How to blanch almonds at home quickly & easily. Making an almond cheese or spread? Use peeled almonds to make it beautifully smooth. I like to use the microwave, but I give stovetop directions too.
Have a recipe that calls for blanched almonds? If you can’t find them in stores or find that they’re too expensive, you can blanch the almonds that are already in your pantry instead.
It’s easy to do and doesn’t take much time.
What are blanched almonds?
Blanched almonds are nuts that have had the skins removed.
Why blanch them?If you’re making vegan feta cheese, fried almond cheese balls, almond cream cheese, or another spread that you want to be entirely smooth and bright white in color, blanched almonds are best.
Also, some people find the peel to be a little bitter. By removing the peel, you get to focus entirely on the mild almond flavor instead.
How to blanch almonds in the microwave
For the sake of convenience, I like to use the microwave. (It’s not just for melting chocolate!)
Here’s how to do it:
- Put almonds into a microwave safe bowl.
- Cover them in water.
- Microwave for 2 ½ minutes.
- Allow them to soak for a few minutes until the skin has softened.
(See that wrinkle on the almond skin below? That’s one way to know it’s ready!)
If you’re using them for a nut cheese recipe or other blended recipe, I recommend letting them continue to soak in the water for about 15 minutes, until the water is cool enough to touch. Then you can just remove the almonds one by one as you’re skinning them.
While the almonds are soaking in the water, they will continue to soften, which lends itself to easier blending.
If you’re not using them for a blender recipe & you want them to maintain their firmness, drain them as quickly as possible once the skin is loose. Then rinse with cool water.
How to do it on the stove
Not a fan of the microwave? Here’s how to do it on the stovetop instead:
- Bring water to a boil on the stove.
- Pour almonds into the pot.
- Boil for about a minute.
- Drain & rinse with cool water.
Squeeze to remove the skin
Now that the skin has softened, simply squeeze the almond with your thumb and forefinger. The skin will pop right off.
Keep doing that until all of your almonds are peeled.
- 1 cup almonds
- water to cover
- Put almonds in a bowl. Cover with water.
- If using the microwave, microwave for 2 ½ minutes. Soak until the skins have loosened. If you're going to use the almonds for a blended recipe (like a cheese or spread), I recommend continuing to soak the almonds for 10 to 15 minutes to further soften them for easy blending. You can just leave them in the liquid until it becomes cool enough to handle.However, if you're planning on leaving them whole or using them for a dry purpose, then drain them from the liquid before they get too soft. Rinse with cool water.
- If using the stovetop, bring a pot of water to a boil. Put the almonds in it, and boil for a minute. Drain & rinse with cool water.
- One at a time, pinch the almonds with your thumb and forefinger. The skin should slide right off. If it doesn't come off immediately, scratching at it slightly with your fingernail will allow you to peel it off the rest of the way.