Food

Ingredient of the Week: Almond Butter

By Samantha Wood • November 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm


Nut butters are so in right now. Seriously. Almost every food blog I have looked at in the past few months has featured a recipe for homemade nut butter. It looked so good that I got involved and made my own version.

Almond butter’s taste is not as strong as that of peanut butter, and the consistency of organic almond butter is my favorite. It is slightly soupy but not to the point that it is disgusting.

Because I love almond butter so much, I decided to make four recipes instead of three. There is an extra dessert added just in case you’re like me and can’t get enough of your almond butter.

Almond butter, like peanut butter, is full of essential fats–the healthy kind. It is also a good source of protein. One serving, two tablespoons, of organic almond butter has 180 calories and 16 grams of fat, 14 of which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Both help reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower heart disease risk.

Going down the list, one serving also has four grams of fiber, or 16 percent of your daily value. It finishes off with two grams of sugar and seven grams of protein.

Since I have one more recipe to cover than usual, I should probably get right to it. So, without further ado, I present this week’s ingredient of the week—almond butter.

almond butter

Breakfast Pizza | Photo by Samantha Wood

Breakfast
Breakfast Pizza
Total time: 8 minutes, serves 1

Ingredients
1 wrap (wheat, white or gluten-free)
1 banana
4 tablespoons almond butter
chocolate chips, to sprinkle

Directions
Break wrap into four sections in the shape of a pizza. Place them in the toaster or in the oven broiler and toast or broil until golden brown. Meanwhile, mix banana and almond butter until completely combined. Once wrap is toasted to your satisfaction, spread the almond butter and banana mixture on top and sprinkle on chocolate chips.

This recipe was inspired by Chocolate-Covered Katie, my favorite vegan dessert blog out there. Surprisingly, the mixture tastes like frosting and works great for spreading. If you want yours to be a little sweeter, use an overly ripe banana. And if you want it a little thicker, store the “frosting” in the refrigerator or just let it sit for a little while. However, beware that it may change color on you because of the banana.

almond butter

AB & J in a Pocket | Photo by Samantha Wood

Lunch
AB & J in a Pocket
Total time: 5 minutes, serves 1

Ingredients
1 whole wheat, or white, pita
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 teaspoons jelly
2 small handfuls of almonds
4 sliced grapes

Directions
Cut the pita into two halves and place each side in the toaster. Once toasted and golden brown, spread almond butter on one side of each pita pocket half. Sprinkle the almonds on one side and then add the sliced grapes. Finish the sandwich by spreading the jelly on top of the grapes. I suggest using grape or blueberry jelly, but any flavor will work fine.

This sounds like a simple sandwich, but adding the crunch of the almonds and crisp juiciness of the grapes make the flavors pop against the thin crunchy toasted pita bread.

almond butter

Toasted Almond Salad with Almond Sesame Dressing | Photo by Samantha Wood

Dinner
Toasted Almond Salad with Almond Sesame Dressing
Total time: 15 minutes, serves 4

Ingredients

For dressing
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 1/4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
water, if needed
For salad
4 cups lettuce (spring mix or another variety)
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 tomato, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons roasted almonds

Directions
To make the dressing, combine all ingredients and stir until fully mixed and evenly distributed. If mixture is not the liquidy consistency of salad dressing, add a little water. To make the salad, mix all ingredients into lettuce. Drizzle dressing onto salad and serve garnished with extra almonds.

Almond butter is not the first ingredient I think of for a salad dressing base, but this worked out just fine. It tasted like a thai peanut sauce, but with an almond flavor instead of peanut.

almond butter

Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Balls | Photo by Samantha Wood

Dessert
Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Balls from Chocolate-Covered Katie
Total time: 20 minutes, makes about a dozen balls

Ingredients
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 cup chocolate chips

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a bowl (except for chocolate chips) until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Once everything has been evenly mixed, add the chocolate chips and mix until those are evenly incorporated as well. Roll dough into balls. Eat at room temperature or stick them in the refrigerator. They taste great chilled.

These are simple to make, but taste heavenly. You can get creative and use any kind of nut butter or topping you would like. Crushed nuts and raisins would be a nice addition as well.




Responses

  1. I am digging the AB & J in a pocket. Love the grapes + almonds combo. :)