Chocolate Almond Butter

Almond butter is a wonderful indulgence.  A nice change from peanut butter, not an allergen for as many folks, some would argue it’s better for you, and it does not have the problems of some molds and toxins that may well be what sets off some people’s peanut allergies.  Alas, it is an economic indulgence.  It costs at least twice what peanut butter does in the store and much retail almond butter is produced in factories that also process peanuts and so still is inedible to those allergic to peanuts.

Enter this wonderful blog-o-spere linking so many creative (and cheap) people to me!  I found lots of people are making their own almond butter who claim that it is easy in a food processor.  They were right!  And inspired by my Little Sis who can never leave a recipe well enough alone… I decided I should put my own stamp on homemade almond butter to share with you.  But what to do to almond butter?  Clearly, chocolate should be involved.

This is not a great innovation mind you.  Chocolate and nuts have been meeting in back alleys and broom closets for centuries.

Lots of my co-workers rave about Nutella ( a hazelnut and chocolate spread) and I have eaten it before – but it packs a whopping 21g. of sugar per 2 Tbsp serving.  Sugar is the first ingredient and palm oil is the second, relegating the hazelNUT part of the nutella to 3rd place on the ingredient list.

This recipe of mine also foreshadows our next Baby Step which will address the notion of baby stepping away from the more dangerous food choices in your life (or your kids lives).  Lots of kids eat sugar-y crap for breakfast…. Pop-tarts, sugar-y cereals, doughnuts, etc.  One way to move away from those choices is to offer an alternative that still provides a nod to the devil in one ear whispering
“I want sugar with Ka-POW,
Give me sugar, give it to me NOW!”  (scene shifts to hyper child jumping around and evil laughter in the background.)

They might not go willingly into your sunshine-y healthy morning!  But, if you slather some of this on a piece of whole grain or Ezekiel bread, they might come along and they might even say “Thank you.”

So move over heavily sweetened Nutella…. here is the less sweet, all-natural, and kid approved Buttella(?).  No, that won’t do.  Almonella?  Okay, sometimes you just have to go with what it is.  And what it is, is:

Chocolate Almond Butter:

2 cups roasted almonds
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 Tbsp. liquid sweetener (I used Agave – maple syrup should be fine, honey might change consistency – could even be better!)
1 Tbs. walnut oil
A little time and patience… maybe another task in the kitchen to complete while doing this :-)

IF you are weaning a child from a very sugar-y breakfast or snack, then you may have to put a bit more sweetener in. My son loves this, but he is somewhat trained and does not often get sweets at the commercial level of sweet-ness, so he thought is was very yummy indeed.  Taste as you go.  If you use more sweetener, you might not need the extra oil.  Watch your consistency as you go.  Consistency is what this whole venture of making your own almond butter is about, so let’s get to the how to.

I roast almonds at 375 for about 10 minutes or until fragrant.  It is quicker if you roast them on something that allows them to be spread out.  If they are bunched up, shake them up every couple of minutes.

Place the almonds in the food processor with the S blade.DSC07654

Turn it on and process until walls of almond crumbs are climbing up the side of your processor.  Scrape it down and turn it back on.  This is the patience piece.  It takes about 12 minutes of processing to turn almonds into almond butter.  If you try this with un-roasted almonds, I don’t know if that changes the times, but just watch, shut it down and scrape the sides down regularly as you watch the concoction progress from this:

0130130939

   to this:   0130131105

And eventually (adding salt at some point along the way)… spin… scrape… spin…. scrape…. take that sugar devil! This.

0130131111

Now this pic was my first nut-butter rodeo when I made plain almond butter, which was delicious and wonderful.  When I made the chocolate almond butter, I added the cocoa and sweetener when I was about halfway to smooth and creamy.  I placed the sweetener and cocoa in the middle of the processor, next to the blade and then scraped the walls of sticky almond crumbs over it so the cocoa wouldn’t go flying everywhere.  I dislike flying cocoa.

Then when it seemed to be a little too chalky, I added the walnut oil.

DSC07656  Just keep on spinning until you get the consistency and taste you want.  Don’t wait too long to add the walnut oil.  My butter got a bit hot from all the spinning and I’m guessing that some food processors might not appreciate the level of work required, so don’t wait too long and keep an eye on your machine so you don’t burn up the motor.

Again, plain almond butter is very nice and makes a great spread and a great dip:

    2013-01-30 11.15.54

But there is something about chocolate.  Here you go little sugar devil.  I think you’re going to like this!

DSC07661The consistency was nice and spreadable.  I thought the flavor was better un-refrigerated but was afraid it might separate.  Since then it has been left out of the frig for a few hours and not separated at all.

Let us know if this pleases the Pop-tart / doughnut / Cocoa Krispie lovers in your house!

And you never know, the little ones might be more willing to try the new concoction if you do call it Buttella!

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91 responses

    • The plain almond butter did not seem to tax the machine – it was adding that dry, powdery cocoa that I think cause it to start to heat up. But I think not taking so long to thin it out would help. I kept thinking more spinning would do the trick when it really needed some more oil or liquid. Good luck! I’d love to see what you’ll come up with if you start! ;-)

  1. I must confess to having two Nutella-loving sons, and I’m absolutely game to try this out on them. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and ideas. A small aside, the naturopath that our family has been seeing recently, whom I really trust, pronounced agave a ‘garbage sweetener’, saying that it is really not a good alternative. She was much more in favour of honey and maple syrup. When I’ve tried looking into this online I found conflicting opinions, and you are probably much better informed than I am!

    • I have also read conflicting opinions, including the opinion that there is a big difference between organic and non-organic agave. I don’t know if the processing of some was what distressed the naturopath (who probably knows a lot more than I do). However, it is still just sugar, as are honey and maple syrup. It was cheaper one day than maple syrup, so I bought it and I do like how thin it is for some recipes. It also has less flavor, which in this case I thought would be good. Please let me know if nutella fans are won over by this (you may need an extra Tbsp. of sweetener in their version)!

  2. Not a Nutella fan but I”m a BIG almond fan and with chocolate, well, obviously you got that right! Sounds so good and my big kid of a husband is one who is gradually moving away from pastry breakfasts or second breakfasts. This would be perfect for him!

  3. it’s so funny how we just assume that because it’s in a package we can’t make it ourselves. this proves we can. looks great!

    thank you for sharing with us at the wednesday fresh foods link up! i hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & real/whole food posts! xo, kristy.

  4. My kids love nutella, but this would be a much better choice for them and I’m guessing would taste great with the chocolate component (chocolate, like bacon, makes everything better, right?!). Thanks for sharing this on Hearth & Soul Hop. :)

  5. This is fantastic. My grandchildren love Nutella, so I think they will really like this. I am looking forward to serving it to them and seeing how they like it. Thank you for sharing the recipe!!

  6. I love this one so much, I will head out later to get almonds, just so I can make that! Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza – see you there again next week with more of your deliciousness :)

  7. This looks so delicious! I know my kids will love it. Thanks so much for linking up with “Try a New Recipe Tuesday!” I hope you will be able to join us again this week. :-) :-)

  8. My boys love Nutella, so I’m thrilled your more healthier alternative. Thanks for sharing it at our “What’d You Do This Weekend Linky Party at thedomesticatedprincess.com.

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  10. Oh, this looks SO tempting!
    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  11. Thank you so much for sharing at last weekends link party! I have a peanut allergic child so this would be perfect for us to make at home because you are so right… everything is “processed on the same equipment” and she can’t have so much because of that.

    Hope to see you again this weekend!

  12. My teenager needed a chocolate fix today, but didn’t have time to make brownies before work. This recipe was a good substitute, though I must admit, I can’t follow recipes. It’s hard wired into me. This one got roasted almonds and cashews, and grapeseed oil instead of walnut oil. I don’t know why I have grapeseed oil, but I thought it would be better than olive. The last time I made almond butter, I used honey and it went from a lovely creamy butter, to very crumbly. Still good, but had to be eaten with a spoon instead of spread on bread. This time I used about a tbsp of evaporated cane juice, and it was perfect.
    Thanks for the recipe, I find so much inspiration here.

    • You are very welcome! And thanks for the tip about honey – I almost used it last time I made this for variety and decided not to mess with it. Glad I didn’t! Thank you so much for you feedback, it really means a lot to us.

  13. This looks so darn good! I am definitely writing this one down! :-) Thanks for linking up with “Try a New Recipe Tuesday!” I look forward to seeing what you’ll share this week. :-)

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    • Thank you for the links and the info! I actually have stopped using agave and just use maple syrup….. It will be a step for me someday to cut out sugar entirely. Good for you!

    • I actually have not tried it with hazelnuts…. I really should. I hope you like the almond version, it’s cheaper ;-) Thanks for stopping by.

    • I struggled with buying a food processor on top of a blender as well….. being able to make chocolate (and plain) almond butter helped convince me :-) Thanks for hosting Foodie Friday!

  17. Congratulations! This post is featured over at Diana Rambles today and has been pinned in the Featured at Diana Rambles board at Pinterest, Tweeted, and Recommended on G+. Please grab a featured button off my sidebar or via the link under the features. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!

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