You may have noticed in my WIAW posts, that I have almond butter literally every single day. I buy the Whole Foods 365 organic creamy brand, because it is salt free and sugar free. And delicious. Annnnd…..Good for you!
Almonds have a variety of health benefits, including being linked to lowering cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart disease, protect against diabetes, and contain only “healthy fats.” The way fats can be healthy is if they are monosaturated, which is exactly the kind of fats almonds possess. This kind of fat is actually proven to stave off weight gain, not promote it.
Now, I would never eat peanut butter with this much abandon. Why? A lot of reasons. First, it’s hard to find peanut butter in a jar that isn’t full of sugar or salt, or both. Gross. Second, peanuts are highly susceptible to mold, so if they aren’t organic, it’s not the safest food choice. Third, a serving of PB is higher in fat and calories than a serving of AB.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti peanut butter—-peanut butter is one of my favorite flavors for desserts! But that’s the key: it’s something to be used on occasion in treats, not something for daily consumption. (For me. This may not be the case for you. You may down PB like it’s going out of style, and be fit and healthy and mold-free. If that’s the case, cool
Unfortunately, AB does have two bad things going for it. Number one, it’s pricey. And two, even healthy fats, in large quantities, are not awesome. And when you eat as much as the stuff as I do, those two things can be kind of an issue.
So I decided to ameliorate these bummers by making my own almond butter. Cheaper. Done. Lower fat/lower cal? Trickier. But I remembered that Angela had posted a light version of almond butter, and used that for inspiration. I altered the recipe in a few ways: Instead of using pre-made AB, I made my own by blending raw almonds in a food processor for over 5 minutes until the almonds became a thick paste. I then added 3/4 c almond milk and about a 1/2 tsp of maple extract, rather than using maple syrup. So it’s even lower cal than the Oh She Glows version. And I probably tripled the amount of cinnamon. Man do I love cinnamon….
Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter
1 c raw almonds*
3/4 c vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 t maple extract
cinnamon (a lot)
Put your almonds in a food processor and blend for a long time. First the nuts will turn into a flour/powder form, but they’ll eventually start to get paste-like. Scrape down the sides as necessary. When sufficiently pastey, add your cinnamon, milk and extract. Blend until all mixed. Pour into a mason jar and refrigerate.
The possibilities for this are endless. Switch up the extracts, add in coconut, swap ginger for cinnamon. Mix it up, go
nuts almonds! And possibilities for serving ideas are endless too. Drizzle it on fruit. Plop it on your steel cut oats. Smear it on your fave healthy bread. Make it a party dip and serve with graham crackers. Pour it over a sweet potato. So versatile!
*One more thing to note. You can roast the almonds before making the AB if you desire. However, any raw foodie will tell you that, in terms of nutrition, raw nuts are superior to roasted. There is fairly strong evidence that reveals how heating nuts (and any food) can deplete nutritional value, and, in the case of some nuts, actually increase fat. So, it’s your call, but I think the raw version is terrific!
What’s your favorite nut butter? Have you ever made DIY nut butters?