flaked coconut plus your food processor/blender.....:) i dont have a proper recipe but its google-able and craaaazy cheap.

  6. Very cool that you made your own almond butter! It sounds like it went quite smoothly for you too (no pun intended...). $5 is extremely cheap, but nothing can beat homemade. :)

  7. You're the 2nd person who's posted a DIY TJ's raw almond butter--yours looks delish!

  8. VAVA, it's fun but louuuuddd. As for the celery, it's really funny - I go back and forth on it but this celery was really tasty!

    Ingrid, ooh enjoy spring break! I've still got more vacation time coming and it's fun to have little projects like this. Let us know if the blender job works.

    Shen, Amen.

    Allysia, it's true! The only problem is that little things stress me out a lot too, but hey.

    Dawn, definitely! I'm all about "good enough," haha.

    malin, coconut butter sounds dangerous delicious. How do you use it differently from coconut oil? I may use TT's tips and whip some up...

    molly, ha! Funny that you say that, though, I almost made it chunky almond butter just for the hell of it.

    Jes, as if 5 bucks wasn't cheap enough! Thanks :)


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