Failed Nut Butter and a Surprisingly Good Pear Almond Butter
Failed nut butter may not sound like the most promising of posts, but do read on. I unwittingly turned my failure to make almond butter into a delicious pear almond butter, which is definitely worth blogging about.
I’ve been wanting to have a go at making my own nut butter for a long time, but I have a very long list of things I want to try and nut butter just had to wait. It wasn’t until I got my new Optimum G2.3 platinum series induction blender that I was prompted into action. As I had quite a few almonds in the house, I thought almond butter would be a good way of putting my shiny new machine through its paces. I must state now, that I don’t think my failure had anything to do with my blender. I’ve since read that almonds are a tricky nut to turn into butter and that you need top quality fat nuts with plenty of oil for it to work well. You live and learn.
The first thing I wanted to do was activate my nuts. If you’ve read Sally Fallon’s excellent book, Nourishing Traditions, you’ll know that nuts have enzyme inhibitors that prevent the human body from absorbing many of the nutrients they contain. Nuts need to be soaked for a good few hours to release the problematic phytic acid, which can then be washed away. So before I could do anything, I needed to soak my nuts and then dry them again. Cue my P200 dehydrator. It’s one of my favourite pieces of kit.
Roasting nuts is meant to make the process easier and I did know that before commencing, but I wanted a raw nut butter to keep as many nutrients as possible.
Once activated, it was time to make the almond butter. The theory is that you blitz the almonds first as you would to make ground almonds and then you just keep going. You may need to scrape the sides down from time to time, but the almonds should turn into butter when the nuts release their oils after about ten minutes. It just didn’t happen for me. I blended for at least 25 minutes. I added some coconut oil in the hope that would help – it didn’t. I then tried adding some raw honey. That didn’t help either. I ended up with a dark grainy mess.
I cannot abide waste in any form and especially when it comes to food. I was not going to throw my failed nut butter away. So I decided to turn it into a cake. Having started with the idea I wanted something healthy, I thought I’d add pears to cut down on the need for too much fat and sugar. I threw three pears into the blender and lo! A miracle! The nuts transformed into a beautifully smooth pear almond butter almost immediately. The colour also changed quite dramatically from dark to light.
It was time for a taste test. Well, goodness me, my newly discovered pear almond butter was sensational. I was so excited by this unexpected rescue, I think I did a whoop or two and danced a little jig, The only thing needed, was a touch of vanilla and it was done. Delicious spread on toasted slices of my apple and hazelnut spelt rye sourdough bread.
The cake did not go forgotten however. I scooped the pear nut butter into a large jar, then added an egg, more honey, flour and a couple of other ingredients to the remainder. The result were these rather scrumptious gingered pear almond honey cakes – win win.
- 185g almonds
- pinch of sea salt x 2
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 small pears - washed and cored but not peeled
- First of all you'll need to activate your almonds. Place in a bowl of water with an added pinch of sea salt and cover with water. Soak for 24 hours.
- Rinse the nuts, then place in a dehydrator or very low oven for 8-12 hours to dry. I used my Optimum P200 at 35℃ for 8 hours. You want to dry them, not roast them.
- Place the dry nuts in a blender or food processor and blitz to a flour consistency. I used my Optimum G2.3 induction blender.
- Continue to blend on a medium setting, adding the salt, coconut oil and honey when the mixture becomes too thick to move. You will probably need to scrape down the sides from time to time.
- Blend for a few minutes until the you have a dark oily grainy mixture.
- Add the pears and vanilla extract then blend again for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale and smooth.
- Spoon into clean sterilised jars and seal.
- Makes two jars.
- Activating the almonds is not necessary, but it's said to make the nutrients more accessible.
- Keep in the fridge for a months and once opened consume within a week.
Other nut butter recipes you might like
- Chocolate hazelnut butter via London Unattached
- Homemade cashew butter via Natural Kitchen Adventures
- Raw chocolate cashew spread via Tin and Thyme
- Sweet black sesame seed butter via A Seasonal Veg Table
I use my Optimum Blenders for smoothies, spreads, sauces and even chocolate making. The post contains affiliate links. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. This helps keep Tin and Thyme blythe and blogging. Opinions are, as always, my own.