February 16th was National Almond Day! Did you get your fill of almonds!? These little nuts pack a punch of vitamin E, several B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and fiber. And to toot their little horns, almonds are a super heart-healthy food! <3
DID YOU KNOW – The almonds we eat are the edible seeds of the almond tree, which is native to the Middle East, India and North Africa. Although now, California produces more than 80% of the world’s almonds.
Almonds were actually one of the very first cultivated foods! And they were a prized ingredient in breads that served to Egypt’s pharaohs wayyy back in history.
Almonds are so versatile in cooking. They are used in nougat in cookies, pastries, cakes and other desserts (mmm… nougat…) They are ground into almond flour & almond meal for baking. When that fluffy almond flour combined with sugar or honey, you get marzipan! If you keep grinding the flour, the nuts release their oils and make delicious nut butter (keep reading for a super delicious recipe.) And almonds also can be used to make almond milk, almond oil, and even almond syrup!
In honor of this humble yet mighty little nut, I made some almond butter! Yum!
Making your own nut butter is soooo rewarding when you get to sink your teeth into the warm, sweet, salty fresh nut butter right off the spoon *drool…*
BUT it comes at a price. You might be able to make your nut butter faster if you’re using a high speed food processor. I used one from like the 1990’s that I took from my parents’ house lol. This little nut butter literally took me over an hour and a half to make. AN HOUR AND A HALF -_- There are many emotional stages that one goes through during a culinary journey such as this… I might be a little dramatic here, but this was a real life existential crisis!
– Stage 1 – Sweet! The nuts turned to a flour so fast!
– Stage 2 – Okay, this is taking some time but this is gonna taste so bomb!
– Stage 3 – Okayyy, this is really taking some time, but it’s ok!
– Stage 4 – This is going to take freaking forever if I have to stop the food processor every ten seconds to scrape down the sides…
– Stage 5 – It’s been 45 minutes and the recipe said it’d only take like 20… Am I like pushing the button wrong?
– Stage 6 – OMG Is it okay to cry now??? Cancel all my plans for the rest of the day. Or should I like put it in the fridge and just try again later?
– Stage 7 – Yup, this is the time to cry. I’m going to spend the rest of my life scraping down the sides of a food processor just wishing these almonds would turn into nut butter until I’m like 83 years old.
– Stage 8 – Wait! A giant lump is forming and slowly moving around and around like almond slug.
– Stage 9 – Yes!! It finally became creamy! Let me just scrape down the sides once more time for a final whirl in the food processor… wait… what happened? It turned grainy again. WHYYYY? *shakes fists in the air; falls to knees in agony*
– Stage 10 – VOILA! NUT BUTTER! Gosh that wasn’t so bad.
honey + cinnamon roasted almond butter
– 2 cups raw almonds
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp cloves
– 1/4 tsp nutmeg
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 tsp fine ground sea salt
– 1/4 cup honey
– Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and roast at 300 F for 10 min.
– Put everything except the honey in the food processor and blend until it’s smooth like butter.
– Add the honey and blend again until smooth.
– Enjoy the labors of your fresh almond butter! 🙂
I ate my almond butter on toast (it’s like cinnamon honey nutty yummy toast), and I also put it on top of berries and labneh (you could use greek yogurt) and in nutty coconut granola, in cookies, right off the spoon 😉
ENJOY YOUR ALMONDS!
Fun Fact: Almonds can last up to two years in the fridge because they’re so rich in Vitamin E!