Vanilla Bean Almond Butter
A few weeks ago my Dad was nice enough to pick up some vanilla bean for me from an organic store near where he works. I was really excited because I have never used real vanilla bean in a recipe before and immediately started to think of ways that I could use it. The smell of vanilla bean is so delightfully aromatic I had to resist from eating it like a piece of candy- not recommended by the way…it’s very potent!
Can’t you just smell it through the screen? Ah-Mazing! So amazing that I didn’t want to just waste it in any kind of dessert. I spent at least two days racking my brain trying to think of something that I could make that would freeze well or that would last me a bit so I could savor the flavor of it’s deliciousness. Then it hit me like a sack of almonds…vanilla bean flavored almond butter! I have always wanted to make my own almond butter and this would be the perfect opportunity to take it up a notch and make it something special.
Since I have never made almond butter before, even though I have heard it’s simple to make, I went straight to my friend, Mr. Google. He pulled through as usual with this simple almond butter recipe walk through from Kitchen Treaty. I love the explanation that she gives and her step by step photos. While making almond butter doesn’t involve a whole lot, it does take a while for it to process to a butter like consistency. Her photos are spot on to the different stages that occur before you actually have almond butter.
What I did do differently was toast them first. Toasting nuts helps to bring out flavor plus adds a whole other dimension to the nut butter.
To toast the almonds, simply line a baking sheet with parchment paper, line the nuts in a single layer and bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Just make sure you don’t burn them or that smokey flavor will translate to your nut butter.
Once the nuts are toasted and you have let them cool the rest of the process is pretty simple. I used the smallest food processor in the world to pulverize these nuts so it took me a little while but if you have more than a 1 cup processor, it shouldn’t take too long to make! Here is the recipe I used:
- 3 cups of raw almonds, toasted
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scooped out
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (optional)
- Sea Salt (I didn't measure but I'd say 1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
- After the nuts are toasted, put them in your food processor and pulse until you reach a creamy consistency. This may take a while, be patient. The nuts don't release their oils right away so it just looks like some chopped nuts for a bit. I have included a link above that shows the stages of how almonds look while being processed.
- Once you have reached the consistency of butter, scrape in the vanilla bean seeds and add the salt and vanilla extract.
- Continue to process until the vanilla bean is thoroughly mixed.
- Transfer to a mason jar and seal. I store mine in the fridge :)
- But first, take a taste, or eat an entire spoonful and savor in its deliciousness. SO. GOOD.
So there you have it; easy, healthy, homemade almond butter! Now that I know how simple it is to make, I can’t stop dreaming of other flavors that would taste amazing as well. I’m thinking espresso, chocolate, cinnamon…maybe I should invest in an almond farm. Is there such a thing as almond farms? Doesn’t matter. Point is, I am going to need a truck load of almonds for all of the butter I plan to make! 😉
Have you ever made homemade almond butter? What flavors would you make?