Today I’m going to try my hand at making homemade almond butter in the food processor. I almost forked over a pretty penny for a jar of almond butter while I was grocery shopping last week. But then I saw a bag of almonds for less and thought “I can totally make this at home.”
So I swapped the jar for the bag of almonds. Then my husband asked if I was sure this was a good idea; to which I replied, “Yep. Can’t be that hard.”
That sentence has led to unfortunate sock buns, unreasonably crooked side swept bangs, gag-inducing raw egg face masks, wasted fabric, and several inedible meals. “Yep. Can’t be that hard!” leads to terrible, terrible things 90% of the time.
Then I decided that I’d post it as a frugal experiment, which is how I justify all of my random make-it-myself ideas nowadays. And the deal with this series is unfiltered truth. So if it turns out great –you get to see the results. If it turns out terribly, you get to see that part too!
So lets see if I can actually pull off homemade almond butter, which honestly sounds easier than making coffee, but you really never know.
First, we’re going to pour the almonds into the food processor and let it whirl. I didn’t add anything extra, but adding honey or a splash of vanilla would be a great idea!
Here are the almonds at the one minute mark.
Consistency at one minute: Like moist breadcrumbs
Then again at the three minute and five minute marks.
Consistency at 3 minutes: Warm, moist, but still sandy.
Consistency at 5 minutes: Similar to the three minute mark, just smoother, less sandy.
Here they are at the seven minute and nine minute marks.
Consistency at 7 minutes: Same as the five minute mark, just smoother; no longer sandy.
Consistency at 9 minutes: Smooth, creamy, with tiny flecks of almond.
Then finally at the 11 minute mark.
Consistency at 11 minute mark: Smooth, creamy, but too runny.
I let my almonds process for 11 minutes, which made them too runny. Looking back, I should’ve stopped at the nine minute mark, but this was an experiment, after all, so there was no way to know in advanced!
I think most of you will prefer the consistency somewhere between the seven and nine minute mark.
Things I Didn’t Expect:
- Warmth! The almond butter is warm while processing. I’ve made butter in the food processor before and it remained cold the entire time, so this came as a bit of a surprise to me.
- Smoothness and Consistency. Smooth almond butter is nothing like smooth peanut butter (they are, after all, different nuts). It seems that there will still be itty bitty flecks of almond no matter how long you process them. It also manages to be both thick and runny at the same time (the runny consistency could’ve been avoided by processing for less time).
Total Cost: $6.87 for 12 oz bag of Almonds
Makes: About 10 oz of almond butter
Cost per Ounce: $0.69
Total Cost: Anywhere from $5.00 up to $8.00 (for the fancier ones)
Cost per ounce: $0.50 to $0.80
Depending on the kind of almond butter you purchase, making your own could be $1.87 more expensive, or $1.13 cheaper. I do think the quality is comparable to the pricier options, even without additional flavorings.
* I may have overpaid for the almonds. But I was at Target, after all, so I didn’t have many options. If you have a cheaper local source or shop online, you can likely purchase almonds for less.
Is it Worth it?
I’m torn. If you’re buying an $8 jar of almond butter each week. Then yes, it may be worth it and you have the additional benefit of adding your mix-ins of choice to create the nicer flavors inexpensively.
If you buy it sparingly, it isn’t going to impact your budget all that much. For me personally, it isn’t worth it because I don’t purchase almond butter regularly. But I’m sure I’ll make it again because it’s pretty quick and tasty.
I know I’ve said “yes! It’s worth it!”on past frugal experiments when the savings were much less (by only a few cents). But I’m now valuing my time a bit differently since there’s less of it to go around. Also, even though almond butter is tasty, peanut butter satisfies our needs and is literally half the cost, even if buying organic. So it will still remain an occasional treat for us, rather than a constant in our grocery budget.
I do think it’d be more practical to try making homemade peanut butter and see how those numbers play out, so maybe I’ll make homemade peanut butter the topic of a future frugal experiment!