Homemade Almond Butter (and a Visit to Palm Springs, CA)

Palm Springs

 

My husband and I packed our bags for another short trip; this time our destination was Palm Springs.  Is it just me or has the city seen a revival since my last visit seven years ago?  Even on a Wednesday, Palm Canyon Drive was bustling with activity.  It was nice to see the palm tree-lined streets once again, the desert hills providing a breathtaking backdrop that, as usual, I had a hard time looking away from.

The first two images here are equally magnificent views from a bird’s eye view.  It was smooth sailing all the way as we cruised at 10,500 feet with only minor turbulence as we passed the San Bernardino Mountains and flew through Banning Pass (image above) for the approach to Palm Springs airport.  Even after a dozen years of flying in a small aircraft with my husband the “bumps” still get my attention but at least they no longer have me gripping the airplane’s dashboard for security.

 

Palm Springs-3

Palm Springs-2

Instagram images from our hotel and a black and white of Palm Canyon Drive.

 

Though we were happy to be in the heart of Palm Springs (with an excursion to Palm Desert) the main purpose of our visit was to see Joshua Tree National Park again.  Seven years ago we rode our bikes through a portion of the park, making a day out of pedaling from one highlighted spot on the visitor’s map to another.  We ate our packed lunches while perched on a boulder, appreciating the beauty around us.

Joshua Tree National Park is the meeting point of two deserts:  The Colorado and the Mojave.  They differ in elevation, average temperature and annual rainfall but they have common plant and wildlife species.  At higher elevation and with cooler average temperatures, one distinct feature of the Mojave Desert is the presence of Joshua trees scattered about the northern portion of the park.

 

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park-3

 

Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) are a member of the agave family.  Their unusual features add more drama to the parched beauty of the desert but what is impressive is the fact that these tall trees are older than they look.  Starting from seed, a Joshua tree may grow several inches during the first five years but, on average, will grow only one half inch per year thereafter.  I’ve yet to see the tallest tree in the park–about 40 feet tall–which is thought to be 300 years old…something to look forward to on my next visit.

 

Joshua Tree National Park-4

Joshua Tree National Park-2

 

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Homemade Almond Butter

 

I was anxious to return to the kitchen yesterday but flying has a way of zapping your energy.  Even with my husband piloting the plane and me simply acting as backup navigator the 2 hour + flight can be extremely tiring.  Maybe it’s being at altitude (we do use supplemental oxygen) or maybe it’s the nonstop activity starting a day or two before we leave but I couldn’t stay awake last night–I went to bed at 7 pm!

Today, rested and recharged, I made up for lost time by preparing three recipes.  Well, if you can call this one a recipe.  I needed nut butter for the first item on my to-cook list (I wanted something other than peanut butter) and didn’t feel like leaving the house for just one thing.  I resorted to using my husband’s stash of almonds (he roasted 10 pounds last weekend), figuring he wouldn’t miss a few cups.

In no time at all I had this gorgeous, smooth and tasty almond butter.  The split images above show the progression from the first stage to the last.  2 1/2 cups of almonds took less than 15 minutes to process.  I’ve read that roasted almonds require a slightly shorter processing time so keep this in mind if you use raw almonds.  I recommend that you use roasted anyway–the butter has a little more depth this way. It will be hard to go back to store-bought almond butter after trying it yourself at home.  And you know what?  It’s so easy—and so much cheaper–that there’s no reason to ever buy it again.

I’ll share the recipe that inspired me to make this almond butter on the next post.

Note:  The processing time may vary depending on the quantity of almonds and the equipment used.  I used my KitchenAid 12-cup Food processor.  

 

Homemade Almond Butter-5

 

5.0 from 6 reviews
Homemade Almond Butter
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade almond butter is so easy to make at home and tastes much better than store-bought.
Author:
Recipe type: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups roasted whole almonds (See notes for roasting instructions if you have raw almonds)
Instructions
  1. Process the whole almonds in a food processor. Depending on your equipment it could take 13-15 minutes from start to finish. The almond meal may stick to the sides of the bowl during the first few minutes so be prepared to run a spatula along the sides and restart the machine again. About halfway through the process the puréed almonds will clump into a ball--you can break it down with a spatula or just let the machine do its work. It will eventually break down as the oil continues to be expelled and in just a few more minutes you will have smooth nut butter. The butter is ready to use once it's processed.
Notes
To roast raw, whole almonds: Preheat your oven to 350℉. Arrange the almonds on a baking sheet and roast for 12-15 minutes, rotating once or twice during baking time. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before storing or using for nut butter.

Homemade Almond Butter-4

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Comments

  1. Your almond butter looks so creamy! I’m ready for a late night snack, I think ;). Glad you had a nice weekend getaway!

  2. Beautiful photos! I didn’t know very much about Joshua trees (except that my favourite U2 album was named after one!). ;)

    It would be tempting to enjoy this almond butter straight from a spoon – I just happened to have a healthy stash of raw almonds in cupboard…

  3. Michele Flores says:

    I am SO going to make this!!!!! Thank you!

  4. That almond butter looks creamy-delicious. To me, this is a perfect time to go to Palm Springs as the weather is really nice. Beautiful photos, Jean! Thank you for sharing and I’m glad you had an enjoyable weekend. :)

  5. I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter, but I’ve just started eating almond butter and it’s wonderful. I have noticed how much more it costs than regular ol’ PB at the grocery store, which makes no sense to me. I think, then, that I’ll have to try this! How long does it keep?

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Hi, Sara. I’ve read that almond butter can keep for a few months in the refrigerator but I’ve not tested this. Nut butters are consumed within a week or two around here. However, I don’t think the oils from the almonds will go rancid very quickly so I would guess you would be safe if you make a few cups worth of almonds (I used 2 1/2 cups here). :)

  6. Yum! I have actually never tasted almond butter am sure it is delicious! I went overboard with peanut butter and am a little sick of it now, so maybe it’s time to try out almond butter! Wonderful to see more of Palm Springs too :)

  7. Looks good! almond butter is getting expensive at the stores. I might have to starting making my own now. Do you know how long it lasts?

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Hi, Aileen. I’ve read that almond butter will keep for months (refrigerated) but honestly, nut butters don’t ever last that long around here. I do recommend that you try this–so much cheaper and so much better tasting. :)

  8. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    I really prefer almond butter to peanut butter. I bet the flavor of homemade is just delicious. How wonderful you enjoyed a getaway. The photos are wonderful, Jean:)

  9. Yum! Looks amazing, what a wonderful idea. I’m sure it is WAY better than store bought!

  10. I’m so glad you had a lovely trip down. It’s been a couple of years since I visited, seeing your instagrams is making me itch for a trip down!

    Love LOVE LOVE the homemade almond butter. I could use a batch for my morning english muffins!

  11. This looks delicious Jean! It does sound even better than peanut butter. I’m partial because I prefer almonds more than peanuts.

  12. The scenery is just breathtaking!

  13. What?!? No added oil? This is awesome!!! I didn’t know almond nuts soley can produce simple, amazing, smooth and crunchy butter! Gotta give this a try! Why did I buy that $10 jar of almond butter when I could have made it at home with guaranteed quality!!!

  14. It looks like you had a great trip! I’ve never been to any desert. Or California. I need to change that!

    And I love almond butter! As long as it has some flavoring (I don’t actually like almond). Maple cinnamon is my favorite. :) Looove these pictures!

  15. Love making my own nut butters – this one sounds wonderful with the roasted almonds.
    Gorgeous pictures from your trip!

  16. I’m totally addicted to almond butter but have never tried making my own. I may have to give it a try if it’s as easy as this looks. Definitely cheaper than buying a new jar every two weeks!

  17. Your pictures are beautiful and make me want to go somewhere warm fast! Almond butter is so good (I buy the Trader Joes stuff) I love the idea of making my own!

  18. What a great trip you and hubby had! I am with you on the “bumps” – they still get me too. My hubby and I took a short trip to Santa Rosa couple weekends ago and it was bumby big time. I have not been to Palm Springs since Spring Break during college – what an experience. Need to go again and see it from an adult point of view. Smile. Your almond butter looks and sounds divine!

  19. Wonderful photos of your adventure in Palm Springs Jean! Sounds like a fun time in the desert ;)
    Great use of roasted almonds- your homemade almond butter looks just ‘to die for’ delicious and ready to spread on some toast for breakfast;)

  20. This looks awesome! Where the almonds salted?

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Thanks! No, the almonds weren’t salted when we roasted them or when I made the almond butter. :)

  21. I am really wanting to try this almond butter it looks great and so does your trip. I love the desert and the serenity it offers.

  22. Beautiful! I was hoping to make this and send to my mom (I am in VA and she lives in CA) for Mother’s Day. Do you think it will be Ok in the mail or does it need to be refrigerated? Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi, Sarah. I always refrigerate my nut butters because the oils can get rancid pretty quickly. That said, I think it wouldn’t hurt if it was left out for a few days so maybe it would be okay to ship. Not sure, though. So glad you like this recipe!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] as a binder and peanuts for the crunch would overpower the blueberries.  Instead, I used the almond butter that I shared in my previous post and it worked out very well.  The almond butter provided a [...]

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