Friday, March 01, 2013

Almond Love

Well, I finally did it.  After much thought and consideration, I finally made a batch of almond butter.  And I can't tell you how freakin' good it is.  It's a little grainier than peanut butter, maybe I underprocessed it, but the flavor is SO much better.  And maybe I just say that because I'm sick of peanut butter.  I know.  Me?  Sick of peanut butter?  Peanut butter is an integral part of my most favorite dessert on Earth.  Hershey's chocolate bar, dipped in peanut butter, with an ice cold glass of milk to wash it all down.  It's one of the most comforting feelings I have found in the food world.  It ranks right up there with chicken and dumplings or mashed potatoes topped with collard greens and corn bread (this is my newest love).

I remember stumbling across an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood... Here's something I've always pondered.  Why would one of the main characters of a children's show be named Mr. McFeely?  Kinda makes you wonder what sicko decided on that name... Anyways, Mister Rogers visited a peanut plant on an episode and made peanut butter.  I found it to be so interesting that I stopped to watch.  Afterward, I immediately went to the kitchen, found some peanuts, put them in a plastic bag, smashed them with a rolling pin, added actual butter (Mister Rogers said to) and smashed them some more.  I was so proud of myself.  I had made peanut butter exactly the same way that Mister Rogers had made peanut butter.  Except that it didn't taste like peanut butter.  It tasted like peanut-flavored butter.  Which was good, but not what I had hoped for.

So I did some research as to how to make almond butter and was surprised to find out that there is not butter involved at all.  You see, almond butter is made of almonds.  That's it.  Almonds.  You take some almonds, throw them into a food processor and viola...creamy, smooth, nutty, almondy, buttery almond butter.  It's really easy.  It takes maybe 10 minutes.  And I'm sure you can do it with any nut.

Here's What You Do:
Take how ever many almonds your food processor will hold with room (I used about 2 1/2 cups of almonds).  You need room so the almonds can move around a bit when they are in their awkward phase.  Process your almonds on low.  After about 2 minutes they will look like very fine breadcrumbs.

After about 6 minutes, you will notice that the almonds are starting to fight over which ball gets to spin around the food processor first.  This is the awkward phase because at this point you worry that you are hurting your machine.  You are not.  You will want to add water.  Do not. 

 Awkward, dry phase

Keep it on low and the almond oil will come out and the almonds will start to become warm from the machine and, like a caterpillar, they will turn into a beautiful butterfly...or in this case, butter.

Getting Smoother!!

Keep processing until it's to the consistency you prefer.  I kinda like mine on the thicker side.  And there you have it....Almond Butter.  I added a little salt, because my almonds weren't salted and it was perfect.  I'm surprised I had any leftover to refrigerate.


Final Product

Doing this forced me to create a list of things I've always wanted to cook/make/ stay tuned!!

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