The Kinky Green


Nut Butter

Posted in The Environmental,The Physical by Joy on September 8, 2011
Tags:
Almond butter bagel

Almond Butter Bagel

Excuse me while I get all Beavis and Butthead for a minute…

Nut butter… heh-heh heh… heh.

You know what’s hard to do? Keep a straight face when you’re talking to your dad about nut butter.

Me: What kind of nuts do you think grow around here? I don’t know if peanuts do, but there have to be some kind of tree nuts.
Dad: I’m not sure. Probably peanuts. Maybe pecans?
Me: I’m thinking of making my own nut butter.
Dad: Nut butter… Nut butter… Nut butter?
Me:  [Suppresses adolescent boy-style giggle] You know, like peanut butter, but with whatever nuts are local to here…

In my ongoing effort to gain control of the food I’m eating, I started thinking another small step I could take is making my own nut butter. I’ve been buying organic peanut and almond butter for a while, and I’ve noticed the ingredients lists are generally just nuts + salt. Sometimes nuts + oil + salt. So, I mean, really, how hard could that be?

Sure enough, a quick search on the internets lets me know all I need are the aforementioned ingredients, a food processor, and some patience.

If I were doing things ideally, I would have first found a good source for local nuts & procured said nuts, then made the nut butter. But after the conversation with Dad, I got all impatient. (See that? Already lacking one of the necessities for this project…) When I saw raw almonds in the bulk bin at the organic market, I just couldn’t resist. It’ll just be a test, I told myself. And while I’m enjoying this almond butter, I can find a local nut source… Heh. 

So when I found myself awake this morning with an hour to spare before work, I figured this would be a perfect time for the task.

Ingredients

2 c raw almonds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Step 1: Toast nuts. This is optional, I believe. I used my cast iron skillet and stirred pretty much constantly. The vigilance might not have been necessary, but I have a bad habit of burning nuts when I’m trying to toast them.

Step 2: Add nuts to food processor. Blend until paste/ball forms, scraping sides occasionally. This takes a while. If I hadn’t read that blog that kept saying, “Just be patient until the ball forms,” I probably would’ve started contemplating what to do with 2 cups of ground almonds long before the task was actually complete. But I heeded the blogger’s advice and walked away while the processor did its job, coming back occasionally to check on progress and scrape the sides. I also added a tablespoon of the olive oil and the salt during this part of the process.

Step 3:  When the nuts become a paste/ball and start to pull away from the sides, add oil to reach the desired consistency. I chose to limit the amount of oil to two tablespoons, so my almond butter may  not be creamy enough for some. This is where preference reigns, I imagine.

Step 4: Enjoy!

I divided the almond butter between two containers so I can leave one at home and one at work. They must be refrigerated and, I imagine, will require some stirring before each use to blend the oil in again.

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