Almond Butteryass Mondays
(Vanilla Roasted Almond Butter)
WORDS: Johnny Lozano
If you’ve been watching The Berrics for long enough, you might fondly remember a weekly segment called “Butteryass Mondays,” hosted by Butteryass Donovan Strain. Yes, the first casualty of Malto Manual Shit was the genius behind a series of short videos in which he shared hilarious life hacks before “life hacks” was a term. Often aimed at helping people save a little dough, he taught us how to wash our clothes and get top-notch advertising on the cheap.
He also taught a generation to stand in awe of the frightening power of grapes.
Well, this week’s recipe—vanilla roasted almond butter—is also a money-saving life hack of sorts. When I was first designing FLATBAR from home, one of the most expensive parts of R&D was the cost of almond butter. A regular (non-snooty brand) jar of peanut butter runs $3-4; a regular jar of almond butter (which is often about ¾ the size of a jar of peanut butter) runs an astonishing 3x that amount (obviously, this may vary depending on your location, but even in the more modest grocery stores of Austin, Texas, the price difference is criminal). Once it became clear to me that I would be going through several jars a week as I tried to perfect the bars, I realized that it was way cheaper to just make it myself. And as an added bonus, it was easy to customize the almond butter by adding different extracts, varying amounts of salt, and different oils for different flavors.
And as you’re about to see, it couldn’t be easier to make.
But first, if you’re wondering why you’d even want almond butter when tried-and-true PB is abundant, here are some subtle differences:
- Almond butter has a higher ratio of monounsaturated fat than peanut butter (this fat has been linked to reduction in heart disease);
- Almond butter contains almost 3x as much vitamin E, 2x as much iron, and 7x more calcium than peanut butter;
- Almond butter has about 2x the fiber of peanut butter; and most importantly,
- Almond butter tastes incredible!
While this week’s recipe is uncharacteristically short and simple, it will feed into next week’s Halloween recipe (vegan Take 5 bars – mind-blowing skate pun TBD). So if you make this, be sure to hold on to some of it to add into a delicious Halloween dessert.
Here’s how it’s made:
- 1 lb. raw natural almonds (while we will be roasting them, don’t use ones that are already roasted)
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil (you can use a different non-flavorful oil if you want, but steer away from coconut oil as this will freeze up the almond butter some)
- 2 tsp. agave or maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spread your almonds out on a baking tray. Once the oven is heated, toss the almonds in and let them roast for 10-12 minutes. This will loosen up the oils some and allow for easier processing. Once roasted, take them out and let them cool for 15 minutes.
- Throw the almonds in a food process and start processing at a moderate speed. This is where patience comes in handy. It will take 5-10 minutes of continuous processing for the almonds to start turning into almond butter. Every so often, stop processing and scrape down the sides to make sure everything is getting processed equally.
- …Seriously, keep processing. It will be granulated for the first 90% of the processing time and then all of a sudden, the oils are released and you’ll be staring at almond butter.
- Once it’s looking as buttery as your boy, Donovan, add in the vegetable oil, agave, vanilla, and sea salt and keep processing for another 30 seconds or so. If you notice it getting a little thick and you want to thin it up some, add a little more oil.
- Take it out, spread it on anything and everything, then keep the rest in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month.
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