The Shop

How to Fall in Love With Almond Butter

We think every merchant we work with for Provisions is special -- but when we find one with a great story, we'll be featuring them here. Because we want to tell the world about our favorite makers. 

Today: We're going nuts -- over almond butter from Big Spoon Roasters.

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It's hard to imagine a world without nut butter: We put it in sandwiches and spread it on toast; it’s the ideal pick-me-up in the afternoon; and yes, we still make ants on a log. It’s good and good for you.

But we don't stop with toast. We bake with it (almond butter makes an excellent cookie); we put it in pavlovas; we make it at home, without a recipe. We’re really in deep.

But not all nut butters are created equal. Since it’s such a simple equation -- nuts + salt + sweeteners -- the quality of ingredients really matters. Which is why, for every batch we don't make ourselves, we turn to Big Spoon Roasters.


Big Spoon Roasters, run out of Durham, North Carolina, makes handcrafted nut butter from scratch in small batches with ingredients sourced from local farmers -- that means no palm oil or soybean oil or words we can't pronounce.

Founder Mark Overbay was working in the Peace Corps in Zimbabwe when he first tasted freshly made, just-ground nut butter. He never looked back: When he couldn’t find it back in the States, he made his own.

We got hooked and stocked their peanut, almond, and peanut cocoa butters in our Provisions shop (yes, peanut cocoa; take that, Nutella). 

But like any good relationship, once it started getting really serious with nut butter, we asked ourselves: Where is this going? Can we spice this up a little bit? Turns out, we could -- enter Big Spoon Roasters' latest flavors: almond ginger and almond Brazil nut.  


The first blends Mission-variety almonds with young Fiji crystalized ginger and a pinch of sea salt. The second mixes rich Brazil nuts with a little bit of raw wildflower honey for sweetness. Brazil nuts are actually seeds (from a tree that grows in the Amazon Basin) and they’re prized for their nutritional value (including lots of vitamin E, minerals, and the anti-inflammatory selenium). Consider that a mandate to eat this butter morning, noon, and night.

As the company name suggests, we recommend eating it straight from the jar -- with a very big spoon.

Tell us, how do you like your nut butter? PB&J? Almond butter smoothie? We want ideas!

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Pepe Pesante
    Pepe Pesante
  • BurgeoningBaker
  • ATG117
  • mcs3000
  • Diane
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


Pepe P. June 24, 2014
We use almond butter when making breakfast quinoa, too.
Posie (. June 24, 2014
Love that idea! I've been making overnight oats in my almond butter jars -- whenever they are almost finished, fill them with oats & yogurt & milk -- so you don't waste any little final scrapings of nut butter!
BurgeoningBaker June 24, 2014
Almost all nuts we eat are seeds.. including Almonds.
ATG117 June 24, 2014
Curious what makes this distinct from other brands that have also sought to limit the number of ingredients and make a healthier product.
Posie (. June 28, 2014
One neat thing about Big Spoon is that all their nut butters are made to order -- so whenever you buy some, they'll make your batch for you then and ship it right away. Makes a pretty big difference in flavor & texture I've found!
mcs3000 June 24, 2014
Addicted to Big Spoon's almond butter!
Diane June 23, 2014
My favorite use of almond butter is old fashioned three ingredient cookies (original recipe called for peanut butter): Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup almond butter, 1 egg. Roll in balls and bake for 12 min at 350°.
suzi June 27, 2014
You can't be serious; a cup of sugar? Really?
Taylor S. June 23, 2014
This speaks to me on so many levels. Mission Almond forever and always.