I have a confession to make. I have a problem. I love nut butter. And not just almond butter, but pretty much any nut butter out there (ok except peanut butter, but that’s not really a nut but a legume, and I do love the taste but not the bio-toxin baggage it comes with, but I digress). There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t eat at least a spoonful of it. You will almost always find a jar of it in my fridge. I remember 6 years ago coming home from college (wow ok now I suddenly feel like I’ve aged 20 years…) hearing about people using this machine called a food processor to actually MAKE nut butter. I couldn’t even comprehend this at the time. The idea that someone could actually transform those nuts that you’d find in the bulk section into the creamy spreads that could only be found at the store literally blew my mind. I remember reading all these different cooking blogs and analyzing how it was done. I especially loved the ones with the pictures because I could actually understand exactly what the process looked like. This is solely what convinced me that I needed a food processor in my life.
I remember having the conversation with my mom informing her that this was something we needed, like yesterday. We saved up our money, and $150 later, there it sat in my parent’s kitchen. I was so excited to finally get down to it. I must say, even after all of my careful research, there were still a good 4 or 5 batches of really terrible almond butter in the beginning. Because I was so nervous to mess it up, I wouldn’t let it process long enough. So, my end product was a stiff clump that I would still dutifully eat (I really hated wasting food, in fact I still do). I remember being so frustrated that I gave up on the idea for a little bit. One day, I finally threw caution to the wind and decided that I would take another whack at it meanwhile conquering this fear of messing up. And you know what? I’m so glad that I did. This time, I paid special attention to what it looked like and what it sounded like as it was going through its transformation, and above all things, I was patient. I didn’t try to hurry the process along-I let it happen. I watched and scraped down the sides occasionally and then let it work its magic. And ultimately, I finally had a beautiful jar almond butter!
It’s this lesson that I come back to sometimes when I’m afraid of messing something up or that I might do something wrong-if you don’t try, then you’ve already failed. Not to say that we always succeed and that you won’t end up with clumpy almond butter once in a while, but those experiences and lessons learned provide wisdom that continually help us improve along our journey. It takes a lot to accept ourselves when we “mess up” rather than resorting to our own criticism and giving up. Typically, we are our own worst critics, and it really is a beautiful thing when you accept yourself and give yourself the opportunity to learn and grow.
Now, go make some almond butter!
Maple Almond Butter
2 cups almonds
1/4 cup pecan oil (it’s what I had on hand, but I bet coconut oil would be just as good)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 15 minutes until toasted
- Place the almonds in a food processor and process until the almond butter starts clumping into a ball (you might need to scrape the sides down)
- Add in pecan oil or whichever oil you choose
- Once the almond butter is completely smooth, then add the maple syrup, coconut sugar, and sea salt and process until combined
- Transfer into a glass jar and store in the fridge (I forgot to mention that with the pecan butter, but nut butters will last longer if stored in the fridge)