Spicy Almond Butter


It’s hormone-poisoning week once again, so my appetite and my hormones are all over the place.

Inspired by another food blogger’s experiment with savory almond butter, I got to wondering… what would happen if I made almond butter seasoned with the spices from my favorite spiced nut recipe?

The answer: Awesomeness.

Its salty-sweet nuttiness means it’s the answer to the “I want potato chips AND chocolate” dilemma. I’m allowing myself a taste—just a teaspoon a day—while I weather the cramps and emo storms of being a girl.

Spicy Almond Butter

Makes about 1/2 cup | Prep 10 minutes | Not Whole30 compliant

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted, dry roasted almonds

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon honey, to taste


Place the almonds, cumin, cayenne, and salt in a food processor, and process until it forms a paste, about 6-10 minutes.


Add the honey and process until combined.

A spoon is really all you need, but you could spread this on pear and apple slices, and it would probably be pretty badass as a stand in for Sunbutter on an SB&J Burger. You know what I did? I smushed it into a piece of celery with a few raisins. What’s better for a summer picnic weekend than ants on a log?!

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  • Kathleen says:

    Your cayenne cantaloupe was so genius – I’m sure this almond butter will not disappoint.

  • JL says:

    sounds amazing!!! making this … TODAY

  • Dana says:

    I’m ridiculously addicted to almond butter, though I haven’t made my own yet (I don’t turn the oven on in my under-ACd house until October). I will make this my inaugural batch immediately upon the start of oven season!

  • Meghan E. says:

    Honey is not Whole30 approved– WHY have you done this to me right before I started my next Whole30!!! 😉 haha, love it though, can’t wait to try it!

  • dana g says:

    It has cumin…I’m on it all ready…..tomorrow I’m able to cook!

  • Liv says:

    I made this almost exact recipe last week with the same thought process–“add in the christmas nut spices”…Mine did not included cayenne, but I had some cloves and cinnamon instead. Spread it right on some slightly baked, warm sliced apple. It’s totally an autumn treat, and I’m definitely rushing the season a bit, but I just can’t wait for the spooky, dreary, cuddle on the couch with the dog (maybe a hot guy eventually/hopefully) weather!

    Next batch: try your version!

    • Mel says:

      Cinnamon + cumin would be SO good because it the cinnamon could add a little sweetness. I wonder if you add cinnamon, if you could omit the honey?! I see more delicious experimentation in my future 😉

  • Erin says:

    Thank you Mel! LOVE THIS!!!!!! My five year old and I were fighting each other over who got to lick the spatula 🙂 The flavor profile of the spices + salt + just enough sweet from the honey = amazing! I’ve cut waaaaay back on nuts and fruit, but have to keep snack items around like this for the hubby and child. It was good enough that I had to have an apple/nut butter snackie of my own.

  • Ashley says:

    A teaspoon a day???? Please, please, please tell me how you accomplish this feat of self-control! I ate half a jar on my own yesterday. Um, yea…

    • Mel says:

      Answer 1. Sometimes I fail, like yesterday, and I eat a TABLESPOON instead of a teaspoon.

      Answer 2. I can be REALLY stubborn.

      Answer 3. I think of it as a treat, not something to eat when I’m hungry. So I eat a teaspoon of it to savor the flavor and texture, not as something that’s meant to nourish me or fix hunger. It’s purely appetite — which is why I hold myself (most of the time) to a teaspoon.

      Answer 4. I’m REALLY, REALLY stubborn.

  • Rich says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, loved the coconut almond butter from the site you linked to. So I made sunflower/coconut butter, yum!

  • Dheana says:

    Hey Mel,

    I’ve been eyeing your site for a while and have just recently “converted” to Primal.
    Reading this post, I HAD to respond. Man, you make me howl! I don’t know what made me laugh more, calling your moon “hormone poisoning week”, the comment about wanting potato chips AND chocolate (for me it’s popcorn and chocolate) or the fact that you’re allowing yourself “a teaspoon a day”. Bah! I seriously want to try this, being on my “moon” at the moment (I know, thanks for sharing) but, like Ashley, I’m afraid I won’t able to stop at a teaspoon. Still, thanks for the inspiration and for doing what you do. Love the site, love you and LOVE this (for me) new approach to life!

    • Mel says:

      Congratulations on changing your habits… welcome to the paleo/primal club. YAY!

      Yes, this almond butter can be problematic. Make it only when you can control how much you eat 😉

  • allie says:

    Love it. I’m currently having a, ahem, “problem” with the coconut butter in my pantry due to hormone poisoning. I went from mellow yoga teacher to Queen Bee of Killer Bitch Hive overnight…

    Savory spiced almond butter sounds so good.

    • Mel says:

      I know exactly what you mean about hormone poisoning. And I’m afflicted right now, too, if that makes you feel any better. I barely slept last night; thank you, cramps!

      I haven’t made this almond butter since the first time because it’s pretty irresistible. I bet it would be awesome stuffed into dates for a holiday appetizer.

  • Michelle says:

    Mel-I liked the cinnamon, cumin & cardamom idea. How would I figure out how much of the spices to use? Would you just go a teaspoon at a time until you have the flavor you like?

    • If you want it evenly flavored, I’d try 1/2 teaspoon of each, then add 1/4 each if you need to ramp it up. If you want it to taste more “bakery,” I’d go 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon cumin.

  • Nikki says:

    Hey Mel, first of all this sounds amaze balls and I really like the idea of adding cinnamon and leaving out the honey. Def gonna try that!!! Secondly, why can’t the computer world make a laptop with emoji options??? Because I NEED the praise hands, the thumbs up, and the smiley face with the tongue licking it’s lips 🙂 <—and that one too lol! Thirdly (is that a word? IDK) I wonder if your web design people could possibly add a "send" button to the recipes…like Pinterest has? I instinctively wanted to send this recipe to my sis, but didn't wanna fool with copying/pasting/emailing and that's what made me think about it. But I guess since your site is mobile friendly now that I can just pull it up on my phone where it would be easier to send.