Raw Recipe: Almond Butter

by Susan on February 6, 2010

Making nut butters can be a little tricky. I used to think that I had to do them in my Vitamix, which would drive me batty with all the scraping down that was required. Other times, I would have a fail, only because I quit too early. I didn’t realize how much time it takes, and the process that the nuts have to go through. But if you have a little patience, you can make nut butters that are fabulous. You will never want to buy them again!

I used my Kitchen Aid 12 cup food processor. It is a strong processor. The bottom warms up a little bit but if you are using an older processor, or a processor with a much weaker motor, common sense needs to prevail.

Almond Butter
yield 1 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 C Almonds
  • 1 T  Raw Honey (optional)
  • 1/2 t Sea Salt (optional)

Place almonds in food processor. Process for 8-12 minutes. You will need to scrape down the sides in the beginning. If you choose to use the honey and salt, stir in by hand after the butter is made as it will seize the mixture if you try to add it before.

*Chef’s Note: If using soaked, dehydrated (dried) almonds, you may need to add a little oil. This recipe requires the use of completely dry almonds.

After 2 minutes it will look like this.

After 4 minutes it will look like this.

After 6 minutes it will look like this.

Around 8 minutes, the almond mixture will ball up. Just let it keep going.

At 10 minutes it has begun to redistribute, but it is not done yet. You want to wait until the oils get released.

At 12 minutes the almonds have released their oil and the butter is ready! If you want to add honey or salt, stir it in by hand.

*Chef’s Note: If using soaked, dehydrated (dried) almonds, you may need to add a little oil. This recipe requires the use of completely dry almonds.

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{ 376 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan December 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm

If you add the honey to the almond butter and try to mix it with the food processor, it will seize up. If you want to add honey, that would need to be done by hand after the almond butter is done.

Lisa December 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Yah, I TOTALLY did not even see the comment about the honey. But the f/p is going, and I’ll be able to tell you in a little bit how it turned out.

Lisa December 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm

SO GOOD!! The processor did not lock up but it took forever (close to an hour) to get it mixed. I blame the honey since this was my first time. Also, I tended to let it run a little long which led to heating. Next time I will follow the directions, LOL, and use soaked almonds. Patiently.

Ruth Altheim December 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm

your photos making almond butter in a food processor were really helpful. Thank you Susan!

Loralyn December 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm

I found this recipe through a google search. Thank you for the pictures of each change the almonds go through. I’m sure I would have stopped too soon if I hadn’t seen your pictures. I was happy to find a recipe that uses no added oil, too. It seems like everyone else makes almond butter with oil and impatience!

Claudia January 2, 2011 at 10:50 am

I presoaked my almonds, let them dry out as much as possible and put them into my food processor. Although I had it on high for twenty minutes, if not a touch longer, the almonds never turned into a ball. I noticed that since I kept having to scrape it away from the side every couple of seconds, that probably was the reason it never materialized into anything else. I did add some olive oil in the end to try to help it along, but it didn’t help, either. Any suggestions?

Susan January 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

If there is any moisture in your almonds, it will cause a problem. They need to be bone dry. You might try making it without soaking the almonds. Also, if you use soaked, dried almonds, you may need to add a little oil early in the process. The quality of your food processor can also play a part. I have a Kitchen Aid 12 cup and have made this recipe over and over again in it with great success.

Claudia January 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I’m not sure which Kitchen Aid model you have, but two of them I just looked up are 700 and 725 watts. Mine isn’t anywhere near as powerful; it’s only 350 watts. Can this be the problem? I assume that putting it into its blender isn’t a good idea, either -at least that’s what I thought I read – but maybe this way it wouldn’t stick to the sides, but get mixed/grinded. I realize that the batch I did won’t work, but I want to think into this one before putting a second batch in – this one would be completely dry as I’ll be using it directly from the package.BTW, I keep my almonds in the freezer for freshness so they would be cold. Do they need to be room temperature? (And who knows, maybe it’s time to upgrade my food processor if this one isn’t strong enough – that, or purchase a nut butter making machine)

Claudia January 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Hi Susan,

OOPS. Pardon me. I just noticed in a previous post you had mentioned a 700 watt food processor, obviously a better quality than mine.

Susan January 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Could be the problem. I don’t know about frozen…but I don’t think it helps. I scrape it down a lot when I make it. Almost every other minute. But scraping it down in the food processor is much easier than in the vitamix.

Claudia January 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Susan, Thanks for your help and support. I’m just bummed I won’t be able to make the butter myself. Maybe I’ll try the blender and luck out. I did see previous posts and someone said that putting it on low speeds keeps it from going off to the sides, but my low speed no longer works. Figures.

Anything I can do with the pulverized almonds? (I did add some oil earlier thinking it would help, but the flavor isn’t overwhelming, and the almonds taste good.) Just hate to waste them.

Susan January 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm

My food processor only has one speed. And, I don’t mind scraping down the sides. I do it…that isn’t what the problem was. I am guessing your almonds weren’t dry enough. There are a lot of recipes on the site that use almonds. You can do a search.

Ethel Lewis January 3, 2011 at 11:35 am

I made some almond butter using karo syrup, butter and veg oil. it is good not too sweet,which I like . I cannot use honey. but it is too thick, what else should I add.

Susan January 3, 2011 at 11:38 am

Oh, gosh, I don’t use ingredients like Karo syrup and butter here. I am not sure how you would thin that out…

Reggie January 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Do I have to store it in ther refrigerator to keep them fresh?

Susan January 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I do…

M&M January 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm

THANKS SO MUCH FOR THESE INSTRUTIONS!! I’ve tried more than a few times over the years to make nut butters with the Vita-Mix and Blend-tec. It never worked and always sent me marching to the computer to order some. I also wanted to make a butter with no added oils. I didn’t know the nuts needed to be ground so long. (It took 15 minutes or so in my processor.) The almond butter came out perfectly! Thanks again.

Sarah January 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

thanks for the recipe. I am so looking forward to making almond butter this weekend. I can’t believe its so easy.

Ann January 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Hello Susan,
I just made the best almond butter…my first time yet! I toasted slivered almonds, placed them all in my small food processor while they were still hot, added honey, cinnomon and 2 T canola oil. Blended for a few minutes, was not creammy so I kept adding oil, probably 5 Tbs….then found your recipe with the photos. It was too late to remove oil so I just kept blending and ended up with the creamiest, yummiest butter ever. Next time though I will try it with no oil.

Jen February 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I just made this! thanks so much for your step by step. all the other recipes i found add oil.
Like one of the previous comments, I was glad you added a lot of photos since I would have stopped it before it had come together. hopefully the blades on my food processor last a while.

Tonja February 24, 2011 at 1:55 am

Thanks for the tips, I tried this with my Vitamix and used soaked almonds with coconut oil. Was definitely hard to scrape out and next time I’ll try using dried almond with my kitchen aid mini processor. It does taste yummy too!

liz March 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Thank You! I have tried making raw almond butter before and given up too soon.
I used unsoaked raw almonds and it came out perfectly.

Lea T March 9, 2011 at 7:15 pm

I just made some and it’s delicious! I added some sea salt, honey, and cacao nibs…delish! Thanks for the recipe. I would have had no idea I could make it in my food processor and it makes my Vitamix overheat every time I’ve tried it in the past.

Tony Midmore March 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I see on the Cinnamon Raisin “Toast” recipe, you call for oil for the hazlenut butter. Are they more dry than almonds, thus requiring added oil?

Susan March 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm

You need to add the extra oil to get the desired texture.

Tony Midmore March 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Thank you. Couldn’t find hazlenuts/filberts this time of year, but did cashews (about five minutes, creamy, no added oil) and brazil nuts (about two minutes, also creamy with no added oil).

Ann March 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I feel silly for asking, but do you use blanched almonds or do you leave the skins on?

Susan March 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I left the skins on but you could do either.

Cara March 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Do you have any suggestions for getting almond pulp dry enough to make almond butter? The consistency of mine is kind of grainy/sponge-y, even after a long time of processing, and I noticed that you said if they were wet it would never work.

Susan March 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm

If you want to dry almond pulp, you can do it in a dehydrator. But then you make almond flour. I honestly don’t think you can make almond butter out of almond pulp. You have taken some of the key ingredients you need out. Why don’t you just make it out of almonds?

Cara March 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Ahh, thanks. I was trying to find an easy use for almond pulp left over after making almond milk. I don’t have a dehydrator, so my options are limited.

Sarah March 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I just started.
What’s the ratio for almond butter.
How much will 1 cup of dry almonds make and is it cheaper to make my own almond butter.
Thanks a lot!

Susan March 23, 2011 at 10:29 pm

2 cups of almonds make about 1 cup of almond butter, if I remember correctly. Price? That should be an easy one to figure out…how much do you get your almonds for and how much do you pay for almond butter? In my case it is much cheaper.

rob prejza March 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I am a heart stent patient. Never liked almonds much, (I prefer english walnuts), but now they want me to eat the almonds so the almond butter recipe sounds good. Thank you very much for sharing it! I’ll try it this week. I might even try english walnut butter – you have given me hope! As you might guess, my diet has changed considerably so this will help me ease off the ‘ol peanut butter. Thanks again.

Tara April 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Susan, thank you so very much for the post and pictures…you made it easy for me to stick to the process as long as it took! I ended up with a lovely, creamy butter, using just the raw almonds.

For those with low-watt food processors: Mine is a 300 watt Hamilton Beach, and each step that was pictured took longer. The entire process took just over half an hour with my machine.

Considering that my local Whole Foods charges $8.00 for a 12 ounce jar (cut with sugar AND palm oil), and I buy almonds online for $5.70 per pound (16 ounces), I’m coming out ahead. Thanks again!

Shelby April 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Isn’t soaking almonds (and other nuts) necessary to remove the enzyme inhibitors… or are these broken down by the blending/processing?

I just bought a VitaMix b/c it said u could make nut butters… why doesn’t the vitamix work well?

Susan April 9, 2011 at 11:15 am

I do not believe that the enzymes are broken down through the blending process. Some people soak, some do not. I have included instructions for both way. I soak but if you do you must add more oil.

Shelby April 9, 2011 at 11:21 am

I dont own a dehydrator…. can I soak the almonds without dehydrating them or putting them in the oven?

Chelsea April 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Just made this using my magimix food processor and it turned out amazingly well… despite my fear midway through that the machine was going to overheat. I also had no problem cleaning the machine or any of the other issues that people have had. The process went exactly as your photographs showed. Initially I wasn’t sure how well this would turn out because I’ve attempted to make nut butters before with incredibly lackluster results; however, I’m beginning to realize that is probably because of how terribly impatient I am. Anyway, I will definitely be using this recipe for as long as I’m making my own almond butter. Thanks so much Susan!

(PS: I’ve tried using the food processor and even tried with my vitamix once– learned that day that vitamix blenders are incredibly versatile machines but I personally don’t think it does so great with thick/creamy things. Everything has it’s purpose right?)

meera April 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

You clearly knew where people fail!

I followed your suggestions word to word… and got amazing almond butter!
Needed it for a soba noodle dressing and was very happy with the results. I learnt something from you – perfect teaching!

Heather April 29, 2011 at 10:11 pm

It might be because of the honey and/or how old my processor is. It took a half hour but it finally went thru all of the stages and I cant wait to try it on some fruit from a recipe I have. I have no doubt it will be worth the wait! Hang in there people, it will get there!

Susan April 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm

From the recipe: “If you choose to use the honey and salt, stir in by hand after the butter is made as it will seize the mixture if you try to add it before.” Do not add the honey until you are done with the almond butter. Then stir it in by hand.

Alison May 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Great post. The pictures are really helpful. @Cara: I have a ton of almond pulp left over every time I make almond milk, and I tend to make granola out of it. I mix the pulp with some sort of syrupy sweetener (I use Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar), any dried fruit, nuts, seeds I have around (I always use pumpkin seeds), and some cinnamon and nutmeg. Then, I dehydrate it and break it up into pieces. It’s a little dry and admittedly slightly mealy, but I enjoy it and it is better than throwing away all that pulp!

Alison May 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm

P.S. @Cara (cont’d): If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can bake it around 250 on a middle rack and watch so it crisps up but doesn’t burn.

Leo May 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

After 30 minutes, I hadn’t even reached the balling up stage: http://i56.tinypic.com/2e22ckx.png

My processor is a Kenwood FP730 – a powerful and competent processor…. I used it on setting 1 mainly but cranked it to about 4 or 5 for a few minutes here and there, didn’t seem to make any difference – just hurt my ears.

So sad.

Any ideas?

Susan May 4, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Is setting 1 the lowest setting? That might be the issue. Other than that, I am not familiar with that food processor. Did you follow the recipe to the letter?

Lynda May 6, 2011 at 9:41 am

I’m pretty sure if I ran my food processor for 12 minutes non-stop the motor would burn out. That could get expensive.

Susan May 6, 2011 at 9:45 am

I make nut butters with my Kitchenaid all the time. Have not had a problem.

Dave May 10, 2011 at 7:02 am

Susan, like Rob, I was told to find an alternative to my much loved, peanut butter. Tried your recipe tonight minus the salt, easy, everything turned out according to your pictures. Mine took about 20 minutes, you do spend a lot of time scraping the side of the f/p. The finished product was a bit grainy, I smoothed it out with a few drops of olive oil. I could get used to the taste over time. With the support from my friends and doctors, I am now in the eat healthy mode. Thanks.

Claire May 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe! I made some almond butter this afternoon. It turned out perfectly.

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