Almonds have earned a reputation as a superfood and for good reason. Not only can you use them to make almond milk, they can be churned into almond butter as well. Almond butter is a paste very similar to peanut butter. It comes in several varieties including smooth and crunchy, and can be made easily at home.
Almond Butter vs. Peanut Butter
Almond butter is made using almonds, while peanut butter is made exclusively from peanuts. Experts argue that since almonds are not classified as nuts, they do not cause allergic reactions. Both these butters have their unique sets of nutrients. In other words, it cannot be said that one is healthier than the other.
In terms of availability, it is harder to find almond butter in stores than it is with peanut butter. Because its availability is limited, almond butter tends to be more costly. The good news is that almond butter can be made cheaply at home.
Health Benefits of Almond Butter
Almond butter is loaded with a number of useful nutrients. It contains dietary fiber, protein and monounsaturated fats. This makes it an excellent food for muscle health and your digestive system. It is high in vitamin E, which can help prevent prostate cancer and bladder conditions. Vitamin E is also needed for healthy skin and has been shown to improve brain capacity.
Other nutrients present in almond butter include magnesium, calcium and potassium, which aid in maintaining strong bones, muscle and a healthy metabolism. Almond butter also fares high in copper, iron and phosphorus. These are all minerals needed by the body for red blood cell creation and cell oxygenation.
Cooking with Almond Butter
You can purchase several types of almond butter. The varieties available are crunchy, smooth, raw, roasted, salt-free and sprouted butter. Its rich, nutty flavor goes well with fruit, bread and vegetables. You can add almond butter to smoothies and oatmeal for a super-nutritious breakfast. It also makes a good dip, frosting for baked treats and even dressing for salads.
How to Make Almond Butter at Home
Making almond butter is very quick and simple. All you need is:
- 3-4 cups of almonds, preferably toasted
- ½ teaspoon salt
Add almonds to a food processor and blend for about 30 minute. It should still be crunchy.
Use a spoon to scrape down the sides of the blender and continue to process for 10 to 15 minutes or until the oil comes.
Sprinkle salt and blend for another minute or so until creamy.
The consistency of your almond butter will depend on whether you like it smoother or crunchier. Pour the butter into a jar or container, close tightly and refrigerate for future use.
Almond butter is a great spread you can make in your kitchen quickly and easily. The paste can be served with a variety of fruit, vegetables, bread and even baked goods. People with allergies find almond butter to be a delicious alternative to peanut butter, which is equally as filling and nutritious.
Oh, and yes — the almond butter recipe do not require butter, but rather patience until the desired texture is achieved.