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Did you realise that you can make your own raw almond butter?
It honestly had never occurred to me until I stumbled across a recipe for it.
And then I just had to try it for myself.
These days, I don’t know how we’d get by without being able to make our own almond butter.
I love that it’s so simple to make. Honestly, all you really need is raw almonds. That’s it.
Sure, you can throw in a pinch of salt at the end if you like, but it’s really not necessary.
Doesn’t get much simpler than that. Or any more wholesome either!
But the hardest part of this recipe is the courage you need to stick with the processing.
The almonds go through some amazing stages as you process them, and if you’ve never seen it before it’s very easy to freak out and think you’ve ruined your precious raw almond butter.
When you begin, the almonds start by turning into almond meal, which we’ve all seen before.
Nothing surprising there.
But that’s when it starts to get interesting.
The next stage is the almond meal turning into almond “rubble” as I call it.
The meal starts to get a little oily, and begins to clump together, creating little almond balls.
And then as it progresses, the clumps get bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger.
Until you end up with this…
The first time I saw this I almost freaked out, even though I already knew it was going to happen.
It’s pretty hard to stay your course when you have this massive lump of almond thumping around in your processor.
But this is the key point in the almond-butter-making process, because shortly after, the lump collapses into perfect raw almond butter.
Yay! What a relief.
If you want to add some salt, this is the point to chuck it in and give a quick process to mix it in.
Then it’s ready to be put into jars, and eaten at will.
I love knowing exactly what goes into my raw almond butter. (And exactly what doesn’t.)
I also love that I can make it 100% raw this way. I’ve noticed that most of the store-bought almond nut butters lightly roast their almonds first, which tastes nice, but isn’t what I’m after.
Think you’re up for the challenge?
How to Make Raw Almond Butter
Make sure to read the tips below the recipe to get the most out of this homemade raw almond nut butter.
Homemade Raw Almond Butter Recipe
- Put almonds into food processor and process until it turns into almond butter, stopping occasionally along the way to scrape down the sides and to let it cool down.
- If using salt, add salt now and process again briefly to combine.
- Store in jars in the fridge. Keeps for weeks.
- Before: -
- During: 30 mins
- After: -
- Need: Food processor
Tips for making your own vegan almond butter
- Warning: One of the most important things to be aware of with this recipe is that not all food processors are up to the task. I’ve read some horror stories of the motor burning out while attempting to make raw almond butter, so just be careful. If you’re at all concerned, just give your processor LOTS of rests during the process. This will give the motor (and the almond butter) time to cool down, which will reduce the chances of burning it out. And if you don’t think your processor is up to it, then don’t make the attempt. You have been warned!
- I have a really nice Magimix 4200XL processor, which handles the task effortlessly. I’ve also heard that the Cuisinart processors are good at making raw almond butter as well. I still stop during processing, but that’s to scrape down the sides and also because the almond butter gets too hot otherwise. But even with these stops, it still only takes me around 6 to 8 minutes to make it (unless I wander off and accidentally forget about it), so it still can happen pretty fast. I’ve allowed 30 minutes in the recipe because I don’t want you to rush it, especially the first few times you make it.
- Try to keep the temperature of your almonds under 45°C so that your almond butter stays raw. The friction of the processor does tend to heat up your almonds, so you’ll have to monitor it closely to ensure the butter doesn’t get too hot. Try stopping the processor and resting the nut butter to prevent either of them getting too hot.
- You can also try freezing your raw almonds overnight, so that when you make your almond butter, it doesn’t get too hot by the time it breaks down into a nice smooth butter.
- An infrared thermometer is a really handy tool for making raw almond butter, because you can quickly and easily check the temperature of your butter as you go, to keep it from overheating. I absolutely love mine and use it constantly when I’m cooking, so if you can splurge and get yourself one, you won’t regret it.
- I use organic raw almonds to make my almond nut butter, because I want to be sure that they’re healthy and good for us. If you can’t get raw almonds (because they’ve been pasteurised), don’t stress, because it’s still better than eating nutella!
- Roasted almonds won’t work exactly the same way in this recipe because the roasting process changes the flavour and oil content of the almonds, which means they may process down differently. That said, if you want to roast your almonds, you can put them in the oven at 180°C/350°F for 10 minutes, stirring them halfway and then letting them cool down to warm before processing them. Roasting your almonds will definitely change the flavour of the resulting almond butter, and some people do prefer them this way. Of course, your almond butter won’t be raw if you do it this way but it will still be delicious.
- You can also activate your almonds before making nut butter, which involves soaking them for 8-12 hours in water with a pinch of salt, and then drying them in a dehydrator for 1-2 days before processing into a butter. This increases the availability of the nutrients in the almonds, making your nut butter even more nutritious and better for you. Doing this will reduce the oil content of the almonds, so you may have to add back some cold-pressed almond oil to ensure that your almond butter is not too dry. I don’t activate my raw almonds, even if it would be better nutritionally, because I just can’t be bothered, and I figure non-activated almond butter is still better than eating junk food #priorities.
- I tend to buy my raw almonds in bulk, because we use so many of them every week in our homemade raw almond milk. If do buy your almonds in bulk, make sure you have a cool, dry place to store them – a refrigerator or a cold storeroom works well.
- I specified 500g of almonds in the recipe because that’s a good amount for my processor. I have also made it with 300g (just over 2 cups), and it worked fine, but I just prefer the larger amount in my processor (and to save making more batches). You might need to adjust the amount to suit your processor, but you really can’t get the amount wrong. Just make sure there’s enough for the processor to pull around readily, and not so much that there’s not enough room for the almonds to move around easily or no room for the air to circulate around the raw almond butter to cool it down. If in doubt, start with a little less rather than a little more.
- Adding salt to your raw almond butter is totally optional, but if you’re used to store-bought almond butter, you might need some to begin with to help your taste buds adjust. When I started making this, I added 1/2 tsp salt, which tasted about right to me. And then over time, I dropped it down to 1/4 tsp, because it started to taste too salty. And eventually I started leaving it out all together, and now I love the subtle flavours of the raw almond butter that come through in the absence of salt (including a faint marzipan-like taste). Just add the right amount to suit your taste buds.
- If you do add salt, make sure to add it right at the end, and not at the start. Apparently adding the salt at the start can affect the way it processes, although I don’t think I’ve ever tried it. Besides, you’re really only adding it for the taste, and you can’t tell how much you need until you can taste it as part of the whole “raw almond butter” experience. So leave it until right at the end, and just give the raw almond butter one final process to distribute the salt evenly throughout the butter.
- We store our raw almond butter in old almond butter jars, from when we used to buy our almond butter from the shops. I like them because they’re quite small, which means that only a small amount of butter is in use at any point. But that’s totally arbitrary – you can store your raw almond butter in whatever you darn well like, so long as it’s suitable for food and it can fit in your fridge.
- I always keep my raw almond butter in the fridge. Thankfully it still comes out pretty spreadable, even when it’s cold. Keeping it cold helps the oils in the almond (which you’ve just released by turning it into butter) from going rancid and making your beautiful raw almond butter taste manky. Which would be very sad.
- I’ve noticed that the oils in our raw almond butter don’t separate out very quickly. In fact our butter stays pretty much well mixed for months. I’m sure storing it in the fridge helps to slow the separation down, as does eating it all within a couple of weeks! But there’s no need to worry about that icky layer of oil appearing on your precious raw almond butter if you eat it within a couple of months. I think the only time we saw it happen was on a jar that sat in our fridge for months at one point when we went off eating it for a period.
Substitutes for almond butter ingredients
- Almonds: You can use this technique to make vegan nut butters out of almost any nut or seed. We’ve also done it with pepitas (pumpkin seeds), cashews and hazelnuts. You could also do it with brazil nuts, macadamias, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Frankly I’d be willing to give any nut or seed a go, just as long as I can find the courage to stick through all of the stages. If you do try a different seed or nut, just be aware that each nut and seed goes through different stages from raw almond butter, and some may need a little added oil to make it work well. Happy experimenting.
- Salt: I always use pink Himalayan salt in my cooking, because it’s less processed than table salt and contains trace amounts of a bunch of minerals. Apparently it also tastes better too, but I’m not sure my taste buds are refined enough to tell the difference. Any salt will do just fine, and you can totally leave it out!
Almond butter recipe variations
- To make your own crunchy almond butter, process your raw almonds until they’re in small pieces, and take out around 1/4 cup of the mixture and set aside until the butter has finished processing. Add back your reserved almond pieces and pulse briefly to mix them into the smooth almond butter, giving it a crunchy nut butter texture. If you want even more crunch, then reserve even more of the almond pieces (a 1/2 cup or more) instead.
- You can add spices to your almond butter to make it taste even more exciting, if that’s what you’re looking for. Both cinnamon and vanilla are great additions to almond butter and give it a more “desserty” sweet flavour. Of course, this does mean that you might not want to pair your almond butter with more savoury items, like tomatoes or cheese, as the flavours may clash weirdly. Sprinkle in a small amount of your preferred spices just before the almond butter has finished processing.
- You can sweeten your almond butter even further by adding a small amount of maple syrup, or your favourite liquid sweetener (coconut nectar, yacon syrup, agave nectar) to the blender as the butter finishes up. This will definitely make for a sweet almond butter that would be ideal for desserts, cake and sweet snacks.
- If you want to get even more adventurous with your homemade almond butter, you could experiment with flavours including coffee, cacao, orange, lemon, ginger, chai spice or even sriracha! But before you go crazy throwing all kinds of things into your precious nut butter, I recommend mixing a tiny batch in a small bowl, with just a small portion of almond butter, to see how you like the resulting flavour. If you find something you love, then you can just chuck it into your nut butter and process it for a bit longer before storing it in jars.
- For almond butter spreads with texture and interest, try adding your favourite inclusions, such as sultanas, chopped dried apricots, dried blueberries, goji berries, dried banana or dried shredded coconut. You can also add other nuts and seeds, including walnut pieces, sunflower seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), chopped hazelnuts, pistachio pieces or even hemp seeds! The only limit is your imagination. Again, try making a small amount of it before you add it to your full batch, to avoid making a nut butter recipe you don’t really like.
My homemade raw almond butter recipe budget
Here’s roughly how much this almond nut butter cost me to make:
|Organic raw almonds||3 cups (500g)||$40 / kg||$20.00|
|Salt||1/2 tsp (1g)||$10 / kg||$0.01|
|TOTAL||501g||$39.94 / kg||$20.01|
- All prices are in Australian dollars
- Your costs may vary quite a bit depending on whether you buy in small or large quantities, as conventional or organic, and the time of year.
Ways to reduce the cost of your almond butter
- The almonds are the most expensive ingredient in this nut butter recipe, and if you leave out the salt, the only ingredient in the recipe! So if you’re going to make this on a regular basis, I highly recommend that you find a good supplier of bulk organic raw almonds. Where I live (Melbourne, Australia), organic raw almonds can cost as much as $50 (AUD) per kilogram, but I’ve managed to find a bulk supplier that will sell me 10 kg of almonds for less than $30 (AUD) per kilogram, so do your homework to keep the costs down.
- Making your own almond butter is still significantly cheaper than buying it pre-made, which can easily cost you twice as much for the same amount (as much as $100/kg). So if you want to make almond butter a part of your every day diet, then it’s definitely worth making your own at home.
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Add this fun vegan design to your wardrobe or give it as the perfect gift.
FAQs about making raw almond butter
- What is almond butter?
- What does almond butter look like?
- What does almond butter taste like?
- Is almond butter vegan?
- Is almond butter healthy?
- Which is the healthiest nut butter?
- Peanut butter vs almond butter – Which is better?
- What are the ingredients in almond butter?
- Do you have to activate your almonds?
- Do I need to peel the almonds?
- Can you use the leftover pulp from making almond milk?
- Why is my processor taking so long to make almond butter?
- Can you make almond butter in a Vitamix?
- How do you know when your nut butter is done?
- Does almond butter need to be refrigerated?
- How to use almond butter
- How to make almond milk from almond butter
- Can dogs eat almond butter?
- Where can I buy almond butter?
- Why is almond butter so expensive?
- Almond butter substitutes
What is almond butter?
Almond butter is a spread made by grinding whole almonds into a paste. It can be used an alternative to other nut butters, such as peanut butter, and is a vegan and wholefood product. You can buy almond butter at health food stores, or make your own at home.
What does almond butter look like?
Almond butter is medium brown in colour, and has dark flecks throughout it, from the skin of the almonds. If you peel your almonds beforehand, it will be lighter in appearance. It has the appearance of a thick paste, similar in texture to peanut butter or a runny cake mix.
What does almond butter taste like?
Almond butter has a nutty, slightly sweet taste, with faint hints of marzipan. Not surprisingly, it tastes a lot like almonds, just richer and creamier. Although it can be used as a substitute for peanut butter, its flavour is more subtle than peanut butter.
Is almond butter vegan?
If your almond butter is made from just whole almonds, and maybe some salt or spices, then yes, it is vegan. So long as the almond butter only contains plant-based ingredients, then it is vegan.
Some store-bought almond butters may add non-vegan ingredients, so make sure you check the ingredients on the label before you buy it.
Is almond butter healthy?
Almond butter made from whole almonds is definitely a healthy food to include in a balanced diet. It contains healthy fats, including omega 6’s and omega 3’s, along with monounsaturated fats, is high in fibre, and contains 15% protein. It also has a good amounts of Vitamin E, iron, magnesium and calcium.
Some of the possible health benefits of almond butter include lowering blood pressure, controlling blood sugar levels and improving heart health, due to the high levels of minerals and the heat-healthy fats. Almonds may also help with weight loss as they satisfy hunger, boost your metabolism slightly and all of their calories may not be fully absorbed.
Which is the healthiest nut butter?
The healthiest vegan nut butters are those made from whole ingredients, with minimal processing and few added ingredients. Look for a nut butter made from raw or lightly roasted nuts, with just a hint of salt added (or none at all). Make sure that your nut butter does not have added sugar, as this will make it much less healthy for you.
If you are concerned about allergies, then it’s probably best to avoid peanuts. Almond butter is one of the healthier nut butters, being high in fibre, lower in saturated fat and sodium than peanut butter, and containing higher than average amounts of iron, Vitamin E and calcium per serve.
Peanut butter vs almond butter – Which is better?
As more people have allergies to peanuts than almonds, using almond butter is definitely a safer option. Both peanut butter and almond butter have a great taste, and which one you like better is a question of personal preference. My favourite is definitely almond butter!
As to whether almond butter is better than peanut butter, there are some nutritional differences, with almond butter having more fibre and less sodium, saturated fats and sugars than peanut butter.
They’re roughly equivalent in calories, with around 190 in 2 tablespoons, and have similar amounts of protein, carbs and fat. The extra levels of Vitamin E, iron and calcium in almond butter may also help to make it slightly more healthy than peanut butter.
If you’re looking for a nut-free peanut butter alternative, then you might also want to try pepita butter (pumpkin seed butter), or sunflower seed butter. These nut-free seed butters have many of the same benefits as other nut butters, with the same great nutty flavour, without the risk of allergic reactions from peanuts or almonds.
What are the ingredients in almond butter?
At its simplest, almond butter contains whole ground almonds and nothing else.
Some store-bought almond butters have added ingredients including salt, sweeteners or even spices such as cinnamon or vanilla. Although these extras may make the almond butter taste more interesting, it’s not necessary to use anything other than raw almonds when making almond butter.
If you want to help transition your taste buds from store bought nut butters to homemade nut butters, then add a small amount of salt to your nut butter, and then slowly decrease the amount of salt over time with each batch that you make.
Do you have to activate your raw almonds?
The skin of whole, raw almonds contains enzyme inhibitors, called phytates, that can interfere with the digestive process and reduce the availability of the nutrients in almonds, especially minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium.
You can minimise these “anti-nutrients” by soaking and dehydrating your almonds before turning them into almond butter, also called “activating” your almonds. However this changes the oil balance of the almonds, and your almond butter may require additional oil to turn into a spreadable paste.
Some people also lightly roast their almonds to reduce phytates, but this means that your almonds are no longer raw, and the nutrients in the almonds may have been altered by the roasting process. You can also peel your almonds before making them into almond butter, which also has the effect of removing some of the almond’s nutrients that are stored in the skin.
If you choose not to activate or roast your almonds, you will still get nutritional value from the almonds, as the phytates are not sufficient to block all nutrients from being absorbed, The primary effect of phytates is to bind to various minerals, making them much harder for your digestive system to absorb. Depending on the amount of phytic acid present, mineral absorption may be reduced by anything from 20% to 80%, which is significant, but it does mean that phytates don’t fully prevent absorption of the minerals found in almonds.
And the phytates don’t seem to interfere with access to the macro-nutrients in almonds – the fibre, carbohydrates, fats and proteins – so you’re still getting a large proportion of the nutrition found in almonds.
Ultimately the choice of whether to activate or roast your almonds before making almond butter is up to you. Personally I don’t do either, as I don’t have the time or patience to be that organised. My philosophy is that making almond butter out of raw almonds is infinitely better than eating junk food (or nutella!), so I’m better off making this way than not at all.
Do I need to peel the almonds?
Peeling your almonds is not necessary to make almond butter. If you do peel your almonds, it will result in a lighter almond butter, with a slightly different taste.
Peeling your almonds may also reduce the enzyme inhibitors in your almond butter, both through removing the skin, and the soaking or roasting that will most likely be required to loosen the skins.
Can you use the leftover pulp from making almond milk?
The leftover pulp from making almond milk is missing many of the key components of the almonds that help to make almond butter, including most of the healthy fats, which have been dissolved into the water to make milk.
In my experience, the dried pulp that remains after making almond butter is simply too dry and powdery to make into almond butter, and would require adding back of oils at a minimum.
Why is my processor taking so long to make almond butter?
If you find that your food processor is taking a really long time to make almond butter, and you’re worried that your food processor might overheat or burn out , it could be because you’re using a bowl on the food processor that is too small, or you have too many almonds in your food processor.
Try using the larger bowl on your food processor, or reducing the amount of almonds you’re trying to process at once.
Can you make almond butter in a Vitamix?
It’s definitely possible to make almond butter in a Vitamix. The Vitamix website lists a recipe for making almond butter using 4 cups of unsalted roasted almonds and ¼ cup of canola oil, in just 1 minute or so. This is certainly much faster than the 15-20+ minutes you’ll take if you do in a food processor, and also reduces the chance you’ll damage your food processor!
Because almonds have less natural oils than say, cashews or macadamias, you will need to add a small amount of oil to help them blend more easily. A stable, healthy oil with a reasonably neutral flavour, like avocado oil or coconut oil is probably your best bet. You can also use hemp seed oil or flaxseed oil, but make sure you store your almond butter in the fridge at all times to keep the oils fresh.
Alternatively, you can lightly roast your almonds for 10 minutes in a moderate oven (180°C/350°F), allow them to cool and then blend them in your Vitamix. The roasting helps to release the natural oils in the almonds, which means that you don’t need to add any extra oil.
The only downside of making almond butter in your Vitamix is that the high speed of the blades tends to overheat the almonds, so that it’s really hard to keep your almond butter raw. You can offset this a little by freezing your almonds for at least 4 hours before you begin, but if you want to make 100% sure that your almond butter stays raw, then you might want to stick with your food processor.
To make almond butter in your Vitamix, add your almonds to the wet jug (not the dry jug). You need enough to cover the blades but also to reach well above the bottom of the tamper. Turn your Vitamix on, starting on low speed and rapidly moving up to speed 10, and then to the high speed setting. Use the tamper to push the ingredients into the blades and keep them moving. When the butter is running smoothly and starts to make a low chugging sound, then you’re done. Transfer your almond butter into jars and store in the fridge.
Check out this awesome video from Lisa at Downshiftology that shows you exactly how easy it is to make almond butter in your Vitamix:
How do you know when your nut butter is done?
Your raw almonds will go through a number of different stages on the way to becoming almond butter, including ground almonds, almond flour, clumpy almonds and more.
Sometimes it can be hard to know if your vegan nut butter is done, and you may be tempted to give up early. But rest assured that your nut butter will eventually form (provided that your nuts still contain all of their natural oils).
You can tell that your almond butter is ready when it collapses into a kind of runny cake mix consistency, and pulls smoothly through the blades of your food processor (or blender, if you’re doing it that way).
Does almond butter need to be refrigerated?
Raw almonds contain natural oils that come out of the almonds when you process them into raw almond butter. Some of these oils are not stable at room temperature, and may go rancid if your nut butter is not stored in the refrigerator.
So to ensure maximum freshness of your almond butter it’s definitely best to keep it in the refrigerator. You can even freeze it for longer-term storage – just defrost it gently in the fridge overnight before eating.
When stored correctly, almond butter can last for 3 to 6 months. Make sure to use a clean utensil each time you scoop some nut butter out of the jar, to avoid contamination, and if the butter has a strange smell or colour, then it’s best to discard it.
A small amount of oil separation in natural nut butters is perfectly normal, although I’ve rarely seen this happen with my raw almond butter. Store it towards the top of your fridge, or in the door, to make it easier to spread straight from the fridge.
How to use almond butter
Almond butter is a very versatile ingredient, and can be used anywhere that you might use peanut butter. Use it in sandwiches, spread it on toast, or add it to your morning oatmeal porridge. You can also add it smoothies, dips, vinaigrettes, soups, curries, asian-style sauces, breakfast cereal and homemade muesli bars.
Almond butter goes especially well with fruit (I love spreading it on apple slices or pairing it with a slice banana), chocolate, medjool dates (it tastes like chocolate!) and other dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
For something a little extra decadent, blend it with frozen chunks of banana for an instant, healthy dairy-free soft serve ice-cream, make your own “peanut butter cups” using almond butter instead of peanut butter or whip up a batch of gluten-free vegan almond butter cookies.
Of course, you can always just eat it straight off the spoon like I do, for a quick and tasty, nutritious snack!
And if you find yourself out of almond milk, and short on time, you can also use your almond butter to whip up a batch of instant almond milk (see below).
Here’s some other recipes that you could use almond butter for as well:
How to make almond milk from almond butter
Did you know that you can use your raw almond butter to make instant almond milk?
If you run out of almond milk and need a super quick way to make some more, just use some of your ready-made almond butter that you already have on hand.
Because almond butter is already so smooth and creamy, you won’t need to strain your almond milk, and you may also get away without using a high speed blender to make it.
Just add 4 tablespoons of butter to 2 cups of water and blend on high until the ingredients are completely combined. It won’t take long at all before you have a batch of creamy almond milk ready to go!
If want to sweeten your almond milk slightly, you can add a ¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence, and a couple of teaspoons of your favourite liquid sweetener. You can also add a couple of medjool dates instead of the sweetener, but you may want to strain it to remove the date fibre.
Can dogs eat almond butter?
While certain nuts are toxic to dogs, like macadamias, walnuts and pecans, almonds are not actually poisonous for your pooch. However, some of the nutrients in almonds are not easily digested by dogs, and may cause digestive irritation and pancreatitis in some dogs.
Whole almonds can present a risk of bowel obstruction, while salted or spiced nuts may increase water retention and irritate the stomach. Some almonds may contain molds that can cause poisoning in dogs, while certain dogs may actually have an allergy to almonds.
So although almond butter is blended into a smooth paste, and thus presents less of a risk than whole almonds, it’s still not an ideal treat for your canine friend, even if they happen to love the taste.
The good news is that a small amount of almond butter is unlikely to cause serious issues, so long as they’re not allergic to it. If they happen to gobble a ton of almonds or almond butter, watch them closely for signs of intestinal distress or adverse reactions, and contact your veterinarian for further advice.
Where can I buy almond butter?
Almond butter can be purchased online, or from your local health food store. These days, many supermarkets are starting to stock a range of nut butters as well, so check the spreads aisle and the health food aisle as well.
Regardless of where you buy your almond butter, make sure you check the list of ingredients to ensure you know what’s been added to your almond butter before you buy. And try to choose a nut butter that’s been prepared and stored correctly to ensure freshness and maximum nutritional benefit.
Your local health food store may also offer freshly ground almond butter, which is a great way to ensure that your almond butter is fresh with minimal added ingredients, without the hassle of having to make it yourself.
Why is almond butter so expensive?
Almond butter is more expensive than peanut butter because of the cost of the nuts that go into making it. One of my local suppliers lists raw almonds at three times the price of peanuts, at $18.50 per kilogram vs $6.50 for peanuts (in Australian dollars). And if you choose organic nuts, the cost per kilogram almost doubles, making almond butter a relatively expensive option compared to your stock standard peanut butter on the supermarket shelves.
Being a tree-nut, almonds are more labour intensive than peanuts to produce. The peanut plant is an easy-to-grow annual, that is highly productive per acre and can be easily resown each year. But almond trees can take five years or more to start producing nuts, and must be carefully managed to ensure a healthy crop each year.
In addition, the growing awareness of the health benefits of tree nuts such as almonds has significantly increased demand, which has pushed prices up even further.
Some ways to reduce the cost of your almond butter including buying your raw almonds in bulk, and making your own almond butter at home.
Almond butter substitutes
So what can you do if you can’t tolerate almond butter for some reason? Fortunately you still have plenty of options for almond butter substitutes.
The first and easiest one is to use peanut butter, but this may not be suitable if you’ll be sharing your dish with people who have peanut allergies. It’s also not suitable if you’re eating a paleo diet, as peanuts are actually a legume, which are excluded on a paleo diet.
If you are able to use other nut products, then cashew butter is another rich and creamy nut butter that can be used in place of almond butter, in sauces, sandwiches, and other recipes.
For those of you who need to create nut-free dishes, then you still have some great substitutes available, in the form of sunflower butter and pumpkin seed (pepita) butter.
Sunflower butter is made from sunflower seeds, and has a great nutty taste that’s not too overpowering in both sweet and savoury dishes.
Pumpkin seed butter is made from pepita seeds (aka pumpkin seeds), and actually tastes a lot like peanut butter, which is great if you can get past the striking green colour!
My inspiration for making vegan almond butter at home
I really didn’t realise I could even make my own nut butter at home until I stumbled across Susan’s recipe for raw almond butter at Rawmazing.
I’d been eating nut butters for a while, especially almond butter and cashew butter, and I’d noticed how expensive they were in comparison to the whole nuts.
I also realised that the nuts were lightly roasted before the store-bought butters were made, and at the time I was experimenting with being 100% raw, so I wondered if there was a way to make them completely raw.
Once I found Susan’s step-by-step process, I realised that I could actually make my own nut and seed butters at home, and so I did.
The first few attempts were a little nerve-racking, but once I got the hang of it, I tried making a bunch of different raw butters, including pepita butter, cashew butter and even coconut butter (great for raw macaroons).
I love the freedom this recipe gives me to make whatever I need, whenever I need it, with nothing but pure, raw, organic nuts and seeds.
And I hope it gives you the same.
Almond butter resources
If you’re interested in getting yourself an infrared thermometer, here’s a selection of products:
If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of nut and seed butters you can make, here’s a great introduction:
And if you want to try making almond butter in your Vitamix, here’s a great recipe:
If you want to learn more about how phytates affect absorption of nutrients, here’s some research papers you can check out:
- Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of bioavailable micronutrients in food grains
- Iron absorption in man: ascorbic acid and dose-dependent inhibition by phytate
Check out this great breakdown of the nutritional content of the most popular nut butters:
And have an adventurous day!