Homemade Almond Butter
I used to love my Kraft peanut butter and ate copious amounts of it. It was creamy, sweet and salty all at once. Then I discovered almond butter and haven’t looked back. Before we get to the almond butter I want to explain why peanut butter actually isn’t as healthy of an option as you might think.
Here are 5 reasons why conventional peanut butter isn’t a healthy food:
1) Sugar: Most conventional peanut butters contain some sort of refined sugar in them (icing sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, even molasses). Sugar impairs the immune system, spikes blood sugar levels and chronic overconsumption leads to insulin resistance (3,4). Studies have also shown that sugar feeds cancerous cells and is linked to heart disease (5,6).
2) Oxidized fats: Conventional peanut butters contain hydrogenated vegetable oils like soy, canola and cottonseed. I’ve discussed the issues with these fats before here. These oils become oxidized during the production process which causes free-radical damage in the body when consumed.
3) Pesticides: Unless you’re choosing an organic peanut butter, peanuts are a highly sprayed crop. Pesticides are proven neurotoxins, think Parkinson’s, ADHD and dementia (1). Pesticides also affect reproductive health decreasing fertility and causing birth defects and altered fetal growth (1,2).
4) Molds: Peanuts are susceptible to a mold called aflatoxin, which are potentially carcinogenic (7).
5) Salt: Table salt is what you’ll find in the likes of Kraft or Skippy peanut butter. Table salt is a processed food and unlike Himalayan rock salt or unrefined sea salt most of it’s minerals are removed leaving it with sodium and chloride. Real salt won’t be white like the refined stuff as it hasn’t been bleached and contains all it’s naturally occurring minerals.
There are organic options out there for peanut butter like Nuts to You that only contain dry roasted, blanched peanuts, if you must have peanut butter on occasion. I would recommend mixing it up and trying organic, raw nut and seed butters of all types to benefit from their different nutrients. Some of my favourites are almond butter, cashew butter and sunflower seed butter. On the other hand, if you have a food processor nut butters are easy enough to make yourself.
- 3 cups raw, organic almonds
- 2 tbsp macadamia nut oil
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
- Place the almonds in a large mason jar and fill with filtered water. Soak over night. This helps get rid of the anti-nutrients that bind to the minerals in the almonds and also makes them easier to digest.
- Drain and rinse the almonds then place on a baking sheet in the oven at the lowest setting, mine was 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a wooden spoon in the door to prop the door open. This prevents the oven from getting too hot and risking oxidizing the fats in the nuts. If you have a dehydrator it would work perfectly for this as well. Leave the almonds in the oven overnight.
- Process the almonds in a food processor until it starts to clump together. At this point you can add the macadamia nut oil and continue to process. It will take about 11-13 minutes total until the almonds release their oils so you can achieve a creamy consistency.
- Add the Himalayan rock salt and process to combine. Enjoy on fruit, veggies, homemade pancakes, in smoothies and by the spoonful!