Homemade almond butter, just like homemade peanut butter, is a staple in our kitchen. We put it on whole wheat toast, eat it with apples and bananas, and add it to oatmeal and smoothies. Almond butter has grown in popularity over the past few years which has many people wondering if they should ditch their beloved peanut butter and choose almond butter instead.
Let’s take a closer look…Almond butter and peanut butter are actually pretty similar in terms of calories and macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat). They both have about 190 calories for a two tablespoon portion size, which makes both of them a high calorie, but nutrient dense food. Peanut butter has slightly more protein, with 8 grams per serving versus 7 grams per serving for almond butter. When it comes to fat, almond butter has the advantage because it is slightly lower in saturated fat (the kind you want to limit) and higher in monounsaturated fat (the heart healthy kind of fat).
The real difference between these two nut butters is when you compare the micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals. Almond butter is rich in Vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant, so it helps support a healthy immune system. Almond butter is also higher in magnesium and calcium which both help support our bone health. However, this doesn’t mean that peanut butter should be thrown to the curb! Peanut butter has higher amounts of B vitamins, which play an important role in our metabolism.
As you can see, peanut butter and almond butter are both nutrient dense options and I don’t think you have to choose one over the other. Include them both so you can get the benefits each has to offer!
As I mentioned with my peanut butter post, the store bought versions often have additives including sugar, salt and oil so be sure to read the labels. Better yet, why not make your own at home? After you make your first homemade nut butter, I promise you’ll be completely hooked!
I chose to add a vanilla bean to this batch (the picture above), but it’s just as good without it if you don’t have one available. You could also mix in some honey, cocoa powder or cinnamon to add some other flavors! I like to store my homemade nut butters in an air tight container in the refrigerator so I don’t have to worry about the natural oils separating.
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise and all seeds scraped out
- Add the almonds to a food processor or high speed blender and process continuously for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. The almond butter will be dry/gritty looking.
- Process continuously for another minute, stop and scrape down the sides. At this point, the almond butter will start clumping together…hang in there.
- Process continuously for another minute, stop and scrape down the sides. At this point, the almond butter will be softer….we’re almost there.
- Add in the vanilla bean and process for another minute or until almond butter is to desired consistency.
- Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
*The time it takes to process/blend the almonds will vary based on the strength of your food processor or blender. This may take up to 10 minutes, so don’t get discouraged!