Every wardrobe needs a little black dress, a white shirt, a good pair of jeans and a few other building blocks on which to build great style. And every kitchen needs the equivalent … staples that are good on their own, but also the foundation for other amazing dishes. Almond butter is one of those.
Basic as it is, today is the first time that I’ve made my own almond butter. With the help of a powerful blender or a food processor, it couldn’t be simpler: almonds, a bit of neutral oil to help loosen things up and then blend, blend, blend (with some scraping, scraping, scraping of the bowl) until you reach the consistency of your dreams.
Making almond butter was also an excuse to take my blender for a spin. Not to drop names … okay, maybe I’m name-dropping but I wanted to try this in my Vitamix. Yes, Vitamix! I’d wanted one for ages, but the price was holding me back. Then last year (believe it or not, I’ve had it a year but have been remarkably circumspect about it) I discovered that one of my bank cards, which had been accumulating points for years, had enough not only for a Professional Series Vitamix in a gorgeous shade of red, but also a large Le Creuset roasting dish in Caribbean. Holy high end kitchen bonanza, Batman! Both arrived on my doorstep just before Christmas 2014. As those of you who’ve been following my blog know, 2014 was a real ass-kicker of a year for me, so I felt entitled to splurge and treat myself. The fact that I was able to do so on points helped assuage any guilt about such extravagance. That said, I do believe that quality tools are worth their weight in gold. Not to name-drop again, but case in point: my KitchenAid stand mixer is still going strong after 15 years. What can I say, I believe in investment gadgetry.
Anyhoo, back to the point of this post … You’ll see that I’ve kept this almond butter absolutely plain — no salt, no flavourings or other fun additives. Since this is a building block ingredient, I want to be able to jazz it up as required for different dishes. So, you’ll see it popping up in the next little while here and there in other recipes. And by “the next little while” I mean within the next two to three weeks, which is about how long this treasure trove of almond lusciousness will last in the fridge, assuming I don’t eat it all first (while wearing a little black dress and pearls).
(Non) Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. No one gave me a Vitamix (or a KitchenAid stand mixer for that matter), or asked me to write about either of them. They’re just great tools that play an important role in my kitchen, and which I feel lucky to own.
I made my almond butter using almonds straight from the refrigerator, where I store them. From what I’ve since read, it seems I may have needed less oil (or possibly none) had I brought the nuts to room temperature or even slightly warmed them in the oven first. Hmm, I sense a future experiment coming on. But for now, I have all the almond butter I need! (Makes 1-3/4 cups)
- 3 cups almonds, skins on
- 3 tbsp canola or other neutral cooking oil
Place the almonds and oil in the container of a powerful blender or food processor, and process according to your machine’s requirements. For the Vitamix, I started at low speed, brought it up to full speed and used the tamper vigorously. I stopped several times to scrape down the container. Process until you achieve the smoothness you desire.
Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.