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Slow Roasting Almonds

Jul 1, 2017 | Eat | 0 comments

I was recently reading about how roasting nuts at high temperatures can create acrylamide, a potential carcinogen in humans. So I tried roasting at a lower temperature for longer and...

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I was recently reading about how roasting nuts at high temperatures can create acrylamide, a potential carcinogen in humans. I don’t think the threat is massively serious, but cooking anything at high temps definitely alters it from its original, native state. In most cases, eating seeds, nuts and veggies raw is probably ideal for health and nutrition standpoint, but not always for taste.

So, cooking at lower temperatures probably produces a healthier, more nutritious end product.

I have found that to make an Almond Butter that we like, both in consistency and flavor, raw almonds just don’t cut it. I used to roast the almonds at 350° F for about 12 minutes, producing a fairly dark-roasted nut that came out of the oven snapping and crackling and smelling of freshly popped popcorn. Mmmmm. And that will still produce a nice, smooth,  great-tasting Almond Butter, if not the healthiest.

Recently, I tried to roast the almonds at 300° F for about 20 minutes and the results were dismal. The nuts weren’t roasted enough so the resulting butter wasn’t very smooth and the flavor suffered. I should have roasted them longer, but I didn’t want to ruin an expensive batch of almonds.

After reading a paper on acrylamide formation in almonds, I decided to try a really low (260° F) roasting temperature for a solid 60 minutes. The result was what I was after. The roasted almonds were so good, I started eating them right off the pan! Admittedly, they give up a little of the smoky flavor of nuts roasted at higher temps, but the resulting butter was about as good as we have had from a smoothness and taste standpoint.

So that’s my new standard for roasting almonds, whether for Almond Butter or for snacking!

And we’ve just published our recipe (and a video!) for making Almond Butter.


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