Almond butter is a great substitute for peanut butter and can be used on toast, or as a substitute for peanut butter in a number of recipes. It packs just as good of a flavor with a higher nutritional profile.
Most of the recipes included have a quick prep time and a quick cooking time. They’re simple and efficient to get a good dose of the antioxidants and nutrients available in almonds.
Suggestions for incorporating almonds into your diet
There are ways aside from simply eating almonds to reap their nutrients.
- Almond flour is one way to reap the benefits of almonds. Look for simple ingredients, preferably, you want a flour with almonds as the sole ingredient. You can use almond flour to replace white flour in most instances making bread, thickening soups, whatever floats your boat. Some of the nutrients are destroyed in the processing, but almonds are so filled with vitamins and antioxidants that you’ll still be getting a ton of beneficial ingredients.
- Almond butter is a great way to consume almonds. It’s creamy, delicious, can be spread on toast or mixed into smoothies. Again, you’ll want an almond butter that’s got a minimal amount of ingredients with no added oils or sugars. You can also make your own almond butter by blending a bunch of them in a food processor and maybe adding a little bit of coconut oil or olive oil for texture.
Tips for ensuring your almonds maintain their maximum nutritional benefit
You want to buy almonds that aren’t baked or roasted. Raw almonds can be hard to come by in the States since the FDA mandates that all almonds must be processed for preservation. This often involves high-heat processing. Unfortunately, a lot of the essential fatty acids in almonds are sensitive to heat and can turn bad when baked or roasted even turn into carcinogens.
You can, however, increase the already amazing potency of almonds. If you soak them and sprout them, some of the almond’s protective enzymes will diminish. Some of these are known as antinutrients and prevent the full nutrition of almonds from being absorbed. You can soak them for as little as 24 hours. Make sure to rinse them before eating them.
Regardless of whether your almonds are soaked or not, you’ll want to store them in a cool, dry place. This will ensure the maximum amount of preservation for the vitamins and minerals.
Jacky Miller’s favorite almond recipes
The first recipe I’ll start you off with is one for a simple almond butter. You can use this in any other recipe that requires almond butter or replace the peanut butter in your own favorite recipes with this!
1. Almond butter recipe
Almond butter is simple to make and easy to pair with lots of different foods. Peanut sauce? Try making almond sauce instead. You can use it as a topping on toast or eat it with different fruits. I like it with apples. I like to use unsalted, dry roasted almonds.
- 3 cups of almonds.
That’s it! (You might need a teaspoon or a tablespoon of oil.)
Throw the almonds in a food processor and pulse them until they become a thick consistency. If they don’t stick together and get ‘buttery,’ you can throw in a teaspoon to a tablespoon of your favorite vegetable oil until the consistency is more appropriate.
This will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks. You can add cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, or any of your favorite spices to change up the flavor or tweak it to your personal preference.
This dish is an amazing blend of a lot of different flavors. It’s also one of the reasons I suggest using almond butter instead of peanut butter. A lot of people would glance over this recipe and expect peanut butter to be used in place. The almond butter makes it lighter, creamier, and more nutritious. This recipe cooks fairly quickly, but only serves two people.
For the garlic shrimp:
- One and a half teaspoons of vegetable oil
- Eight to ten white prawns
- Two cloves of garlic
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- A quarter teaspoon of black pepper
For the sauce:
- A quarter cup of almond butter
- Two tablespoons of ponzu sauce
- Two tablespoons of honey
- One and a half tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
- A tablespoon and a teaspoon of soy sauce
- Two teaspoons of sesame oil
For the rest:
- Eight ounces of soba noodles
- One carrot
- A third of a cucumber
- Three leaves of cabbage
- One teaspoon of black sesame seeds (pre-roasted or you can do it yourself)
- One teaspoon of toasted almonds
To cook the garlic shrimp, put all the ingredients listed under the garlic shrimp section in a large bowl. Marinate them for half an hour. If you bought sesame seeds that aren’t pre-roasted, you can roast them in a skillet by turning the heat on medium high, putting the seeds in the skillet, and heat them while stirring/shaking until the aroma begins to rise.
To cook the shrimp, heat the skillet up. Saute the shrimp for five minutes or until they’re cooked. Take them away from the element and put them in the fridge.
Now make the sauce. Place all the ingredients listed in the sauce section in a bowl. Mix them until they’re combined. Put the sauce in the fridge with the shrimp for half an hour.
To make the meal, first shred your cabbage, peel and julienne your carrot, and julienne your cucumber. Toss the soba noodles in the sauce, then put a handful of your cabbage on a plate and put the noodles on top of them. Garnish the noodles with your julienne carrots and cucumbers, and finally, put the shrimp on top. You can heat the shrimp up prior to serving if you’d like. Lightly decorate with your roasted sesame seeds and voila! The meal is ready.
Photo credit: What’s Gaby Cooking
Winter has never been revered for being the best season for smoothies. However, a lot of people let their diet get away from them in winter! This is a nice way to add a cupful of nutrients into your daily intake. The preparation is quick and the product worthwhile. Having this alongside the powerhouse oatmeal would be enough to keep you going all day.
- A tablespoon of almond butter
- Two cups of spinach
- A cup of almond milk (vanilla flavor preferred)
- Half a banana
- A quarter cup of frozen, chunked pineapple
As I’m sure you imagined, the process is quite simple, just like any other smoothie. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend away. When everything’s fully combined, your smoothie will be a beautiful, bright green and the spinach will be completely blended. It should still be cold, so drink it up right away!
4. Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Granola Bars
Photo credit: Minimalist Baker
Taken from this recipe, these incredible, sweet, yet healthy granola bars make a great dessert or a great snack. They’re sweet and sticky, crunchy yet soft, and very rich. The almond butter and walnuts add a great layer of depth to the dark chocolate. I’ve modified the recipe slightly for my own tastes, but the original holds up just as well. The recipe is incredibly simple, the cooking time is fast since you don’t need to bake them, and depending on how you slice them, you can get enough servings for quite a few people.
- A cup of dates
- One and a half cup of oats
- Three-quarters of a cup of walnuts
- A quarter cup of dark chocolate chips
- A quarter cup of almond butter
- A quarter cup of maple syrup
If you like an extra bit of crisp, toast the oats in the oven at 350 degrees. It’ll take about 15 minutes for them to reach an optimal level of crispiness.
Put the dates in a food processor. Blend them until they’re processed enough to roll into balls. Transfer the dates to a big bowl, and throw in the oats, walnuts, and dark chocolate chips.
Begin mixing and crushing the dates using a spoon. As you crush them, mix them with the other ingredients until everything is fairly well mixed. The dates should be distributed evenly among the other ingredients. Don’t worry if there are little clumps.
In a small pan, heat up the honey and the almond butter on low heat, stirring occasionally. Pour this mixture over the date mixture, and stir right away. Ensure everything’s evenly coated. The chocolate chips should melt a little bit, allowing you to shape the product easier.
Line a baking pan with parchment. Transfer the mixture to the pan, and cover it with plastic wrap. You can use a mold if you like, but it’s easier to shape the mixture by hand. Turn it into a square or a rectangle about half an inch thick.
You can cool them in the refrigerator or for almost-immediate snacking, throw them in the freezer for fifteen minutes. When they’ve hardened, you can slice them into whatever size you like.
Photo credit: Pastry Affair
This recipe makes some incredibly rich, flavorful treats. They can be made with peanut butter but the almond butter adds texture and depth to the recipe. The cooking time is fairly average for cupcakes and this recipe yields about twelve.
- One and three-quarter cups of flour
- Three-quarters of a cup of sugar (use brown sugar or sugarcane for a healthier option)
- A teaspoon of baking powder
- A teaspoon of baking soda
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- A cup of milk
- Half a cup of canola oil (I prefer to substitute coconut oil for extra flavor)
- A teaspoon of vanilla
- A tablespoon of vinegar
- Half a cup of almond butter
- Mocha Buttercream
- A quarter cup of butter
- A teaspoon of espresso
- A quarter cup of cocoa
- A pinch of salt
- Two cups of powdered sugar
- Two tablespoons of milk
Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
Get a cupcake tin and line it with muffin cups. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda & powder, and salt. Once these ingredients are evenly distributed, add the milk, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and almond butter. Continue to mix until the product is smooth.
Fill the baking cups with the batter. They should each fill about three-quarters of the way to the top. Even if you have extra batter, don’t overfill the muffins or they will rise over the top of their wrappers and become misshapen.
They only take twenty minutes to bake, perhaps less. Do the toothpick test to be sure (stick a toothpick into one of the muffins. If it comes out clean, they’re done.) Let them cool. While they’re cooling, you can make the buttercream.
Put the butter, espresso, cocoa, and salt in a bowl. Beat them until they’re smooth and evenly mixed. Once the ingredients are evenly dispersed, you can add the powdered sugar and milk. Beat again until evenly distributed. You can continue adding powdered sugar if the mixture is too soft for your tastes or doesn’t look like it would spread easily. If it’s too hard, add more milk.
By the time the buttercream is ready, the cupcakes should be cool enough to spread. Evenly coat the tops of each muffin with buttercream and enjoy!
Photo credit: Season with Spice
This recipe is a perfect testament to the versatility of almond butter. It blends amazingly with the array of Indian spices, adding richness to a regional cuisine that’s already known for being rich. The meal serves four to five people and has a quick prep time.
- A head of cauliflower
- Half a cup of almond butter
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- Four teaspoons of tandoori seasoning
- Lemon or lime juice
- Fresh cilantro
- Toasted nuts
Whisk the almond butter with the oil and tandoori seasoning in a big bowl. If the consistency is too thick, you can squeeze some lemon or lime juice in. You can use water or oil as well, depending on your preferences. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s distributed evenly among the mixture.
Put the oven on a low broil setting and let it preheat. While it’s heating up, cut your cauliflower into florets. Mix them until they’re coated in the almond butter mixture. Spread the cauliflower on a baking pan covered in tinfoil.
Once the oven’s heated, roast the cauliflower for about ten minutes. It should start browning lightly by the time it’s done. When it’s cooked, sprinkle salt over it. Try and squeeze lemon or lime juice evenly over the cauliflower, and sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro and ground nuts.
These recipes should be enough reason for you to include almonds in your kitchen. Whether using almond butter or fresh/roasted almonds, it’s clear that they can be used for a great number of different recipes from different cultures.
The article was first published on Jen Reviews
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