Organic almond butter is a spreadable paste made from ground almonds. This paste is often used as an alternative for peanut butter and is known for its sweet flavor. In order to be considered organic, government regulations must be followed carefully, and non-organic additives, such as certain oils, preservatives, or food colorings may not be added to the paste. Almond butter was first created in the 20th century.
The main ingredient in organic almond butter is almonds. These seeds are from the same family as the apricot, peach, and plum and form inside a small, inedible fruit on a tree. Raw almonds, like other seeds in the same family, are mildly toxic, though small amounts can be safely consumed. In order to prepare an almond to go into organic almond butter, it needs to be cooked and ground into a paste. Most of the time, almonds are roasted before they are ground.
Almonds contain a fair amount of natural oil, which is released when the almonds are ground. This oil gives organic almond butter a creamy texture. As the paste sits, it is normal for the oil to separate and float to the top. It can be stirred back into the paste for a creamier almond butter or poured off and reserved to be used later. Sometimes salt, sugar, and spices are added.
In order for their product to be considered organic, the producers of almond butter must follow certain regulations. Though the specifics of the regulations change from country to country, most require that various procedures be followed throughout the life of the food. The almond trees must be grown from organic seeds in organic soil. Avoiding the use of certain chemical fertilizers and pesticides for a number of years before the seed is planted and then continuing to follow those practices while the tree grows are essential in order to receive organic certification in most countries. Once the seeds are harvested, they are kept away from non-organic foods and processing equipment as the organic almond butter is made.
Though high in fat, almond butter is considered to be a relatively healthy food when eaten in moderation. The high oil content of the almonds consists primarily of monounsaturated fats, which can help improve the health of the heart. Almonds also contain a number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium.