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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Homemade Almond Butter!

As I was sitting at the breakfast table with Jeffrey this morning, slathering almond butter on a piece of toast, we began talking about our newfound, yet passionate, love for almond butter. I bought my first jar at the Coop when our distributor sent it to the store by accident, and we sold it for a discounted price. This was the moment I fell in love. A week (and one jar of almond butter) later, I was wandering through Ocean State Job Lot, and I stumbled up on a whole display of discounted almond butter. I bought two jars.

Now, the last last jar is waning, Ocean State is not selling almond butter, and my wallet will not allow me to spend $13.99 on a jar from the Coop.

We were heartbroken.


Almonds, please meet...

The food processor.

We decided to make our own! I bought two cups of unsprayed almonds for roughly $3.00, threw them in the food processor, and waited patiently.

(After about two minutes it resembled almond meal)

(Seven more minutes, the almonds became doughy)

(Six more minutes, it was looking like chunky almond butter!)

I tasted it at this stage, and decided I wanted creamy almond butter, so I let it go for roughly three more minutes.

The final product! I was nervous I was going to need to add oil, but it ended up being completely unnecessary. I did add a tiny bit of sea salt and agave, but that is completely optional. Also, while it is processing, you need to stop and scrape the sides frequently. It is kind of a pain, but completely worth it.

In the end, 2 cups of almonds yields about 1.5 cups of delicious almond butter. Not bad for $3.00! If you do not have access to reasonably priced almonds, I highly suggest buying them in bulk at a local food store or online.

In running news, I went for a pretty discouraging run (again) today.

It started when I tried to go to the local track, only to find that it was occupied. Then, I thought it would be nice to just park my car and run on the surrounding roads just for a change of scenery. I got out of my car, and the wind was howling, so I decided to wait a little bit and run around my neighborhood in hopes of it being less windy. Before going home, I decided to go to the Coop to pick up almonds (for the almond butter). That was when I got pulled over by the cops. Not just one cop car, but two.

Apparently, I rolled through a stop sign. To be honest, I am pretty awful about rolling through stop signs, something Jeffrey always points out. You can imagine how much fun it was for him when I told him the news. Anyways, two cop cars pulled up behind me once I was already safely in the Coop parking lot. Meanwhile, customers were walking in and out staring at me sitting in my car looking like a felon. The cop came up to my window, told me what I did, license and registration, etc. etc. He proceeded to ask me if there were any weapons in the car he should know about. I stared at him blankly in a moment of disbelief. I quite simply do not look like someone who is packing heat.

After the whole ordeal, he gave me a written warning, and I got to go inside and buy my almonds.

Once I got home, in a very bad mood, the last thing I wanted to do was go running. But, I read a few blogs, got motivated, and left.

The run was pretty painful from beginning to end. I know that I am making progress, and I am slowly getting into better shape, but it is really frustrating to be winded after running two miles. I have been at this for a month now, and I thought I would be farther along than where I am. Granted, a month is not that long, so I should probably be easier on myself, but I am still a little frustrated. I am starting to think that I need to push the half marathon back a little bit so I have ample time to train without hurting myself, but I can make that decision a little later.

I finished the 2.5 mile run with very little walking and a lot of heavy breathing. Once I got home, my legs felt really tight, and I knew I needed the assistance of Yoga is Yummy. I felt so much better after this! I highly suggest it for anyone whose hamstrings are in need of a good stretch.

In addition to that I did a few pushups (I could only do 7), and some ab work.

I am obviously going to stick with running and training. I just can't wait for warmer weather and stronger endurance.

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