My sophomore year in high school I had an infatuation with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. No really, I did.
Or maybe I just did because it was edible, and other food in the high school cafeteria wasn’t so much. Therefore, I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every single school day that year. Whether or not I actually enjoyed it is debatable. The most unfortunate part of this story though, is that I actually bought the sandwich from the cafeteria, and not a single time did I pack my own lunch. Imagine the possibilities! I could have used white or multigrain, crunchy or creamy, grape or strawberry. But no, I paid a dollar every day for that silly sandwich with white bread, creamy peanut butter, and grape jelly. Oh high school me, how I’m glad that is over.
Another pbj story: I always imagined the classic sandwich of peanut butter and jelly to be infallible. It never let me down when in need of a quick, tasty lunchtime food. BUT, when I was fourteen I had surgery for my scoliosis and was in the hospital for a week. Hello terrible food. Can I just have a pudding cup, please.
I didn’t have much of an appetite; however, that was not acceptable according to all the people monitoring me, so I was forced to pick a meal. The first few picks were all offensive. Then, I saw the never failing pbj on the menu and thought, ‘perfect, they can’t mess that one up.‘
I have never had worse peanut butter in my life. I think it was actually ground up cardboard with some water added to make it spreadable. Really, it was that bad. Give me the pudding cup NOW.
Regardless of my pbj past, I still enjoy a good peanut butter and jelly erry once in while. I have discovered my new favorite version of the sandwich though, which is a bit more sophisticated than my high school or hospital versions. Multigrain bread (preferably homemade or from a bakery), my momma’s strawberry jam, and stick to the roof of your mouth almond butter. Goodbye peanuts, hellooooo almonds.
But don’t go buy that $8 tiny jar of natural almond butter at the grocery store. (Well do, if that’s really your only option). What you should do is buy the bag of plain ol’ almonds, pour ‘em in a food processor, and let it go. And go, and go and go, for twenty minutes. And then, magically, you have the best almond butter for the best pbj, or abj, ever. I promise.
-A few handfuls of almonds
Pour almonds (not roasted or toasted or blanched or anything) into the bowl of a food processor. Turn on high for twenty minutes.
The magic starts happening around ten minutes, and you may think its never going to have enough oils, but it will. You do not need to add any extra oil, as some recipes say. Just let the processor go, scraping down the sides as needed, and breaking up the ball of almond paste that forms. Eventually, around twenty minutes later, the almonds will be ground enough and they will have released enough of their own oils to be considered almond butter.
Notes – The noise from the food processor tends to get annoying; hello headphones. Also, the almond butter probably will get hot. That’s because of all the friction going on in there. It’s totally okay. Also also, I like to add a bit of cinnamon to my butter. I typically use about 2 cups almonds, and when it’s almost done add in about ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Also also also, some people enjoy a bit of salt or some sugar in it.