Almond Butter

Posted by on Apr 4, 2010 | 24 comments

3 cups of almonds
vitamix blender

  • Pour almonds into vitamix, turn machine on, quickly turn dial to 10 and flip to high-speed.
  • Use the tamper to continually push the almonds into the blade area as it’s running.
  • Blend until you’ve got butter. (Takes roughly 2 to 3 mins – Will first turn powdery, then creamy.)

If necessary, see demonstration video posted below….

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SIDE NOTES:

This is the way we like it, but you can add anything you want, such as sea salt, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, coconut oil….etc.

I make this once a week, usually on monday mornings & feel like wonder-woman as I pack up the kids lunch (even though all I did was dump some almonds in a blender & flip the switch) =)

Try freshly ground almond butter on a sandwich with sliced apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or toasted sesame seeds. So good!

You can of course experiment using any type of nut/seed (or any combination) to make a creamy butter.

 For those avoiding certain foods, this recipe falls into the following categories:

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Sugar Free, Vegan, Grain Free, Raw

If on a strictly raw diet – use truly raw, unpasteurized (preferably germinated) nuts and careful that they don’t heat up as you’re blending.  In my experience, it’s very difficult to keep this recipe raw, as the machine has to run so long to create almond butter – all the while heating up the contents as it’s running.  It can be done though if you stop the blender often throughout the process so that it doesn’t heat up very much.  Good luck!

Hope the following demonstration video is helpful. It was spur of the moment, and I didn’t realize until after the fact about the *belly thing* So sorry about that, but I don’t have time to re-do things to perfection. I was still wearing my jammy t-shirt & it was quite comfy! For video #2, I’ll try to remember to grab a look in the mirror first =)

Please make note:  For safety reasons, it’s important to completely remove the blending carafe from the base of your blender before reaching in to scoop out food.  I inadvertently forgot to do this in the video.  You wouldn’t want your hand anywhere near the blade in the event of a malfunction or an inadvertent flip of the switch.  This safety rule applies to any type of blender or food processor.  The place my Vitamix normally sits for daily use is on a counter that’s higher (than the table in the video) with a cabinet right above it, which makes it impossible for me to dip into without first removing the carafe from the base.  So in daily practice, I always remove the carafe from the base when blending is complete which is what I recommend you do as well.

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A FEW EXTRA HINTS on successful almond buttering:

~ USE SLIGHTLY WARM ALMONDS. This helps to get the right consistency. I’ve tried it before with almonds straight out of the freezer & it didn’t work out. (Too bad it took me about 3 or 4 tries to figure out it was because the almonds were cold – Argh)

~ IF USING PASTEURIZED ALMONDS, you can roast them prior to making into tasty butter by placing them on a cookie sheet for about 10 – 12 mins at 350. Let sit out to cool until they’re just warm to the touch before blending. (FYI – Almost all almonds are pasteurized these days – you’d have to go out of your way to get truly raw, unpasteurized almonds – so just assume any almonds you buy at the grocery store or health food store are pasteurized unless clearly stated otherwise.  In fact, even if it says “raw almonds”, or “raw almond butter”, it’s not actually raw unless it uses both words  *raw* & *unpasteurized*).

~ I USE GERMINATED ALMONDS (unpasteurized almonds that were soaked overnight & dehydrated). I won’t go into the reasoning behind this now, but feel free to research the topic if interested. In any case, you need a dehydrator to do this at home (mine is an Excalibur), and you need to make sure the almonds are BONE DRY through & through before trying to make into butter – as any hint of moisture will mess things up (Dry at lowest temperature setting for 2 days minimum, and up to 5 days). For those who are interested, but don’t want to bother soaking & drying themselves, you can purchase pre-germinated, dried almonds from a few companies online. livingnutz.com is where I go for my nutty needs.  ***MAKE NOTE *** Many people have commented that using germinated almonds is the key to success.  If you can’t get this recipe to work using raw or roasted almonds, give it a try with germinated before giving up.

~ If you do use pre-germinated almonds, I don’t recommend roasting them before making into butter (lends to a burnt taste that we don’t like very much). Warm them up for just a few minutes on the lowest temperature setting in the oven. Or – if you have a dehydrator, heat them up for about 10 mins at 100 degrees, then add directly to blender.

~ As I’ve mentioned before, these details might be boring to some, but I only share them because I’ve made many mistakes in the beginning while experimenting, and know how frustrating it can be to waste time, energy, money & end up dumping a pile of dusty paste into the garbage. I hope your first batch comes out perfect! =)

~  If you’re looking to purchase truly raw, almond butter, the only 2 brands out there are Artisana & International Harvest.  Unfortunately, you have to be a food detective to know these things, as it’s perfectly legal for companies to label almonds “raw” when they’re not (after the pasteurization process, they’re no longer raw).  What the companies mean by “raw” in this instance is “unroasted”, and that would be a more accurate term to use on their labels.  The following companies sell almond butter incorrectly labeled raw…..Marathana, Tree of Life, Once Again, and Woodstock Farms. I don’t mean to imply that these brands of almond butter aren’t good, or healthy.  I’m just noting that they’re not raw, as I think people have the right to know what they’re purchasing.

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MACHINERY INFO:  THE VITAMIX

~ I’ve heard you can use a food processor to make almond butter. I tried this with several batches a few years ago, and just couldn’t get the almonds to turn into butter – was more like that powdery paste mentioned above. If you do want to try it with a food processor, you’ll have to let the machine run something like 15 or more minutes for a fair chance. Hopefully, you have better luck than me – some people on the internet seem to be able to make it work.

~ YOU DO NOT NEED A VITAMIX for “regular” day-to-day blending. However, if you make any of the following (or would like to), the vitamix is indispensible….

~ Makes nut & seed milks really easily without leaving any pulp to strain (1 – 2 mins)
~ Makes nut butters really easily without the need to add any oil (less than 2 mins for almond butter)
~ Makes ice cream really easily (1 min)
~ Makes fresh, homemade flours really easily (1 min) (need a separate “dry mix” carafe)
~ Makes the most delicious, raw, applesauce (about 1 min)
~ Blends all sorts of small seeds completely smooth into smoothies (can’t even detect raspberry seeds)

Maybe if you talked to another vitamix owner, they’d have a different list of things they use it for, but this condensed list is the summary of my love affair with a machine. If you’re not intending to make these sorts of recipes, don’t buy a vitamix. However, if this type of stuff happens to float your boat – feel free to use my distributor code to receive free shipping when ordering (& I get credit for the referral – thx!). 06-004158


  • Julie

    Wow, thank you so much for these tips. I am currently saving to buy my Vitamix next month and I look forward to making almond butter (didn’t know it was possible to make it truly creamy). I think it will be less expensive to make my own as well.

  • http://www.101girlsguide.com Serena

    Thanks for posting your video! It was good to see the video so I know what to expect. I am right on board with you with everything you suggest (from using raw almonds to soaking them first to using coconut oil as an oil preference). Thanks for the tips. I think I’ll try some once my Excalibur has finished drying them. :)

  • Adam

    Thank you so much for posting this I just ordered a vita mix I cannot wait to try this! I was wondering about how much butter do you get from 3 cups of almonds?

    I’m also interested in making pin nut butter but I’m not sure it’s any cheaper making it myself… do you purchase you nuts online?

    • http://dianeschnier.wordpress.com Diane Schnier

      Hi Adam :) I’m going to estimate about 10 oz, maybe slightly more. I highly recommend “naked almonds” from livingnutz.com. These are raw almonds – pre-germinated & dried. Can purchase bulk quantity if you call them directly. Congratulations on the Vitamix & best of luck!!

  • john

    Do you have use roasted almonds to get this to work?
    Thanks, John

    • http://dianeschnier.wordpress.com Diane Schnier

      Hi John, No, raw, or germinated will work just fine (depending on how you like it, and your nutrition philosophy). You just want them to be slightly warm when you grind them, but they don’t have to be roasted (see notes above). Good luck :)

  • http://www.LoveWhatIs.com Casey

    I used raw almonds for my almond butter tonight, and I can’t seem to get them past the powdery stage. THey were room temperature when I put them in the blender. Do they need to be warmer than that? Can I save this almond butter or is it going to stay powdery?

    • http://dianeschnier.wordpress.com Diane Schnier

      Yes, they need to be warmer than room temp. Supposed to be about 100 degrees (just warm to the touch). It’s that temperature that encourages the almonds to release their oil and produce a creamy butter. I don’t know if you can salvage the almond powder. You might be able to add a little oil and try to blend again (let me know if that works if you do try it). I know how you feel… It’s sad to have to dump the whole thing. Good luck.

      • http://www.LoveWhatIs.com Casey

        I added about a teaspoon of maple syrup to it. I didn’t have any neutral oils, so I figured that was as good as anything. It’s still a very fine almond meal, but it’s a little creamy-ish. I wouldn’t make it again (on purpose), but I won’t have to throw it away either.

        • http://dianeschnier.wordpress.com Diane Schnier

          Casey, Glad you were able to somewhat salvage it. If you decide to give it another go at some point, I think you’ll have better luck next time using slightly warm almonds. Not sure what type of machine you’re using, but a high powered blender with a tamper is definitely an important part of the equation. Hope to hear from you again after a better blending experience! :)

  • http://www.imcco.net John Hill

    Good luck is right! You will need if you are trying to make RAW almond butter WITHOUT adding oil. I was able to make it but it took a hell of a lot of work. It was very hard on the Vita Mix as well.
    The vita mix IS NOT a good tool for raw almond butter without adding oil. I hear there are way better machines then a blender for this application.

    • http://dianeschnier.wordpress.com Diane Schnier

      Hi John, I’ve been making almond butter for years using raw almonds without oil (see video posted above). Mine didn’t work either the first few times I tried, but once the correct method was established, it worked with ease, every single time (once a week for years!). By making a video and giving detailed instructions, I was hoping to save others from the disappointment I encountered in the beginning. In any case, I can confidently say without a doubt that the Vitamix is an excellent machine for making almond butter without oil. I do wish you almond buttering success with whatever machine you use!

  • http://www.imcco.net John Hill

    Thanks for your reply. I dont know what I did differently so I will tell you what I did:
    I used the 2qt container with the WET blade. 3 cups of Slightly warm almonds, Fresh and Easy “Raw” brand.
    It took 14 minutes of brutal grinding in 4 sessions of 4 minutes each. I had to stop because it was getting way too hot. Once the mixture was left to cool down it took the full strength of the motor to get it started again.
    I am so glad that it worked for you and others.

    Thanks, John

    • http://dianeschnier.wordpress.com Diane Schnier

      Oh no…..14 minutes? That must have been frustrating. Should only take about 2. I wonder what happened. Could your blender be malfunctioning? Vitamix has a 7 year warranty if this is the case. If you feel your blender is in good shape & not the cause of the problem, this is what I suggest for fool-proof almond butter: Purchase “naked almonds” from http://www.livingnutz.com (you can purchase a larger quantity than the 4 oz bag if you order by phone). Warm up 3 cups worth in a dehydrator at 100 degrees for about 10 mins – OR – in an oven at the lowest possible temp for just a few mins (maybe 3 – 5?) Careful if you use the oven – you don’t want hot almonds – just warm to the touch. I’d even keep the oven door open as they heat up. Then blend, using the tamper. I hope that helps. I can’t promise anything other than this method has worked for me hundreds of times. Fingers crossed! (And YES, 3 cups in the large wet blade container is correct)

  • matt

    Hey, your video is amazing! Makes me hungry ha! Anyway I have a quick question for you. I buy my almonds at Costco so would I have to soak them? Or can I just rip the bag open and go nuts? If I do have to soak them what shroud I use?

    • http://dianeschnier.wordpress.com Diane Schnier

      Thanks =) It’s not as important to soak pasteurized almonds (as the heat during pasteurization neutralizes most of the enzyme inhibitors [anti-nutrients that can cause digestive trouble] contained in raw almonds). (The almonds from Costco are pasteurized for sure). What I would do if I were you (using pasteurized almonds) would be to roast them in the oven (as described above) and let them cool until they’re just warm to the touch & then immediately blend into butter.

      Good luck, enjoy, & yeah – go nuts! ;-)

      • matt

        Awesome!! Thank you so much! As soon as my bodybuilding competition is over I am going to go all out on the almond butter! Once again thank you for your reply, and keep up the great work!

        • http://dianeschnier.wordpress.com Diane Schnier

          Quite welcome!…anytime =)

  • Angela

    OK – Just want to confirm:

    When buying almond butter, I prefer Maranatha’s “Raw” (which i know is actually unroasted), rather than their “Roasted” variety.

    Now that I have a vitamix (but not a dehydrator), I would like to replicate the “Raw” version at home. (I buy whole unroasted almonds from Sam’s Club; which is a more affordable option for me) So, I’m a bit confused after reading the comments. Do I have to roast them (like the advice you gave to the Costco reader on April 11th) to get good results, or can I use them after just being slightly warmed?

    Your advice is much appreciated.

    • http://dianeschnier.wordpress.com Diane Schnier

      No, it’s not at all necessary to roast. You can just warm them. In the other post, I was just mentioning that that’s the way I’d do it if I was using store bought “raw” (pasteurized) almonds. Either way should work. Good luck! =)

  • Devi

    Hey Diane! Did you actually try the recipe with ungerminated almonds, too? The ones in the video look like “regular” almonds… 
    I am asking cause I am just thinking about buying a vitamix and almond butter is probably the most important thing for me. 
    ;) 

    • http://www.realfoodtastesgood.com/ Diane Schnier

      Well Hello! =)
      Yes, I use germinated almonds. I don’t think regular and germinated almonds look much different (that I can tell) but they taste a little different. If using truly raw almonds (which you have to go out of your way to get) and soaking yourself, just be sure they are completely dry before processing or it won’t work. If you want fool-proof almond butter, use livingnutz.com “naked almonds” (pre-germinated). You can buy them in bulk if you call the company. I’m not affiliated with them, but they do it right, are nice people (been a customer for a long time), and their germinated almonds simply make the best almond butter. Good luck to you & feel free to post back if you have problems or questions. Always happy to help =)

  • debra

    Hi! Thanks for making this video! With the current draught in California this year, almonds will be very expensive. So will keeping my up addiction for almond butter! QUESTION: Are you using a standard WET container for this? I have the same model vitamix….and worried about pitting the container. I was considering buying the DRY container which has a stronger blade, just to make this recipe. But would love to save the $$ if it’s not necessary.

    • http://www.realfoodtastesgood.com/ Diane Schnier

      Hello! And you are quite welcome =) I have always used the wet container to make nut butters. Have never had any issues. No need to purchase the dry container – at least not for this recipe. Enjoy!