Hello, hello to Katie’s awesome readers! My name is Melanie and I blog over at Beautifully Nutty. First and foremost I want to say, THANK YOU to Katie for asking me to contribute to her blog today as a guest. Katie and I met through blogging and have become great friends over time. I adore her as I’m sure you all do too.
A quick little tidbit about me:
I am a Registered Dietitian who loves to blog about all things food related, fitness, my big ol’ teddy bear German Shepherd named Moose, travel, love, happiness, and my journey towards finding total wellness and balance in my life. Whew! That’s just the beginning. If you ever want to take a peak over at my blog and see what I’m up to, I would love for you to stop by and say hi!
Now on to the goods…
Like many of us, I am a total nut butter lover. Growing up I would prefer peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in my lunch box over meat and cheese any day. You could give me peanut butter flavored cereal, peanut butter toast, peanut butter on a spoon; it was all good.
As the years went on, my love for peanut butter only grew stronger. When M & M’s came out with peanut butter M & M’s I was one happy chica. I mean really, is there anything better than the peanut butter and chocolate combination? I honestly don’t think so.
When I started laying off gluten in my diet due to gastrointestinal issues, instead of bread I found replacements to accompany my pb. My new favorite was then pb and bananas. To this day I still love the sweet and creamy spread and choose no-sugar added organic natural peanut butter when I buy it at the store, or I make my own at home.
However, I have been beginning to branch out. Enter: Almond Butter.
Almonds are a nutritional powerhouse. They are packed with approximately 7 grams of protein per ¼ cup, loaded with heart healthy fats which can help to reduce bad cholesterol and decrease risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies are even showing that eating an appropriate serving of almonds may help you to lose weight!
Appropriate Serving Size:
About 23 almonds = 1 ounce = handful
Besides providing a healthy dose of protein, these beauties also provide significant amounts of Vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, and much much more.
They are the perfect snack especially when paired with a food with some carbohydrates like a small apple or a few whole grain crackers.
Besides snacking on almonds plain jane, another way I like to enjoy them is by making almond butter. This nut butter spread is growing in popularity and many grocery stores are now carrying it, but the price tag on the almond butter at the store is slightly outrageous (IMO). I prefer to make my own and today I’m going to show you just how easy it is!
Homemade Almond Butter
2-3 cups Raw Unsalted Almonds (or as many as you can fit into your food processor)
Cinnamon to taste (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Roast almonds on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Once cool, place almonds into food processor. Process for 15 minutes, using a spatula to scrape the sides 3-4 times throughout.
3. Add in a tablespoon of cinnamon towards the end of the mixing process if you wish to end up with a slightly sweet tasting almond butter.
4. For best results, I let the almond butter sit in the food processor for 30 minutes-1 hour to cool and then give it a final whirl once it has cooled. This makes for the most smooth consistency.
5. I then pour the almond butter into a canning jar or covered Tupperware container and store in the cupboard. We always use ours within a week but shelf life is more like 2 weeks.
You can use almond butter just as you would use peanut butter: on whole grain or gluten-free bread, in a whole grain tortilla with bananas and raisins, on oatmeal, sweet potatoes, celery sticks, apples, mixed into smoothies, or straight off the spoon! It is a kind to your heart nut butter spread!
Give it a whirl (literally) and see what you think! It is seriously so easy and there is no added sugar or other ingredients to worry about. Just all natural almond butter.
Thanks again to Katie for letting me stop by! Enjoy!