Monday, December 22, 2008

Choosing Almond Butter

Almond butter is similar to peanut butter, but without the peanuts. This makes the spread less salty and also a wonderful alternative for those with peanut allergies. Several studies have been done with the results all finding that eating nuts is linked to lower risk of heart disease.

Almond butter can be purchased in most health food stores, but can also be made at home. I’ve seen recipes that call for blanched almonds only, run through a food processor until a butter forms. I personally prefer a bit of salt in my spread.

To create the spread with a bit of salt, start with one cup of blanched almonds. Put the nuts into the food processor with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Process.

If you want a chunkier consistency, chop up ¼ cup of blanched almonds and add after processing.

If you would like your spread, a bit smoother, you can add oil in the food processor. Try about ½ tablespoon.

Use almond butter as you would use peanut butter. Use it on sandwiches, on toast, on muffins, on celery etc.

Once you’ve made a batch, what about using it to make almond butter cookies? Again, for those with peanut allergies these are a wonderful alternative. Here is just one recipe for these wonderful cookies, using maple as a sweetener:

Almond Butter Cookies

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, sift before measuring
1 cup almond butter
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Mix together the almond butter and oil; beating until smooth. Mix in the maple syrup and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour and salt. Add mixture to almond butter mixture and mix until just combined. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes.Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place on baking sheet and then flatten. If you want the “lines” that peanut butter cookies have, then flattern with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

I personally love a good old fashioned almond butter and jelly sandwich. Enjoy experimenting with your almond butter and improve your health at the same time.

Audrey :)

1 comment:

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

You have some great recipes on here! These cookies sound yummy! I'm bookmarking you!