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
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.
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.