Thursday, December 29, 2011

Amazing Almonds & an Almond Butter Recipe

Almonds are amazing.  The fact that I've written that, alone, shows how far I've come on this journey.  I used to hate almonds.  All nuts actually.  And now I eat almonds daily and in so many forms that mostly, I don't even know I'm eating almonds!  I always crack up when I serve my husband something and he says "I wish you'd put nuts in this.  It would taste better."  Little does he know that the main ingredients ARE nuts!  Almonds usually. (although I do do a lot with walnuts and pecans too)

Here's one example:

These brownies are my kids' favorite dessert.  They are flour-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and taste absolutely fabulous.  Hard to believe, isn't it?

So what's the fuss with Almonds?  Almonds are full of folic acid and fiber (which means they're a great choice if you're pregnant!), vitamins and minerals...and they're cholesterol-free.  They help fight heart disease and help get your blood pressure and cholesterol back to normal.  There's even research now showing how almonds help with cancer prevention.  Yes, there's fat in them...but it's the GOOD kind of fat.  (Of course, everything in moderation, including almonds.)

The things I make with almonds...
  • Brownies (as seen above)
  • Chocolate (I just made an amazing dark chocolate candy bar that's was made of 5 ingredients...cacao, maple syrup, coconut oil, salt and ALMONDS! So much healthier and more delicious than grabbing a Hershey's bar.)
  • Cookies, Bars, Oatmeal, Muffins, Pancakes ...  I grind the almonds in my mini-food processor so that it makes a powder.  It's called Almond Flour and makes a great addition to most foods.
  • Almond Butter.  (Lately I've swapped out the peanut butter in my kids' lunches for almond butter.  They eat the sandwiches without a problem and don't even notice the difference.)
So while I'm on the topic of Almond Butter...that's actually the motivation for this post.  The friend I mentioned two posts ago who gave me the Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter as a Christmas gift sent me the recipe below.  (Thank You!!)  Dark Chocolate Almond Butter.  Who could pass that up?  I just HAD to make it!  And it turned out AMAZING!!  So I'm going to share the recipe and the link to where it originated.  It is not my recipe...I'm am simply delivering it to you to try out.  Healthy food that tastes good...That's the way to eat!

 4-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

(This reminds me a little of Nutella. It's the smoothest almond butter I've ever had!)

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate (I used organic dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (another oil may work too)
  • 1/8th-1/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste
Directions: Place 2 cups of raw, whole almonds into a food processor. Process for about 15 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute or as necessary. It is a long process, but you don’t want to stop until you have released all the oils in the almonds and the mixture is very smooth and buttery! This took me a good 14-15 minutes.

Just before your almond butter is ready, add the 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1 tsp of coconut oil to a small pot. Melt on low. You want to remove the pot from heat when there are still some chocolate chip clumps remaining. Don’t worry they will melt as you stir the mixture. I always take it off the heat a bit early to avoid burning the chocolate.

Add the melted chocolate to the almond butter (still in the processor) and process for a couple minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add your kosher salt to taste and process more. Scoop into a container and store in the fridge. Makes 1 & 1/4 cups, 20 one-tbsp servings, or enough to fill a 250 ml jar. Refrigerate.

Note that the almond butter firms up in the fridge. Allow it to sit at room temperature to soften before using.

Nutritional Info: (per tbsp, approx 20 servings per batch): 104 kcals, 9 grams fat (1 gram sat fat), 6 grams carbs, 2 grams fibre, 3 grams sugar, 3 grams protein.

Here's her link:

My notes on this recipe:

Definitely view her link because it shows detailed photos that helped me a lot in making this.  In fact, I would have given up long before if I hadn't seen her photos.  It took double the time she says it takes.  Scraping the bowl takes a long time and a lot of physical strength.  I thought it would never turn into butter then then suddenly it happened.  It was fascinating to watch.  It also yields 2x what she says it will.  I filled up a jar that was 410 ml (a coconut oil jar).

I used 72% cacao but if you want something a little sweeter, I'd recommend adding 1 TBSP or more maple syrup to the melted chocolate.  I think I might try that next time.

I have to say it took a lot of time and work to get one jar of almond butter.  But it tasted so amazing that it was worth it.  At first I'd thought this would make a great Christmas gift to give out to friends next year, but after all the time to get one jar...IF anyone gets this as a gift from me they're going to know I love them VERY much.  :-)

P.S.  This chocolate almond butter is a great substitute for hot fudge on ice cream.  Yes...I cheated (but it was Haagen Daz so it was as close to clean-eating as ice cream can get!)   Also, the recipe I posted here for the Raw Maple Sweet Potatoes turned out wonderful!  The family ate it up at Christmas dinner.  I was a little disappointed there weren't any leftovers.


  1. thosE brownies look delicious. I would love that recipe.

  2. Thanks Kim. I'll repost them again as a blog next week. I've posted them in the past as the recipe of the week. Keep watching! :-)