Almond butter is a paste or spread featuring ground almonds.
Pure almond butter
The modern definition of almond butter is ground up almonds, usually with a bit of oil added to bind the ground almonds together. It looks like the kind of natural peanut butter that has the oil on top. Sometimes, a bit of sweetener is added.
The modern version is sold at health or bulk food stores, or make your own in a food processor.
It can be used in any way that peanut butter would be used, though the flavour is different.
If you grind almonds on their own without some added oil, you will just end up with almond powder.
Toast the almonds a bit first to release the oils in the nuts, then whiz in a food processor adding drops of a vegetable oil until the mixture forms a butter that looks like peanut butter.
You may also add a drop or two of almond extract to enhance the flavour, and a bit of sweetener if the nut butter has a bit of a bitter edge.
Almond butter (in the modern definition) is high in monounsaturated fat, and provides potassium and B vitamins. It also provides 7 g of protein per 2 tablespoons.
Registered dietitian Leslie Beck writes that almond butter is nutritionally better than peanut butter, “delivering seven times more calcium and 40 per cent more magnesium. Per two tablespoons, almond butter contains 110 mg of calcium and 90 mg of magnesium. Plus, almond butter is an exceptional source of immune-supportive vitamin E, providing 7.7 mg (half a day’s worth) per two tablespoon serving.” Beck, Leslie. Test your nutrition smarts: Which of these foods packs the most nutritional heft? Toronto, Canada: The Globe and Mail. 30 May 2022. Accessed May 2022 at https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/article-test-your-nutrition-smarts-which-of-these-foods-packs-the-most
Classical definition of almond butter
Another definition of “almond butter” is one from classical French cooking: 1 part almonds, ground to a paste, combined with 2 parts butter (actual butter.) The mixture is then forced through a sieve, and used as a garnish on hors d’oeuvres, soups and sauces.
|Beck, Leslie. Test your nutrition smarts: Which of these foods packs the most nutritional heft? Toronto, Canada: The Globe and Mail. 30 May 2022. Accessed May 2022 at https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/article-test-your-nutrition-smarts-which-of-these-foods-packs-the-most