Being new to the world of food processing, I was unsure how to make almond butter in it. I have found it difficult, but not impossible, to make almond butter in the Vita-Mix. I have a friend who makes it all the time in her food processor, so when she was visiting this Saturday, I asked her to make some with me.
First, what I have already known, one must start 2 cups of with a fattier variety of raw almonds, such as carmel or mission almonds. If you are using nonpareil almonds, you may have to add oil to achieve a smooth, fluid consistency.
Second, the secret to success that I was missing — one must give the food processor TIME. This is very important.
Also, I don't believe a regular, run of the mill food processor will work. I recommend a Cuisinart with at least an 8-cup capacity. Reduce the amount of almonds for a smaller work bowl and increase the amount of almonds for a larger work bowl.
Update 12/1/09: Since raw nuts contain enzyme inhibitors, it is best to soak nuts overnight. This starts the germination process, by which the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized. So I've updated the recipe to include a soaking-dehydrating step, to make sure this almond butter is as healthy as possible.
Here's how to do it:
Soak 2 cups of almonds overnight in water (enough to cover and then some) and 1/2 tablespoon sea salt. After the soaking time, drain and rinse the almonds. Spread in a single layer on a dehydrator tray and dry at about 95 degrees until crispy. This takes about 24 hours, give or take, depending on temperature and/or dehydrator.
Put the 2 cups of almonds in the food processor bowl. You'll be using the regular blade. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (optional). Put the lid on and turn on the food processor.
Let the machine run. The almonds will get ground into a meal. Then you'll begin to see almond butter as a bottom layer. Let it run longer, like even 5 minutes, until a ball of beginning-to-turn-into-butter almonds is bouncing around on the blade. If necessary, stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then turn it on again. The ball will slowly reduce in size until it is circulating freely in the bottom of the work bowl. When the ball is completely gone and the butter is circulating freely, the almond butter is done.
If after several minutes of processing, you find that you still have crumbs (meal) but not butter, add 1 tablespoon at a time of a mild flavored oil, such as expeller-pressed grapeseed oil, or mild olive oil (or even an expeller-pressed sesame oil for a sesame taste), and process until you have almond butter circulating freely.
Refrigerate in a glass jar. Enjoy!
Follow a similar procedure to make peanut butter, hazelnut butter or cashew butter.
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