Homemade Almond Butter

DSC04587Apparently Trader Joe’s is in some sort of almond butter crisis shortage. This recent discovery doesn’t actually affect me too drastically (if it were peanut butter, different story entirely); however, my mother needs her almond butter like I need my peanut butter.DSC04572 Interestingly enough, bags of almonds are still just as plentiful as ever at Trader Joe’s, which led me to immediately jump at the opportunity to take matters into my own hands and try making homemade almond butter!DSC04574 DSC04575 DSC04577 DSC04579As long as you have a good food processor and some patience, this is too easy. Simply pulse about 1-cup batches of whole almonds (I used raw) in your food processor on high speed for 1-2 minute intervals, taking breaks in between to avoid over-heating. The almonds will first form a crumbly paste, then slowly will into a more smooth, buttery consistency. DSC04585Feel free to flavor your almond butter by adding salt, or vanilla, cinnamon, or a sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar. Yum!DSC04586 DSC04588Question: What’s your favorite kind of nut butter? Have you ever made nut butter before?

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Spinach, Blueberry, & Toasted Almond Salad

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Last summer while traveling with friends in Poland, we stopped by an adorable pierogi restaurant to purchase pierogies for lunch to bring on our bus ride. The extensive menu listed over 50 different savory filling combinations — mostly some combo of potato, onions, meats, cheeses, etc — but after scanning the list and finding the small section of fruit options at the bottom, I immediately knew that I needed the blueberry. There was no other option.

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Ever since then, my dear friend Laura insists on pointing out to me every time I eat blueberries that I have a weird obsession with them. I don’t eat blueberries often throughout the year, so I never really realized up until her wise remarks that it’s kind of true: I love blueberries. I remember sitting outside of an ice cream stand in Maine with my family a few summers ago, happily sipping a blueberry milkshake when everyone within a 100-ft radius of me was holding an ice cream cone. In middle school, my go-to frozen Eggo waffle flavor of choice was never the plain or the chocolate-chip that my brother liked, but the way-too-sweet blueberry-filled ones. Over my four years in college dining halls, I looked forward to the mornings with blueberry crepes on the menu because it meant that I could apply a liberal serving of the blueberry filling on top of my bowl of hot oats. Looking back now, I fully admit it: My name is Rachel and I love blueberries.

This isn’t much of a recipe, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t any less deserving of its own post. Simply add some warm toasted slivered almonds and a sprinkling of fresh blueberries on top of a bed of spinach (or any greens), add your dressing of choice (I chose a tangy sesame ginger dressing, which worked well), and there you go. A simple, fresh salad with a delicious crunch!

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Another reason to love blueberries. 🙂

Question: Favorite way to eat blueberries?