Apparently it’s very easy to make your own Raw Almond Butter and it’s supposed to be really good for you. (Especially, if like me, you’re training to run half marathons.) I had to give it a whirl.
Perserverance is the key to making your own almond butter. It should only take 10 minutes of whizzing up almonds in a food processor to produce wholesome wonderment… However an hour later my head and ears were buzzing from the incessant food processor screeches and I was getting a bit annoyed.
You may remember that in my wisdom this year, I have decided to run The Great North Run (all 13.1 miles of it) to raise money for Oxfam.I am trying my best to train as much as possible to gradually reach my target distance, but a few niggles have made the path to fitness nirvana rather steep.
So far I’ve;
- Been chased and bitten by an overly excited dog
- Been pursued by cows (Please note cows seem to like red running tops)
- Bruised my spine running with my haversack on after work (Note: do not attempt to run home wearing a pair of cowboy boots and a jar of jam on your back)
- Bought and broke 2 running haversacks
- Cut my collarbones (see the previous statement)
- Developed shinsplints and rhinitis
- Endured 4 ice baths to ease the shinsplints! (For those unfamiliar with the extreme pleasure of an ice bath they are best enjoyed with your pants ON, a cup of tea, almond butter toast and wearing a hoodie)
- Entered (and completed) 3 competitive races!
- Cut my toes and didn’t even notice (perhaps this is what people mean when they talk about ‘getting into the zone’?!)
- Purchased a running wardrobe. (There’s a lot of fluorescent pink in there now.)
- Eaten an inordinate amount of cake (running makes me hungry!)
- Developed muscles I didn’t know I owned
- Practiced a lot of yoga to stretch out those weary muscles…
Yet I’m undeterred! In fact I’ve even threw myself in at the deep end. Running in the UK monsoon conditions, which others may call ‘the Summer’, with my eyes closed as it’s too difficult to keep them open (perhaps this is a talent that I didn’t know I possessed?) and an all terrain 10k trail run.
Almond Butter, promised me a miracle. It’s a high protein food that is full of Vitamin E and supposed to help prevent sore muscles and ease my aching legs! Hurrah! AND I had a bag of almonds already in the cupboard. It had to be made.
I threw a 200g bag of almonds (with their skins on) into the food processor and turned it up high. It wasn’t particuarly happy with this challenge, but with a little encouragement it ploughed through the almonds.
About 4 minutes in (and a bit a scrapping down the sides of the bowl)the almonds looked like ground almonds, the kind you would use in macaroons. So you could make your own ground almonds from scratch too if you wished.
The instructions said to keep going and blitz them up as much as possible. About 10minutes in the almonds should ‘release’ their oils. This means that the almonds should then ball up in to a nice big lump of almond butter.
However mine did not. It just kept looking like scrambled eggs made out of almonds and sticking infuriatingly to the bottom of the bowl. I religiously scraped the bowl with my spatula to ensure all of the almonds were getting an even blitzing, so much so my spatula got a bit sliced up on the blade and had to go to spatula Heaven. RIP trusty spatula.
Apparently you probably don’t need to add any oil to the mix as the almonds have enough oil to suffice. However I couldn’t get mine to stick together so I gradually added coconut oil, another super running food full of energy and good stuff (I clearly known my science stuff here) to help with those extra miles, until I got it to more of a paste like consistency. I also added a good slosh of honey to sweeten the mix, tasting it as I went to make sure it was to my liking.
Eventually I realised that I wasn’t going to get a peanut butter smoothness or glossy texture so I declared my Almond Butter done and popped the lot into a jam jar, ready for my pre run toast.
It is a little on the dry side and almost savoury (maybe I didn’t add enough honey or oil?!) but I quite like it. It doesn’t have any preservatives in it and it almost tastes healthy. You could use rapeseed oil or any other oil that you prefer too.
As it contains no preservatives, it needs to be stored in the fridge as the almond oil may go rancid. However the honey may help to preserve it as it’s the only natural substance that does not go off!
I’m going to see if I can incorporate my Almond Butter into some international baking too, but for now I’m going to just enjoy it on toast and spread on various fruits and vegetables too. Or if I’m feeling particularly lazy (or in a hurry) I might save myself the effort and chew on a handful of almonds instead…
Things I used to make my Raw Almond Butter
- 200g of whole almonds with their skins on
- A liberal splash of coconut oil (any oil would suffice)
- Runny honey ( 1 to 2 tbsp)
- A Strong Food Processor