Almond Butter from Whole Almonds

Kokonaisista manteleista tehty mantelivoi; Almond butter from whole almonds

[vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, palm oil-free, sugar-free, additive-free]

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It’s not an exaggeration to call almond butter a vegan staple. It is so versatile! I spread it on my sandwiches, bake a gooey brownie from it, and even drop a dollop of it in my sweet potato soup. For those – and many other – delicious occasions, I make sure that there’s always a jarful of fresh almond butter in our fridge. Home-made almond butter from whole almonds is about as good as it gets.

Why Whole Almonds?

Almonds are a nutritious and delicious food that has numerous health benefits. They are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, low in saturated fat, and low in carbohydrates. They are a good source of fiber and protein. They are free from gluten and cholesterol.

With that said, almonds are very calorie dense. It’s perhaps not a great idea to stuff your face with them every night. A daily serving of 10–30 almonds is more like it. They are yummy as is, and easy to grab with you when you’re on the go.

Kokonaisia raakoja manteleita; Whole raw almonds

According to a Natural Factors’ article, studies show that almonds are health-promoting no matter how you consume them. On one hand, the article sites weight management and using almonds as probiotics as good reasons to eat whole almonds. Almond butter, on the other hand, is a great way to get the most energy and nutrition from almonds because of the smaller particle size.

So, almond butter is an effective way to get the most out of almonds. I always make almond butter from whole almonds for three reasons. First, according to a Live Science article, the brown skin of almonds contains 20 different antioxidants that have significant implications for cholesterol levels and inflammation, for example. Because of this, I opt for whole, raw almonds that haven’t been peeled.

Second, whole almonds are sodium-free, which is especially important if you have issues with hypertension. The fact that they don’t contain sodium also contributes to the pleasant taste of almonds and, naturally, also almond butter. And yes, the amazing taste is the third reason for making almond butter from whole almonds.

Almond Butter Tastes Amazing!

Yes, it sure does!

Make taste count. If you don’t have any other reasons –health-wise or otherwise – for making almond butter at home, make it simply for its amazing flavor.

Kokonaisista manteleista tehty mantelivoi; Almond butter from whole almonds

The flavor is round, mild, and delightfully sweet. In fact, I find it much sweeter than most other nut butters. It doesn’t hijack the taste, unlike nut butters like walnut or cashew butter. Almond butter from whole almonds, with no added salt, is also naturally less salty than peanut butter, for example. These qualities make it a truly versatile baking ingredient, and it is even great for savory dishes.

Almond butter is also esthetically beautiful. It has a light brown colour with tiny darker spots from the skins. Its texture is extremely smooth and less sticky than that of peanut butter. It tends to be quite liquid, which makes it easy to use in baking. When refrigerated, the texture becomes slightly firmer but remains pliable enough to be readily used. It doesn’t have to be separately warmed or softened to be combined in a dough or batter.

Kokonaisista manteleista tehty mantelivoi; Almond butter from whole almonds

Almond butter is absolutely delicious in cookie dough, fudge, or blondies, to name just a few. I particularly love to have it for breakfast: I put it on my toast and top it with sliced banana and sunflower seeds or pine nuts, or mix a tablespoonful of it in my overnight oats and eat that in the morning with a pile of fresh blueberries. So yummy! I’d love to know your favorite use of almond butter. Let me know on Instagram.

What is so amazing about almond butter is its flavor, which brings out the natural flavors of the foods that it accompanies rather than covers them. This makes it more than a versatile vegan ingredient.

Key Points of Almond Butter-Making

  • You’ll need a food processor or a powerful blender to make almond butter at home. I have a Vitamix Ascent 2300i that blows through the raw almonds like a breeze! Almonds might not be the toughest nuts (and technically, they’re not nuts, at all, but drupes) to crack, but with a less powerful blender you always run the risk of blowing the motor in the middle of blending. You might be fine, but it’s not something I recommend.
  • Roast the almonds in 350°F/180°C for 10 minutes before processing them. This will bring out their natural oils and make processing easier on your blender.
Close-up of almond butter; Mantelivoita lähikuvassa
  • Don’t be shy – make a sizeable batch. When I make almond butter from whole almonds, I start with at least 500 grams (1.1 lb). This is simply because with too little almonds my blender will have trouble processing it and the half-done butter will end up stuck on the bottom and sides of the blender. Besides, I want to have enough almond butter for it to last at least a couple of days. 500 grams will make approximately 3.5 dl or 1.5 cups of almond butter.
  • Home-made almond butter keeps extremely well in the fridge. If you pour it into an airtight glass jar, it can be refrigerated for at least a month. I’ve stored almond butter in the fridge for three months, and it’s still tasted fresh. Just make sure that the lid is properly closed.
  • This might not be something to do right off the bat, but home-made almond butter is the perfect testing ground for different flavors. I really, really enjoy it as it is, but sometimes I love to add 1/4–1/2 tsp cinnamon, ginger, or vanilla to it. Test for yourself to see, which version of almond butter from whole almonds turns out your favorite!

Kokonaisista manteleista tehty mantelivoi; Almond butter from whole almonds

Almond Butter

The basic ingredient of every self-appreciating vegan! Absolutely amazing on a sandwich and in baked goods from brownies to cookie dough.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: almonds, american, baking, baking ingredient, basic ingredient, basic recipe, cinnamon, dessert, gluten-free, healthy, home-made, nut butter, nuts, salt, sandwich spread, sugar-free, vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 22
Calories: 98kcal
Author: Susanna Rönn

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

  • 500 g whole raw almonds
  • tsp salt optional
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Spread the almonds evenly on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Roast them for 10 minutes.
  • Let the almonds cool for 15 minutes. You are good to go, when they no longer feel hot to the touch.
  • Transfer the almonds to the food processor or blender. It's necessary to use a powerful blender in order for the almonds to turn into butter.
  • Process the almonds at full speed for one minute at a time. Scrape down the sides as needed. You will see the go from crush to flour, a sandy dough ball and finally to an oily mixture. Your almond butter is ready, when it is smooth, liquid, and glossy. With a powerful food processor or blender, this won't take more than 3–5 minutes.
  • In the final stages of blending, add salt and cinnamon, if you'd like. You can even add maple or agave syrup, vanilla, or ginger. Feel free to experiment. Keep blending a minute or so to combine the add-ins. Please note that the add-ins are optional, as almond butter is delicious even as is.
  • Pour the almond butter in an airtight glass jar. Leave the lid open and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a refrigerator, where almond butter can easily be stored for several weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 15g | Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g
Did you make this?Mention @keksitaikinavegaani and tag #thecookiedoughvegan!

The Perfect 5-Minute Peanut Butter

Maukkain viiden minuutin maapähkinävoi; The perfect 5-minute peanut butter

[vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, palm oil-free; sugar-free option available]

Linkki tekstiin suomeksi

It’s pourable but gets stuck on your lips. The kids love it on their lunch sandwiches. It’s delicious in your overnight oats or gooey blondies. It keeps your proteins and healthy fats in check (when used in moderation!). It’s a jarful of liquid gold. It’s the perfect 5-minute peanut butter!

Figuring out how to make the most perfect peanut butter at home has been a process. It didn’t just suddenly dawn on me. Instead, I needed months and trial and error to arrive here. That’s also why this texts looks a lot different from my original post in Finnish.

My Peanut Butter History

As far as I can recall, I hadn’t tasted peanut butter prior to setting my feet on U.S. soil. That’s how unusual peanut butter was in Finnish cooking and baking in the late 1990s. But as soon as I sunk my teeth in my first peanut butter sandwich, I was head over heels. It was love at first bite! Trying several of Reese’s peanut butter candies didn’t exactly curb my burgeoning addiction. Those Peanut Butter Cups Minis were completely amazing.

I’ve been mad about peanut butter ever since. There have been no bumps in the road. Becoming a vegan has been yet another amazing reason to consume even more peanut butter. In fact, peanut butter is quite the vegan staple – a truly versatile food that can be used in both cooking and baking. It’s wonderful in tofu marinade, vegetable soups, and overnight oats. Not to mention all the super yummy cookies, cakes, and blondies that you can make from it. That’s what’s so exceptional with peanut butter: it’s sweet and savory at the same time.

Maukkain viiden minuutin maapähkinävoi; The perfect 5-minute peanut butter

In addition to cooking and baking, I have a tendency to eat peanut butter straight out of the jar. When the kids have gone to bed, I might find myself sitting alone in the kitchen with a spoon in one hand and a peanut butter jar in the other. And what better way to do this than by enjoying home-made peanut butter?

Judging by the amount of peanut butter consumed in our household on a weekly basis, making peanut butter myself is a smart move. Before investing in a Vitamix that I now use to make all of my nut butters, I used to get peanut butter at the store. But it was getting unnecessarily laborious and expensive.

You won’t find store-bought peanut butter at our house any longer. I make all of it myself. With the perfect 5-minute peanut butter recipe, it’s also way too easy not to. So, let’s get those food processors and blenders fired up and some nuts crushed!

A Few Things to Think About Before Getting Started

First of all, you need a powerful food processor or blender to process nuts. A less powerful one might actually burn out before getting the job done, so use at your own risk. I have a Vitamix Ascent 2300i blender that I use for all my food processing work. It wasn’t cheap, but the quality is completely different from your basic supermarket blender.

Secondly, quality is important also when it comes to your raw material. It’s definitely worthwhile to get good quality peanuts when making peanut butter. Of course, you always want to buy good quality nuts, but it’s especially important when it comes to making nut butter. This is because the freshness of the nuts will directly affect the outcome: the smoothness, richness, and liquidity of your butter.

Pehmeää ja notkeaa maapähkinävoita, viiden minuutin maapähkinävoi; smooth and pourable peanut butter, perfect 5-minute peanut butter

The frustrating thing about this is that you won’t know until you try. If you end up with chalky, overly thick peanut butter, you know that you didn’t have the best ingredients to begin with. If the peanuts are past their best before date, they’ll be drier and emit less oil after roasting. They’ll take more time to process into a nice, liquid peanut butter. I usually buy organic peanuts, such as Aduki’s organic peanuts. They’re a great source of fibre, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus. Aduki is a Helsinki-based importer of organic and fair-trade food, beauty, and household products.

Thirdly, think about getting enough of those peanuts. Since Peanut Butter keeps really well, why not make a bigger batch at once? Besides, if you’re using a blender, you need to have enough peanuts to keep your machine processing them. With too few peanuts, the motion of the blender will push the crumbs in the corners and sides of the bowl. The blades won’t be able to reach them, and you’ll end up scraping down the sides more often than you’d like. Get at least 500 grams of peanuts. That’s heaping three cups, since one cup weighs approximately 155 grams. This will make about 300 grams or two cups of peanut butter. Based on my experience, that’s the perfect amount of the perfect 5-minute peanut butter!

Finding the Perfect Nuts for the Perfect 5-Minute Peanut Butter

Now, I did mention trial and error, didn’t I? So the perfect 5-minute peanut butter recipe wasn’t always so perfect. What proved most challenging was finding the perfect nuts for the recipe and how to pretreat them.

You could get dry-roasted peanuts at the store and skip the peeling and roasting altogether. For me, there were two issues with this. First, dry-roasted peanuts are super expensive, at least in Finland. And second, they’re hard to find. There aren’t that many grocery stores that carry them in my area.

Maapähkinöitä menossa uuniin paahdettavaksi; Peanuts about to be roasted in the oven

A good solution is to use blanched peanuts. At least the largest grocery chains carry them, so they aren’t as difficult to find as dry-roasted peanuts. They make peanut butter-making easy-breezy; just pop them in the oven for roasting and then process them into butter. Peanut butter made from blanched peanuts tastes really yummy. The only con with using them is that they have been mechanically peeled. This typically also removes nutrients and might render the peanuts drier over time.

I’ve also tried using regular salted peanuts. They’re easy to find, affordable, and quick to use, because they won’t need to be roasted. That is because they have been cooked in oil. Usually, salted peanuts are cooked in peanut oil, but this is not always the case. Sometimes they are manufactured with canola and/or palm oil, so be sure to read the food label carefully. Another problem with salted peanuts is their sodium content, of course. They’re not the healthiest choice, and the ready-made peanut butter is likely to taste too salty, too. Also, peanut butter made from salted peanuts can be too runny because of the added oil.

Whole Organic Peanuts Make the 5-Minute Peanut Butter Perfect

Raw, whole peanuts are my number one choice. I already mentioned Aduki’s organic peanuts, which I get on a regular basis. Unblanched peanuts make the process more laborious, because you’ll need to peel all of the peanuts. I usually do this by hand, one peanut at a time. It does take a couple of hours to get through 500 grams of peanuts! I do this late at night, while I’m also getting my fix of The Real Housewives of Orange County or Beverly Hills. The things I do for my perfect 5-minute peanut butter!

If you think this is too much work (and you likely will, trust me!), you can peel off the skins after roasting the peanuts in 175°C/350°F for 3–5 minutes. Make sure you don’t roast them longer than that at this stage, because that would negatively affect the taste. Let them cool for 15 minutes, then use a paper towel to rub off the skins. Remove the rest of the skins by hand. Finally, roast the peanuts in the oven for 10 more minutes or until they turn golden brown.

On a few occasions, I’ve roasted the whole peanuts with they skins on. I haven’t been happy with the end results, however. Yes, it’s much easier to remove the skins from the roasted peanuts, but even after they’re removed, the roasted skins leave the peanut butter with an unwanted tang – mixture of bitter and burned. So no, I wouldn’t recommend doing this.

Maukkain viiden minuutin maapähkinävoi; The perfect 5-minute peanut butter

To sum things up: Get raw, whole peanuts and remove the skins at home. Process the slightly cooled peanuts into the perfect 5-minute peanut butter. Toward the end of processing (and only then), add salt, and maple syrup and spices, if you’d like. Process for one more minute, let cool, and get your spoon ready. Your home-made peanut butter is now ready to be consumed! Be sure to keep it refrigerated for the optimal storage time.


Maapähkinävoi; peanut butter

Perfect Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is definitely at its best home-made. And it doesn't take more than five minutes!
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: additive-free, all-natural, baking ingredient, basic ingredient, creamy, crunchy, easy recipe, easy vegan dessert, healthy, healthy nut butter, healthy spread, lisäaineeton, no nonsense, on toast, palm oil-free, peanut butter, sandwich, spread, sugar-free, traditional American spread, vegaani, vegan staple
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 146kcal
Author: Susanna Rönn

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

  • 3 cups roasted peanuts roasted at home in the oven, or store-bought dry-roasted peanuts
  • ½ tsp salt
  • (2 tbsp) maple or agave syrup optional

Instructions

  • If you'll be roasting the peanuts yourself, preheat the oven to 175°C/350°C. Use either blanched peanuts or raw, whole peanuts. In the latter case, remove the skins by hand prior to roasting. Spread the peanuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast them in the oven for 10–15 minutes or until golden brown. Skip this part, if you're using dry-roasted peanuts.
  • Transfer the roasted peanuts to your food processor or blender. Turn the processor on and blend the peanuts at one-minute intervals. In between processing, use a spatula to scrape down the sides. You'll see the peanuts go from crushed to powder, from large clusters to a dry ball, and finally to a warm, smooth, and pourable liquid butter. Keep processing until you reach desired consistency. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the salt and syrup (if using). Process the butter for one more minute. Pour the peanut butter in an airtight container such as a glass jar. Leave the lid open until the peanut butter has cooled completely. Transfer to the refrigerator. It's a good idea to store your peanut butter in the fridge, as this will keep it fresh for several weeks, even months.
  • All done! Enjoy on your favorite bread, in baking, and straight out of the jar!

Nutrition

Serving: 15g | Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this?Mention @keksitaikinavegaani and tag #thecookiedoughvegan!