Homemade Almond Butter
I get so many questions about nut butter … what do you use? Is peanut butter good for me? How can I choose a good nut butter for my family?
I’m a huge fan of nut butter and it is definitely a staple in our home. We spread it on toast and in wraps, dip apple slices into it, spread it on bananas, and have even been known to dip dark chocolate in it on occasion. Nut butter is a great way to add protein to your diet, and I love that there are so many options available.
Of all the nut butters, peanut butter is the most widely consumed. It is packed with protein and is often the least expensive of all nut butters, but you won’t find any in our pantry. Studies have shown that peanuts are often highly contaminated by pesticides. In addition, peanuts are susceptible to a mold that produces aflatoxin, a carcinogen that has been shown to cause liver cancer in rats. Although the FDA has stated that the small amounts commonly consumed in the United States pose little risk, concern remains for the possible adverse effects resulting from long-term exposure to low levels of aflatoxin in our food supply. You can read more about the positives and negatives of peanuts here.
In addition to toxicity concerns, peanuts are one of the most common food allergens and are highly acidic. Acidity leads to a number of health issues, including damage to our cells, tissues, joints, liver and kidneys. Eating too many acid-promoting foods has also been linked to inflammation, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Dr. Josh Axe does a great job explaining why pH balance is crucial to your health here.
We made the switch to almond butter years ago and have never looked back. It tastes delicious and is actually more nutritious than peanut butter. You can find a great infographic comparing almond and peanut butter here.
It definitely takes some effort to find a brand that tastes great, is good for you, and doesn’t cost a fortune though. If you’ve spent any time shopping for almond butter at your local health food store you know exactly what I’m talking about!
Hands down, my first choice is to make my own. The homemade almond butter recipe below is our favorite, but in all honesty it really isn’t much of a recipe. In fact, it’s one of the easiest things you can make. All you need is a bag of raw organic almonds, a food processor or high-speed blender, and a little patience. Well, maybe a bit more than a little patience because it does take some time. But it really is SO easy. And SO worth it!
If you don’t want to try making your own, the most important thing to look at when comparing nut butters is the ingredients list on the back of the label. If nuts are the only ingredient listed, you know you’ve found a good one. From there, it is simply a matter of taste. Don’t be misled by claims on the front that the product is “natural”. Many of the brands on the market today that claim to be natural actually have a number of added ingredients including sugar, salt and unhealthy oils. Make sure you know exactly what is in the jar before you add it to your cart.
In addition to almond butter, we also love cashew butter, hazelnut butter and sunflower butter. As with anything, it is important to get a variety in your diet so I encourage you to mix things up to ensure you’re getting a range of nutrients and flavor.
What is your favorite nut butter? Please share in the comments below!
- 2 cups raw, organic almonds
- Add almonds to food processor and begin processing. Turn off, remove top, and scrape sides. Almonds will become dry and flour-like, and then will become creamy as the natural oil is released. Continue processing and scrape sides every two minutes until desired texture is achieved.