Making almond butter at home is just as quick and easy as making any other nut butter. In fact, it only takes 50 seconds if you have the right tools. The final result is smooth, creamy, and absolutely delicious homemade almond butter.
Almond butter – with almonds being the only ingredient – can be a tricky nut butter to make at home. This is because almonds are one of the hardest nuts on the market. They have a rather rigid, tough texture that makes almonds hard to break down into smooth nut butter. Other nuts such as cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, or walnuts are much softer and break down quicker.
The best way to soften nuts (and make them easier to digest) is to soak them in water overnight. If you’re thinking that you can’t use wet almonds to make almond butter, you are right. Water does not mix well with nuts’ natural oils. So, the next step is dehydrating the almonds. You can either use a dehydrator or an oven with a dehydrator setting. If you have neither (most people don’t), you can set the oven at its lowest temperature, keep the door slightly ajar, and dehydrate the almonds that way. You might also be able to find activated (soaked and dehydrated) almonds in the store and use those.
If you’re not interested in soaking nuts, you can use unsoaked nuts to make nut butter. I have done it with my Vitamix in under 1 minute (I have timed it several times). You just have to know a few tricks.
Tips for Making Homemade Almond Butter
Homemade almond butter requires nothing but one ingredient:
- Almonds: I prefer raw whole almonds (with the skins on), but blanched almonds in any shape or form – sliced, slivered, etc. work too. If you can find almonds in the refrigerator (as opposed to a shelf or a bin), get those. They will be fresher and more flavorful. I don’t recommend soaking the almonds. Soaked almonds will not break down into smooth nut butter.
How to Make Almond Butter
The great thing about this almond butter recipe is that it literally takes 50 seconds to turn whole almonds into creamy nut butter, provided you have a high-speed blender with a tamper. Here’s how:
- Roast the almonds. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them at 325°F/163°C until fragrant, for 10-12 minutes. (If using blanched whole, sliced, or slivered almonds, the time will be shorter). If the almonds don’t taste toasty enough after the 12-minute mark, place them back in the oven for a couple more minutes, but keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Roasting releases the nuts’ natural oils, making them easier to break down into nut butter.
- Let the almonds cool. This step is really important. If the almonds are too hot, they will melt the Vitamix container. This is not an issue when making hot soup in which the water prevents the blend from going above 212°F/100°C. But nuts are dry, and with enough blade friction, they can go above 250°F/121°C, where the container starts to melt.
- Blend the almonds. Add the almonds to a Vitamix blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy, for about 1 minute. The almonds will go from whole to crushed to ground to pasty to creamy. Use the tamper to push the nuts down into the blade as you’re blending. Make sure you don’t reduce the quantity of almonds if using a Vitamix. You need a minimum amount of nuts in the blender container to ensure the blade works properly. If the almond butter seems dry, it’s most likely because the almonds needed to roast a little bit longer. If that happens, add a tablespoon of neutral oil at a time until the almonds turn into creamy nut butter.
Note: you can also use a food processor to make nut butter, but the process is much less efficient – it takes about 20 minutes!
How to Serve Almond Butter
Homemade almond butter is a staple in our house. I eat it in smoothies or hot oatmeal for breakfast, with apples or celery sticks as a snack, or in desserts, especially Vitamix ice creams. If you love chocolate, you should try dipping a piece of (dark) chocolate into almond butter. It’s amazing! I also use almond butter as a substitute for peanut butter, not only in desserts or PB&J sandwiches but also in dips, sauces, and marinades.
If you’d like to switch things up, you can customize any nut butter with add-ins like cinnamon, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, or even chopped almonds (for crunchy almond butter). Just make sure you don’t add water-based liquid ingredients, such as maple syrup or honey, as they can cause nut butters to seize.
How to Store Almond Butter
- Refrigerating: transfer the almond butter to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 1 month. (The natural oils from the nuts oxidize when exposed to elements like air, light, and heat, which will eventually turn the nut butter rancid if not stored properly. Also, roasted nuts turn rancid faster than raw nuts).
- Freezing: transfer the almond butter to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 6 months.
More Nut Butter Recipes
You can really use any nuts or seeds in homemade nut butter recipes. In fact, to add complexity to the flavor, it’s nice to have a mix of at least two types of nuts. Here are a few recipes to get you started:
- Coconut butter: have you ever wondered how to make coconut butter at home? Creamy, rich, coconutty… It’s easier than you may think, and the entire process takes less than a minute.
- Hazelnut butter: coming soon!
If you’d like to learn more about nut butters – what types of nuts are best when making nut butter, what ingredients to add (and not add) to homemade nut butter, how to fix pasty/grainy/seized nut butter, etc. – you can refer to this nut butters guide.
If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
- 4 cups almonds
- Preheat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 325°F/163°C.
- Roast the almonds. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until fragrant, for 10-12 minutes. (If using blanched whole, sliced, or slivered almonds, the time will be shorter). If the almonds don't taste toasty enough after the 12-minute mark, place them back in the oven for a couple more minutes, but keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.
- Let the almonds cool to room temperature.
- Blend the almonds. Add the almonds to a Vitamix blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy, for about 1 minute. The almonds will go from whole to crushed to ground to pasty to creamy. Use the tamper to push the nuts down into the blade as you're blending. If the almond butter seems rather dry, it's most likely because the almonds needed to roast a little bit longer. If that happens, just add a tablespoon of neutral oil at a time until the almonds turn into creamy nut butter.
- Store. Leftover almond butter keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. For longer-term storage, freeze for up to 6 months.