Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Homemade Maple Almond Butter

When in Los Angeles a couple of months ago I picked up a sample sachet of maple almond butter. I adore peanut butter, but had never tried other types of nut butter before and I was intrigued. I’m not always a huge fan of maple syrup, as I find sometimes the flavour can be quite overpowering and so at the time I only bought the sample sachet in order to give it a try. How I wish I’d bought a huge jar of it – it was delicious. Not too sweet and wonderfully creamy and nutty, with a slightly coarse texture. I hunted for something similar in the shops here, but to no avail. I could find plain almond nut butter in a health food shop (at an axtausionate price), but no flavoured ones.

After a little pondering I decided the best thing to do would be to make some myself. It turns out that making your own nut butter is surprisingly easy and much tastier and fresher than simply buying a jar. I’m a homemade nut butter convert!

I roasted my almonds first before grinding them, to really enhance their natural nuttiness and help release some of the natural oils from the nuts. I also left the skin on, as I wanted it to be a relatively healthy nut butter, despite its added maple syrup.

The nuts blitzed into a wonderfully fine breadcrumb-like texture. Neither crunchy nor smooth, but just coarse enough to left you know it was packed with fresh nuts. The almond skin gave it a lovely earthy rich almond brown colour too.

The almond aroma was quite intense, the scent of toasted nuts wafting up at me each time I opened the lid of the mixer. I knew it would taste good before I even tried it. I only added a little maple syrup, which gave it a subtle sweetness with just a hint of maple lingering in the background. A delicious combination with the almond.

This recipe only makes a small amount, but its best eaten fresh. Plus this way you get the opportunity to experiment with other flavours. I’m thinking of maybe something with cinnamon next time…possibly pecans…?

Do try making your own nut butter, it tastes fabulous, is cheaper than supermarkets and probably healthier too (depending on what you put in there!)

Maple Almond Butter
Ingredients150g whole almonds, skin on
½ tbsp rapeseed oil
½ - 1tbsp pure maple syrup
½ tsp sea salt

MethodPreheat the oven to 200C.
Lay the almonds out in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then give them a toss and mix up, before returning to the oven for a further 3 minutes. When they start to crack, smell toasted and are a golden brown colour, they are done.
Leave the nuts to cool for 20 minutes.
Blitz the nuts and salt in a small food processor until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. This will take several minutes and you may need to scrape down the sides once or twice.
Add the rapeseed oil and the maple syrup to taste. Blitz again to create a creamy spreadable consistency. Add more maple syrup to taste.
The nut butter will be slightly coarse in texture, not crunchy or smooth. Blitz for longer if you want a smooth butter and add a few more nuts at the end if you want to create a crunchy texture.
Transfer the nut butter to a small airtight container and eat within 2 weeks.

4 comments:

Becca said...

I absolutely adore peanut butter. I have it every single day. And I would love to make my own nut butters, but something tells me I would be the only one eating it, and I'm not entirely sure I'd be able to eat an entire thing of homemade peanut butter by myself before it went bad (do homemade nut butters go bad?)

Katie said...

Hi Becca,

You could always just make a small amount as nuts are the main ingredient. You'd only need to add a tiny bit of oil to create the butter. The amount I made is only about 1/2 jar.

They should last quite a while, but I suspect they may go off quicker than shop bought

Crazy Mama said...

Yummy!!! Sounds sooo good.

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

What an interesting flavour combo! I have to admit I'm not an almond fan but the maple part sounds great!