Almond Hazelnut Butter

*Updated. Wordpress previously published an incomplete version - oops! Nut butter is one of my main food groups.

It's right up there with kale, strawberries, and red wine. I eat it pretty much every single day and I could polish off a jar with wild abandon. In my mind, there are very few things that are not made better with nut butter.  With that said, nut butter is incredibly good for you - but also incredibly caloric.  It contains lots of good fats and protein but it can be easy to eat a few dozen spoonfuls too many.   This nut butter may help solve that problem.

Normally, I make peanut butter or cashew butter every week but this week I was out of peanuts.  Instead I had almonds and hazelnuts, so I went ahead and worked with what I had.  I had seen a recipe for nut butter with almond milk over at Oh She Glows and thought I would try it out - double the volume and cut the calories in half (1 Tbsp of this only has 47 calories! Of course, the protein content is greatly reduced as well, but it does still offer a healthy dose of  fat - approx. 4g)? Sounds pretty damn good to me.

And oh, it was.  It requires a bit of patience, but it is totally worth it in the end.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go slather almond butter on absolutely everything.

Almond Hazelnut Butter

Yields: about 2 cups

Inspired by: Oh She Glows

1 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw hazelnuts

1 tablespoon canola or other light tasting oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup almond milk

1. Preheat your oven to 350F.

2. Combine nuts, maple syrup, and cinnamon on a baking sheet.  Stir around to make sure everything is evenly coated.  Roast for 7-10 minutes, until you can smell them.  Keep an eye on them, you don't want burnt nuts.

3. Let cool for 2-3 minutes no longer! If you let them cool too long you have a very difficult situation on your hands since the sugar hardens and they become like rocks.

4. Transfer nuts to food process and add vanilla extract.  Let whirl around for a good 10-15 minutes.  It takes awhile, don't worry though, it will come together.  You're going for a very thick peanut butter consistency.

5. Add in the canola oil to bring everything together.  Give it another whirl for 2-3 minutes.

6. Gradually add in almond milk.  If you like it a bit thicker, then start out with 1/2 cup of almond milk and go from there.  Mix until everything is thoroughly combined.

7. Transfer to a clean, sterile jar and keep refrigerated.