Today I made almond butter in the Vitamix. I wanted something a little different than the raw almond butter I've been buying (a bit if a treat, if you will) and so I roasted the almonds first and mixed a little bit of honey and salt into the final product.
The results are to die for. I don't think I can ever buy almond butter from a shop again. How did I do it? Find out after the jump!
First I roasted 300g almonds for around 10 minutes. (A secret - I actually roasted them a little too long and had to pick out a few burned ones - shh!)
I then trawled the internet for tips. My Vitamix books all say you should add oil to the almond butter but I wanted to avoid this if I could (although I think coconut oil would be yummy). I finally found this YouTube video that demonstrates categorically that no oil is needed. It also shows how quickly the almond butter is produced and how you don't need to scrape down the sides, just use the tamper. This video left me feeling quite confident about my attempt.
A very helpful almond butter video
So, I popped my warm almonds into the Vitamix, sprinkled in a little bit of sea salt, strapped on the lid, got the tamper into position, and started. As outlined in the Vitamix materials I switched it on at speed 1, quickly turned it to 10, then flipped it to high speed. I began tamping away and wondering how long it would take. It took all of about a minute!
I couldn't believe it. I switched the machine back down to 10, then to 1, then off, and removed the tamper. Sure enough, there was honest to goodness almond butter at the end of it! Amazeballs, I uttered (I actually did).
The hardest part of the process was getting as much almond butter out of the Vitamix as possible. I utilized a long spoon and a spatular - I think I will buy a spatula with a smaller end for this purpose as I couldn't get as much out as I would have liked.
After scooping into a wide-mouth jar, I added a small spoonful of warmed set local honey and stirred and stirred. The butter lost its drippy, oily texture but was warm enough to mix the honey through. I smoothed the top and left it with the lid off to cool enough to seal and put into the fridge. I believe the resulting product will keep for up to 3 weeks, but I've already told mr plum not to judge me if he comes home tomorrow to find it all gone...
The final stage was cleaning the Vitamix. Almond butter is pretty sticky and I was under no illusion that this would be as easy as cleaning it after making soup, for example. I did one cleaning cycle with warm water and a few drops of washing up liquid to get the bulk of the butter out. After this first cycle there was still visible almond butter on the sides and bottom of the container. I filled it up again with warm water and washing up liquid, ran it for 30 seconds or so, then switched it off and left it to sit for a couple of minutes. I ran it for another 30 seconds and voila! All the sticky almond butter had disappeared. Not bad really!