I make my own almond butter because I can monitor exactly what goes into it (oil, salt, sugar etc) and it's cheaper as well. If you didn't realize that almond/peanut butters often have unhealthy things in them, check the ingredient list on the one in your pantry. Surprise!
Here are a few of the ways I use almond butter - usually in place of peanut butter
Apples and almond butter
As protein in a fruit smoothie
Ants on a log (celery boats filled with almond butter and topped with organic raisins)
Almond butter and honey (or jam) sandwich
On toast for breakfast
Make Homemade Almond Butter
1. Place 3-6 cups of crispy nuts* in the food processor, depending on how big your food processor** is. Don't fill it much more than half or the nuts won't pulverize properly.
2. Turn it on - high (see - not brain surgery!).
3. Let the processor go - you might stop and pulse it for a while - until the nuts are pulverized. If they look like the pic below - keep going a few seconds longer. But, remember that almonds are going to be a little chunkier than peanuts.
4. Continue to process the nuts till they turn into almond butter. If you're impatient like me and you don't want to burn out your machine, add a little organic olive oil (1-3 T) until it's "buttery". As usual, just add a little at a time so you don't end up with almond soup. You can substitute unprocessed, organic virgin coconut oil for the olive oil - but the butter will become pretty hard in the fridge if you do.
5. Store in the refrigerator. I can't really say how long it will keep - because it never lasts long enough at our house to go bad.
*You can just use raw almonds out of a bag - but the crispy nut recipe gives the almonds a richer, toastier flavor
**You can also use a Vitamix to do this but not everyone has one of these incredible machines.
I said this in my post on homemade hummus - but I'll say it again. A food processor it truly an invaluable kitchen tool and it doesn't take up much space. If you don't have one - you can find some great prices on Amazon - here.
Just a note on almonds...
As of 2007, almonds sold by handlers (i.e. non-growers) in the United States are required by law to be "pasteurized". The intention of the pasteurization is to limit possible outbreaks of salmonella poisoning in the general public. Sadly, the method - super steaming the outside of the nut or gassing it - invalidates the "raw" categorization. These nuts go rancid a lot faster. Thankfully, the law does allow you to buy "real" raw nuts directly from growers.Here's a well written explanation of the process.