How to Make Homemade Almond Butter

I wrote on my healthy living site, Food Blogger on a Diet, about how much I’ve come back to eat (and let myself enjoy) nut butters recently. I probably have some every day, and now I make my own!

Homemade Roasted Almond Butter on a spatula

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Peanut butter was pretty difficult to find when I first moved to Italy; even in Rome where there are a few “international food stores” (like Castroni), portions were small, expensive, and often brands I didn’t recognize.

Now it’s easier to find peanut butter, and even some bigger / normal grocery stores will carry a jar. I find that Skippy peanut butter is most common; I think that’s because the brand, while an American brand, is very popular in the Philippines and so it gets imported for them. But there are ingredients on the label I don’t recognize, so I don’t buy it.

I often stick jars of all-natural peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, or almond butter in my luggage when I come back to Italy from a trip to the US or UK. But as my trip schedule can be unpredictable, more recently I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own.

My cupboard is full of nuts and seeds – they make great toppings for yogurt, oatmeal, and salads; they make a great go-to snack while traveling or just in the afternoon. I started stocking up on raw, unsalted nuts when I realized some of my (used-to-be-favorite) nut brands include flavor enhancers like yeast extract to flavor them (read about why I think flavor enhancers should be avoided in my How to Make Chicken Stock & avoid MSG post). If you buy nuts, make sure the label says, NUTS and nothing else. A little salt is ok, but you might even enjoy it more if you salt them yourself – at least you can control the amount that way.

Raw, unsalted nuts mean I have a great raw material to cook with, to make into something else, and for normal snacking. Now when I snack on almonds, I don’t eat the whole bag. :)

So when my beloved almond butter was running low and there was no stocking-up trip on the near horizon, I decided to just do it myself. It’s so easy, it’s almost ridiculous to write up a recipe. The most important thing you need is patience – they will turn into butter! Try it yourself and let me know any variations you take on the recipe.

Homemade Almond Butter

Note: I’ve tried it both ways, and I absolutely encourage you to use roasted (pre-roasted, or roasted at home) almonds – it definitely, definitely makes a delicious difference. I also think almonds with the skin on make the best butter. 

Unsalted almonds (if already toasted, skip step 1)
A food processor
Pinch salt, if desired

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes. Check halfway through and give them a shake / mix them up so they are toasted on both sides. Make sure they don’t burn, so keep an eye on them! Let the almonds cool for 30-60 minutes, until they are cool to the touch.
  2. In your food processor, put the almonds in, set it to a medium or high setting, and let it do its magic! It will take time (even 10-15 minutes of continuous blending) so if you need to stop it every so often to let it cool down or to scrape the sides of the processor, do so. The almonds will go from powdery dry chunks to chunky clumps, and finally you’ll start to see a sheen as the oil in them starts breaking down. Depending on how chunky or smooth you want your almond butter (I like mine extra chunky) you’ll want to be extra patient.
    Here’s mine closer to the end – this is when I added just a bit of salt and tasted it after blending:

Homemade Roasted Almond Butter in food processor

And when it was ready, I poured it into a jar that was almost empty and put it in the fridge! I suggest putting it in the fridge unless you’re planning to consume it quickly (within a week). I’ve had mine for about 2 months now and it’s still good; many sites suggest 3 months is max. You can also freeze almond butter, but I never have; so if you have let others know in the comments!

Will you try to make your own almond butter? Do you prefer another nut instead? 

Homemade Roasted Almond Butter

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Comments

  1. Beth says

    I recognize that jar–I’ve had TJ’s almond butter before. My favorite is their valencia pb w/flax seeds. Delish!!!

  2. Beth says

    *flaxseeds. I’m going to try this sometime. I have 6 or 7 jars of the valencia pb in my cupboard right now, and they expire in October. I also have a few containers of Whole Foods naturally ground pb.

  3. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    @sweetmaddy – you need some sort of blender or miniprep at the very least – those should be cheaper!
    @Beth – yes! You got me :) I’m thinking about roasting my own flaxseeds and adding them as well for next time.

  4. says

    Thank you so much! I am so excited to try this! (and is it possible in the blender? If not I too will have to eventually break down and get a food processor–something I’ve been meaning to do for years). This post is especially perfect at this moment because I recently found out I’m intollerant of peanuts and have been despairing of what to replace it with. Had no idea making nut butters was so easy. Brilliant!
    PS My all time fave is macademia nut butter but it has more fat than chocolate cake. :-D

  5. says

    I made pistachio butter for chocolate and pistachio cups and fell in love. Then my food processor broke. And now your picture… I really need to start making these butters again…I just saw a lovely recipe involving warm oatmeal and almond butter…mmh

  6. says

    This is terrific. I am bit of a nut butter fanatic. It all started when I was 15 during strip to the states (a rather unsophisticated and I’m sure commercial but bloody delicious jar of peanut butter and jam swirled together) I’ve bought Almond butter in the past but never thought of making it. I might just make this tomorrow.

  7. Rachael says

    Wow, Thank you so much! Fresher is so much better and you can just make a little, just what you need. I really appreciate this post. (making your frittata of fresh leeks, peas and zucchini tonight.)

  8. Joby says

    Off the topic, I’m a new teacher who has to make a presentation about Italy and provide two types of food for approx 100 guests, small portions. I’m looking for an easy and inexpensive, if possible, Italian cookie recipe and a pasta. Any suggestions for authentic instead of American recipes?

  9. Michael Cohen says

    My wife and I recently bought an apartment in Marche Italy and we’re hoping to spend a good part of our time there. I haven’t been able to locate a place to buy Almond or Cashew butter there, and so end up filling my suitcase with jars of the American stuff. Do you know of a place I can order from in Italy?
    Thanks,
    Michael

    • Ms. Adventures in Italy says

      @Jennifer – maybe I could start shipping that like Chez Pim does for her jams. :) It’s really not that hard – you should give it a try! The hardest part for me was finding the bulk almonds, to be honest.

  10. Maynard says

    I have made almond butter before when i was in Syria and I am going try it again now.
    I’ve always done it without the skin and it took me 3 days to unskin these nuts and then i read here that its best with skin! hahaha

    anyway, i do mine with olive oil and honey. its awesome. thanks for the tips!

  11. Carol says

    I don’t know how much almonds to buy to try this recipe. Would you please tell me. This is all new to me.
    Thanks,
    Carol

    • Ms. Adventures in Italy says

      @Carol – you can make this with any amount of almonds – it depends on how much you want and how big your food processor is. You may have to do it in batches if you want a lot. I would start with at least 100g (~4oz) and probably 2-300g or even 500g is better since it does take time.

  12. says

    If the only peanut butter around is Skippy, you have little choice but to make your own! I am allergic to peanuts but I do make almond butter in my Vitamix, so yes, you can make almond butter in a blender, at least a high-powered one. You do have to be careful to avoid overheating your machine (though the Vitamix has a thermal shutoff if it starts to get too hot). I also make walnut butter. Walnuts are much softer and blend up easily. I like Nuts about Food’s idea of pistachio butter- that sounds amaing!

  13. Carol says

    I have never tasted almond butter. I really like almonds.
    How many ounces of almonds are needed to make a small batch of almond butter? Thanks, Carol

    • Ms. Adventures in Italy says

      @Carol – I would start with 100g or so of almonds for a small batch (that’s about 4 ounces of raw almonds) – you want to make enough that you don’t eat it all in one sitting! :)

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