Almond Butter: A Cautionary Tale

almond butter
This stuff will burn a hole in your wallet.

I had bought a jar of ridiculously expensive almond butter from my local Key Food about 6 months ago (Yum brand maybe??) after hearing raves and raves about it from friends and enemies alike. And, it was ok. I put it in my oatmeal, and the flavor was kinda lost, I made almond butter toast and it was pretty good. I wasn’t floored and wondered what the hype was all about. Why would people pay $8.00 for something that doesn’t taste as good as a $2.50 jar of peanut butter? Idiots. Well, that jar lasted about 4 months in my fridge. Because it was so expensive, I rationed it intensely. Using it up bit by bit. I mean, it wasn’t even that good anyway, so it wasn’t that hard in the first place. Little did I know…

Finally, after what felt like about a year of digging out my daily ration of almond butter, I finished that less than stellar jar about a month ago. I wasn’t planning on buying anymore, had just discovered Honey Roasted peanut butter (yes-it is amazing as it sounds…I wish I had some and a spoon right now. I would smear it all over my body. Well-that’s a little far) and was really enjoying that. I didn’t need another nut butter in my fridge. Currently, there are 5 different nut butters in my fridge. We like our nuts. Anyway, almond butter wasn’t something I thought I needed. Peanut butter-yes. Definitely a necessity. Almond butter-no, especially not at $8 a pop and for something that wasn’t amazing. However, one afternoon I was picking up something at Whole Foods (oddly enough I think it was the shortening for the Oreos) and wandered into the baking/nut/nut butter aisle which tends to be my favorite. I noticed a Whole Foods brand of Almond butter that was a)chunky and b)2 bucks cheaper than the frou frou brand at Key Food. a) I MUCH prefer chunky nut butters over smooth-always have. Love love love big chunks of nuts among the creaminess. I had never seen chunky almond butter!!! And it was cheap(ish)?? I had to buy it. And buy it I did.

The next day, I opened up the jar to make a almond butter and honey sandwich on my fav Ezekiel Sesame bread. When I opened that jar, it was the most amazing thing. HUGE chunks of almonds among creamy deliciousness. Like, a quarter of an almond chunks. I was floored. I ate a little spoonful while making my sandwich. Holy mother of god. This stuff was worth the $5, hell, it was worth $20, maybe even $100. And that sandwich? I’m drolling thinking about it now, it was that f-ing good. However, as much as I loved it, it was still pricey. And for someone living on a tight budget, it is not so wallet friendly. But it is so good!! Like, go into convulsions good.

That jar lasted 3 weeks. Don’t forget the previous jar lasted 4 months, and my jars of peanut butter, which I eat every day, last about 2 months. A $5 jar of nectar-of-the-gods almond butter, 3 weeks. I don’t even know what I ate it all on!! No clue where it went. But I do know every bite was worth it and heavenly. After I finished that jar, I told myself that I wouldn’t buy anymore, at least for the next few months. However, when I was at Whole Foods this past weekend, somehow a jar ended up in my bag. No clue how that happened. I swear. 😉

So, be cautious. It is expensive stuff. Really really expensive. But soooooo worth it. Tread carefully into the world of high quality almond butter-it will make you happy but it will put you on the streets cause you won’t be able to pay your rent cause your gorging on pricey almond butter. I warned you.


24 Responses to “Almond Butter: A Cautionary Tale”

  1. 1 asickles March 19, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Your post made me laugh! I haven’t caved into buying almond butter yet, but if you can write such a great post about it, I guess it’s worth a try (/$8)!

  2. 2 Kath March 20, 2008 at 5:05 am

    Haha – glad you found one you like!!

  3. 3 lindzakins921 March 20, 2008 at 7:26 am

    LOL!!! I almost burst out laughing at my desk when I read “smear it all over my body”… you crack me up! I will def give this stuff a try! I’ve always wanted to but didn’t know what was a good brand 🙂

  4. 4 Julz March 20, 2008 at 7:27 am

    Bahah! I completely agree!!! It’s like THAT GOOD…you want to just stick it in your purse and carry it around with you JUST IN CASE you neeeeed some 🙂 YUM!

  5. 5 Robin March 20, 2008 at 11:08 am

    It’s like there are little grocery store gnomes that run around putting items in my cart (i.e. Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, cookies) while I’m not looking. I swear- some day I’ll get photo proof of one of those little buggers.

  6. 6 Lisa from CA March 20, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Chunky almond butter is my favorite addition to oatmeal. Sadly, I’ve only had it for a week when I bought it once at my local Trader Joe’s. I haven’t bought it since, because of my tight budget. Joining a gym basically took away my almond butter money… Exercise or healthy (SINFULLY good) fat? Decisions, decisions.

  7. 7 VeggieGirl March 20, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Betsy, I LOVE your wit – your posts always make me smile (and laugh out loud) :0D

    My theory is, you get what you pay for – the almond-butter IS worth the price, in my opinion; as is hazelnut-butter (my current obsession).

  8. 8 Lizzie March 20, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    do you know what the calorie/fat/nutrition profile of honey roasted pb is compared to regular compared to almond? since the grind-your-own stuff at whole foods is unlabeled (honey roasted), i’ve been unsure how it matches up to other butters. thanks!

  9. 9 Cara March 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Oh man now I have to try some! hahha 🙂

    I am going to whole foods this weekend so it could be quite easy to try it.

    I also am hooked on the honey roasted peanut butter from whole foods. mmmmmmmm.

  10. 10 Bev March 21, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Yes , Trader Joe’s has it…chunky too. I paid $4.99 for my creamy .

  11. 11 Julz March 21, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    By the way, I wanted to make sure and ask if it was OK that I added you to my blogroll? LET ME KNOW!

  12. 12 melissa March 21, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Hey Betsy,

    I totally have that running mug! All the recipes look AMAZING! I am actually happy the bk half was moved, an extra week to train. Hope you can make it!

  13. 13 Betsy March 22, 2008 at 8:49 am

    uh…definately worth it!!

    oh-it’s one I like, for sure!

    haha-I have to hide my giggles at my desk many times…I think my boss would be surprised if my work made me giggle.

    sticking it in my purse might be the next necessary step!

    I know! They’re very sneakly-they always put Nutella in my basket too!

    I need to find hazelnut butter. Considering I could live off of Nutella, I think hazelnut butter will be really really good. I’ve looked at the store..where do you get it?

    I know it has more sugar, but not nasty stuff like transfats that you find in Jif and Skippy. It’s better for you than that stuff, but not as good for you as totally natural pb (which I also buy).

    Isn’t that stuff amazing??? I’ve been making pb & j sandwiches with it…they are drool-worthy.

    a dollar cheaper at TJs??? MUST GO NOW!!!

    of course that’s ok! Thanks for asking 😉

    The 26th was a perfect date for me and I planned to go away that weekend in May, but it will work in the end! I’m very excited though…and off to run an 11 miler!

  14. 14 Erika (SWEET PEA) June 22, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Hi Betsy,
    if you are feeling adventurous I have a recipe for making homemade almond butter. Depending on how expensive whole almonds are where you live, this may work out even less than $5 🙂

  15. 15 kayteesays July 22, 2009 at 11:50 am

    It scared the crap out of me when this popped up in Google Search, but I’m glad to know someone is as in love with this stuff as I am.

  16. 16 Acid Cigars March 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I haven’t experienced this yet, and I’m almost glad I haven’t! Sounds like I’d be taking out payday loans to cover my habit… Unfortunately my curiosity is about to get the best of me and I think I’m gonna take the plunge! Wish me luck… Do they have an almond butter rehab? Just askin.

  17. 17 Jewelz February 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    After reading this post, I am officially following your blog. You are hilarious. Thanks for the recommendation and the laugh!

  18. 18 jr, fellow manhattanite April 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I don’t know if you still read the replies on this blog, but I googled something about almond butter and your blog came up. . .

    Empathizing with your love of nuts and nut butters, I feel that I have a duty to tell you about the almond butter in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods. It is ground on the spot (by you, and a machine) from whole almonds and nothing else. As far as I can find in the ingredients lists, none of the pre-jarred kinds are only almonds, as they usually have some kind of oil added. (Besides, the jarred kinds are usually super expensive.)

    IT IS AMAZING. If you love the stuff in the jars, you will go bonkers for the fresh ground stuff.

    I apologize in advance for bringing you this new addiction 🙂

  19. 19 Janelle C. May 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I googled trader joe’s almond butter and yours came up – serves both stores well! I love almond butter and honey on ezekiel low sodium bread. I have an out of body experience with the first bite! I can see the sun rising over the almond orchard and hear the bees buzzing in the early sunshine.

  20. 20 Jenny Kennedy Shick July 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I loved reading this. When I had my first jar of chunky all-natural almond butter, I was addicted from the start. I had been wanting to buy a jar for quite some time, but it is very expensive, and as you know, when you are on a budget, it feels like you are almost throwing the money away. But I finally decided that I didn’t care, when I got paid, I was going to buy myself a jar finally. I can never again buy another jar though, because mine didn’t last more than 2 days. I am an almond addict as it is, which I don’t buy for the same reason, but the almond butter is even more addictive. I ate half the jar, against my own will, that first evening. The next day I came home from a friends house to pick up something I forgot, and it was beckoning to me from the cupboard, so I ate the rest before I drove back. Never again can I buy it. For one, expensive, for another, I’ll gain weight like no other. It’s quite sad. If only I had never given in the first time. I seriously can’t stop thinking about how good it is. This gas got to be how an alcoholic feels when they can’t have a drink. Such torture.

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