Learn how easy it is to make homemade Vanilla Almond Butter. With just two ingredients (or three if you like a little salt) and a bit of time, you'll make amazing, smooth, sugar-free almond butter that's a healthy snack and perfect on toast.
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Whenever I find myself in the grocery store holding a $10 jar of almond butter I give my head a shake. If only people knew how easy it was to make their own!
I mean, it's also pretty darn easy to just throw the jar into your grocery basket and cough up the dough, and if that's the name of your game then power to you. I've certainly used store-bought nut butter before in my life, and I certainly will again.
But making your own homemade almond butter is so much fun! It takes only a matter of minutes and you get the joy of watching your food processor put a batch of almonds through their paces. You can choose to go on team chunky or smooth (when it comes to almond butter I am smooth all the way, baby) and add a little bit of salt, or not.
And most fun off all - you can flavour it up! Today we're making homemade Vanilla Almond Butter, and you guys, this stuff is the best.
Elevate your morning toast, swirl it into a smoothie, or just eat it straight from the jar. The world is your almond butter oyster, my friend.
What do I need to make this recipe?
You need just one main ingredient, and the rest is up to you. Here's what you need:
- Almonds --> Raw is fine, but Oven Roasted Almonds is how I roll.
- Vanilla bean --> Notes on this below.
- Sea salt --> I love Maldon for this recipe.
Regarding the vanilla, in this recipe I have used vanilla powder, which is finely ground up vanilla pods and seeds. It's a great way to get good vanilla flavour and those authentic vanilla flecks without having to use an expensive vanilla bean.
Having said that, if you've got spent vanilla beans from making homemade vanilla extract, this is a great recipe to use them in!
You're going to need some machinery to make this recipe. I use my trusty Kitchen Aid Food Processor for making nut butters. I have the professional model, which is a beast, but a basic one will do just fine.
I know some people like to use a high-speed blender (I have a Vitamix) for making nut butters, but I have always used my food processor. Either way, you're going to need some horsepower!
How to make almond butter
Guys, this "recipe" is so easy. Start off by deciding whether or not you want to roast your nuts. I personally prefer the flavour of almond butter made with roasted nuts, but if you prefer raw that is totally fine.
Place the almonds into your food processor and pulse a few times to break them up, then let the motor run. It will first look powdery, kind of like almond flour (see above).
After a few minutes you may find that a ball has formed that is moving around your food processor (see below left). This is totally normal.
You may want to stop and scrape the sides down at this point, but it's not totally necessary.
Run the food processor for two-to-three minutes more, and you'll notice the almond butter ball starting to loosen up (see above right). Keep going for another minute or two.
At this point I stop the machine, give the bottom a good scrape, and then add my sea salt and vanilla powder. Run for another minute or two just to make sure it's mixed well.
Now transfer your homemade almond butter to a clean glass jar, and sit back and marvel that you made such a delightful concoction.
See, wasn't that easy?
How long does it take to make almond butter?
This depends on a few factors. First, did you roast your nuts or are they raw? Roasted nuts will break down much faster than raw.
Second, how powerful is your food processor? Every machine is a bit different, so the total time will vary. This batch took me less than 10 minutes to make in my workhorse of a machine.
Lastly, how old are your almonds? Fresher almonds tend to be oilier, and therefore will break down faster.
Keep in mind that different types of nuts and seeds break down at different rates. For example, my Homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter takes nearly 20 minutes to get to the right texture!
Storing almond butter
I prefer to store my homemade almond butter at room temperature so that it is easy to spread. At room temperature in an air-tight container (a glass jar with a lid is perfect) it will last about a month - although I've never had any trouble going through it in a couple of weeks.
If you keep your almond butter in the fridge it will last longer, generally around three months.
Ways to use almond butter
As I said up top, this stuff is tremendous simply eaten straight from the jar. I also love it on toast as a quick breakfast or snack.
I love making homemade Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with Vanilla Almond Butter in place of peanut butter. Such a delightful treat.
And one of my favourite green smoothies, the Almond Butter Date Shake is a great way to use almond butter too. My friend Sarah makes Healthy Apple Nachos with almond butter drizzled over the top. So good!
Is almond butter healthy?
Sure is! Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats – this is a healthy fat when consumed in moderation, the same type as is found in olive oil. Almonds are also a good source of manganese, vitamin E (which has antioxidant properties) and magnesium.
They're a good source of plant-based protein and calcium as well. As with all nuts and nut butters, almond butter should be consumed in moderation.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Vanilla Almond Butter
- 3 cups almonds raw or roasted
- 1 - 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon vanilla seeds or ½ a vanilla bean scraped out
- If you are going to roast your nuts, preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C.
- Spread almonds out on a baking sheet, and roast, keeping a careful eye on them for 10-15 minutes. Nuts can go from perfect to burnt in the blink of an eye, so don't get distracted! When they're fragrant and brown, remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Place cooled almonds in a food processor and pulse a few times before letting it run it for a couple of minutes.
- The nuts should start to break down and clump up, and you may see a ball moving around the food processor. This is normal. You may need to stop and scrape the sides and bottom, depending on how powerful your food processor is.
- When the almond butter has started to smooth out, add about ½ the salt you think you want, and ½ the vanilla. Blend, taste, and decide if you want to add more. Keep in mind that these flavours tend to "bloom" with time, so less is more.
- Let the food processor run for another minute to fully mix in the vanilla and salt.
- Scrape the contents into a clean jar and store at room temperature for up to one month. Enjoy it on toast, in smoothies, or just out of the jar with a spoon.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only and are based on 24 servings.
- Homemade almond butter will last for up to one month at room temperature, or for up to three months in the fridge.
This recipe was originally published March 1, 2013. It was retested, re-photographed, and most recently updated on December 8, 2020.
Thank you for this delicious recipe. I made this with my 4 year old and we dipped little chocolate chips into the almond butter for a treat
So glad you liked this, Dorothée! Chocolate chips sounds just lovely dipped with this almond butter.
I was searching for something to bring to a friend for an early xmas gift and this is going to be it I think! When I lived in the UK, peanut butter wasn't really a thing. It existed in bigger shops, but the containers were quite small and most Brits I knew thought I was a bit crazy for eating it on toast. They didn't think it was unhealthy particularly (hello french fries in white buns with salad cream? *shudder*) but just didn't get it.
French fries in white buns with salad cream?! That's a thing? Wow. Well I hope you give this almond butter a try. It's particularly lovely with the vanilla and sea salt, and I think would make a really sweet gift.
Oh yes. The salad cream may have just been my co-worker's bonkers add-on, but definitely the french fries in a bun. It's called a chip butty. I've heard up north they eat it with tomato sauce and cheese as well. I also avoided the jellied eels and some kind of sandwich filling called 'mexican tuna', though happily adapted to corn niblets on pizza.
When I lived in New Zealand we had corn niblets in grilled cheese sandwiches! Also: tinned spaghetti in grilled cheese. Both of which I thought were strange at first, and both of which I happily adapted to.
I've never tried almond butter before but I'm in love with the crunchy peanut stuff. Would you use it in the same way as peanut butter, on toast or in sandwiches?
Yup! Or in smoothies, or out of the jar with a spoon 🙂
I have always been addicted to peanut butter. Recently I heard that most peanuts carry some kind of fungus? or mold....I forget...except one brand, the mara natha brand. So I either get that brand, or make my own almond butter (because almond butter is so expensive!) Will definitely try the vanilla though 🙂
Hmmm, interesting. I haven't heard of this mould thing. I'll have to look into it and see what I can find. There is really only one or two brands of peanut butter available where I live, so I can either go with one of those or make my own. I've got all kinds of nut and seed butters swimming around my brain now!
Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand
I'm fairly sure peanut butter is acceptable in the UK ( I love crunchy peanut butter on toast but only very occasionally). Really like your interpretation of almond butter Katie 😉 How long do you think a jar of this would last?
It won't last as long as a commercial nut butter, but if you kept it in the fridge I'm guessing it would last at least a month. I'm keeping mine in the cupboard because I don't like cold nut butters, and it's holding up just fine so far.
I'm a big fan of nuts and nut butters, but they can be so unhealthy-- if you glob it onto everything, or if you buy the kind with added sugar or with its natural oil replaced. This sounds *fantastic*, though, I've never thought to put vanilla bean in any kind of nut butter. I regularly make honeyed PB, but I'm definitely going to try this one soon!
Mmmmm, honeyed PB sounds so good! I'm dreaming up all kinds of different nut and seed butters now, and a home made honey nut butter is definitely on the list.
Hmm, a few of the things on that list of strange foods you've seen people eat sound an awful lot like strange foods I've seen consumed in Thailand. Opposite sides of the world but similar tastes? I love the idea of adding a bit of vanilla to almond butter! We can't realy get almonds, but we've got peanuts galore. I'm wondering if it might be a tasty addition to homemade peanut butter...may have to test it out.
I'd say it's pretty different to Thai food, but perhaps one of the reasons Swedish people love traveling to Thailand so much! That, and the cold, dark winters here. I'm sure vanilla in peanut butter would be good! I'm also thinking that if you roast the peanuts and put a touch of honey and sea salt in you'd have a killer honey nut butter. Yum!
I love nut butters and like the idea of making one that isn't peanut so that I can bring it along when I teach and use in no bake energy bars. I wonder if biscuit spread/speculoos is made the same way, do you think?
Love the thought of adding sea salt and vanilla bean paste too 🙂
I've wondered that myself - speculoos isn't available where I live (I haven't seen it anywhere yet anyways) but I'm not sure about attempting to make it. If you find any recipes let me know!
Such an interesting post. I live in the US and love nut butters.
Enjoy the abundance of nut butters at your finger tips! But definitely try making your own as well. So easy and delicious!
Health Inspirations (@health_inspirer)
This combination sounds wonderful! I usually only have it plain!! I'm quite lucky that nut butters are generally available in Germany and Austria but they are very expensive. You usually find PB at normal grocery stores and a wider selection at organic supermarkets. But I agree with Kathryn about how handy a food processor can be.It saves me a ton of money! One of flavors we enjoy making at home is walnut butter.
Mmmmm, walnut butter sounds really good! It's the same here in Sweden - you *can* find nut butters, but they are really expensive and in teeny little jars. One of the things I miss about living in Canada is the HUGE jars of peanut butter I could get for a fraction of the price. But making your own is fun, inexpensive, and you know exactly what you're eating. All round win!
I wonder how much of the European anti-PB attitude is because it's viewed as an American thing and therefore automatically unhealthy? One of the greatest joys of the food processor I got last year is being able to make my own nut butter. A little touch of vanilla and a dash of salt is my favourite way too. So addictive.
I think you're spot on with that. And to be honest, a lot of commercial peanut butter *is* crap - it has loads of sugar and cheaper unhealthier fats added to it. But real nut butters made from just nuts and a smidge of salt can be so healthy consumed in moderation. I'm looking forward to trying out more flavour combinations.
Coloured-Windows by katleenj
mmmh! I'm gonna try this!
I hope you do! Let me know how it turns out for you 🙂
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