Today I tried step class at my gym for the very first time. If you know me, you know that I have exercise anxiety. I am a perfectionist to a degree and any time I try something new, I want to do it completely right the first time. For this reason, I was never a softball player, a volleyball player, or a skier. If anything at all intimidates me (like looking uncoordinated and stupid in front of a room full of people), I just opt not to do it.
Today, however, I decided I was going to put my big girl panties on and try step class. I love tolerate running, but sometimes you just need a break. Zumba is great, but with my ever changing work schedule, I am lucky if I get to go once a week. I would like to have various classes to choose from in case I don’t feel like running on a particular day.
I got to class early, talked to the instructor to see what exactly I needed, and got myself set up. Piece of cake I though. This is gonna be too easy. It’s just stepping on a little platform a bunch of times, right? WRONG-O! I mean, yes, it was stepping on a platform a bunch of times, but it was a lot harder than I was expecting. I’m sure it gets easier the more you do it, and I’m sure I’ll pick it up faster next time now that I know the various moves, but GEEZ! By the time we got done with the 40 minute step session, I was beat. I considered leaving and not finishing the weight part of the hour, but I stuck it out, like a good little exercise bunny.
After class, I went home to my bowl of overnight oats. As soon as I got in the door, I realized I ran out of my Skippy Natural peanut butter yesterday. In my opinion, oatmeal is not oatmeal without some form of nut butter. What was I to do? I didn’t have any other breakfast option (it’s time to go grocery shopping) and I was starving after my workout. I looked through the pantry and saw some almonds. Eureka! I could make almond butter. Can’t be hard, I’m sure.
After doing a little light research on the web, I discovered almond butter doesn’t have any actual butter in it. Who knew? The “butter” part comes from the oils in the nuts emulsifying and the nuts breaking down into tiny little pieces.
For starters, grab some almonds. I used Emerald Dry Roasted almonds. They are my favorite and have the best flavor in my opinion. If you choose to use raw almonds, you will need to toast them in a 350* oven until lightly golden brown and fragrant. I believe it’s about 25 minutes, but just keep an eye on them. You should be able to tell when they are done.
Pop the almonds (I used about 3/4 of the container as it was all I had left) in a food processor and turn it on. Let it run for a while until it looks like this:
At this point, I began stopping it every once in a while and scraping the sides and the corners down. You want to create a very smooth, uniform butter. Keep spinning it until it becomes the consistency you’d like.
At this point, taste your butter. Some folks, like Carolyn, like things a little less sweet. I, on the other hand, prefer a bit more sweetness to my butters. I added about 1.5 teaspoons of honey to my butter and gave it a quick little spin to mix.
Holy goodness. I will never buy Almond Butter again. This turned out so yummy and so flavorful. You could do so much with it! You could add cinnamon for a little spice or a little brown sugar to give it a different sweetness. I bet you could even add a little cayenne pepper (a la cayenne chocolate) to give it some heat. I can’t believe I haven’t tried this before. A-mazing!