I always like to make everything from scratch unless I feel it is way too time consuming! I don’t know if it’s because it feeds into my perfectionism and need to know exactly what is in the food I eat or just the feeling that I can do that! But what I do know is that made from scratch is simply fresher and brighter in tasting. Sure, sometimes store bought products taste better because of all the extras they throw in, extras that are usually not the best for me and extras that allow the product to have a longer shelf life, again preservatives that I would rather not have in my food or in my body.
I normally purchase almond butter from Whole Foods. It is simply almonds, some with salt and some without. It’s a pure product and I truly love the taste and health benefits. But it is costly! I have heard of others making almond butter so it’s been on my list of things to try. And this was an easy one. Almonds. Process until smooth. Consume.
Of course, I can never leave well enough alone. My mind started to imagine all sorts of wonderful flavors. Adding chocolate, yum. Adding marmalade or agave to sweeten up the taste. Adding cinnamon to intensify the flavor. Almond butter with a touch of coffee, yes! I decided to combine fresh squeezed orange juice, a teaspoon of agave for sweetness and a teaspoon of coconut oil for an Orange Almond Butter. How perfect for my morning gluten-free waffle!
The standard home food processor is obviously not as powerful as the commercial processor; therefore, my Cuisinart did its best. The addition of coconut oil helped to further blend the almonds into a smoother butter, as well as the juice from the oranges. It will take a good 15 minutes of processing to obtain the smooth texture.
As the processor was running, I realized it was the heat generated from processing that began to smooth out the almond butter. Therefore, starting with room temp to warm almonds, slightly warmed coconut oil and agave helped to blend the almonds better.
Orange Almond Butter
2 cups raw or roasted almonds
1 teaspoon coconut oil, slightly warmed
1 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest from one organic orange, optional
Pinch of kosher salt, optional
Combine all and process about 15 minutes, occasionally stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Adjust amounts of coconut oil, agave and juice per personal taste or simply omit.
Can be kept at room temperature for several weeks or refrigerated for longer storage. I prefer to refrigerate my almond butter to prevent it from becoming rancid and taking it out about 20 minutes prior to using so it’s easier to spread.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.