There are a lot of peanut butter substitutes out there and one of my favorite nut butters has to be almond. The health benefits of almonds include per ounce: 14g of protein, 3 g of fiber, 7% of recommended daily calcium, 6% recommended daily iron, it’s a great source of vitamin E, riboflavin and magnesium which activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate calcium levels, as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body. So you can see why almonds are a welcome addition to a Pain Free Diet.
Making your own nut butters and nut “milks” at home also ensures quality control and that you know exactly what is in the dish. You will need a food processor and a blender respectively for these two recipes.
For the Almond Milk it’s not so much a recipe as it is a ratio:
1 cup Almonds to 4 cups water. Ideally you will want to soak the almonds for up to 8 hours in water.
Blend the almonds and 4 cups of water on high-speed in a blender for about 2 minutes. If you like it chunky you can keep it as is, or buy a “nut-milk-bag”, or strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. It won’t strain quickly, so give it some time.
And that’s it. Yes, that is the recipe. If you like to add flavor to your almond milk then add a couple dates and a teaspoon good vanilla extract or use agave sweetener instead of sugar or dates to sweeten. If you have real vanilla beans feel free to use one whole bean. After straining the liquid through the nut-bag, or cheese-cloth or sieve, you will have some pasty remains. Feel free to use this in cookie recipes or breads.
For the Almond Butter:
- 2 cups raw almonds
- one food processor
Add the almonds and turn it on. This process takes a good 10 minutes, plus or minus one or two. Start out about 2 minutes and stop the processor and scrape down the sides often. Let it go another 2 or 3, and scrape again. The mixture will look lumpy and broken, keep stopping it to scrape down the sides. After about 7-8 minutes the oils in the almonds will begin to release and come together with the solids to create the
“butter”, or paste. Voila!
Serve with cut up fruit or veggies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator just to be safe for up to a week. If you wanted to make a flavored or sweetened almond butter I recommend using a little agave nectar at the end and maybe a pinch of sweet cinnamon.