Sometimes the simplest things can bring the most satisfaction.
Peanut butter is such a basic pantry staple, it never occurred to me to make my own. It's already such a simple food, and easy to just toss a few jars into the cart when shopping. I decided to try making it from scratch when I became serious about eliminating high fructose corn syrup from my family's diet. There are many debates regarding HFCS; some studies indicate that the body does not process it any differently than regular sugars, while others say it could be linked to the sharp rise of type 2 diabetes in America. As there is no truly conclusive evidence for either argument, I stick to my usual reasons: if it isn't found in nature and/or is created in a laboratory, than I don't want to eat it.
Homemade peanut butter is in a category all its own. Thick, smoky, and surprisingly bright flavors make each jar feel like a gourmet treat. The deceptively simple ingredients practically beg you to give it a try. Just peanuts, oil and salt! If you're feeling fancy, you can also drizzle in some of your favorite honey. (I love it both ways, though I have found that if your peanuts are roasted just right, you don't really need the honey.) For a crazy twist, try a drizzle of melted chocolate, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, or even a dash of smoked paprika. That boring peanut butter and jelly sandwich never looked so good. Let's dig in an learn how to make peanut butter today!
Home Made Peanut Butter
Makes about 2 ½ cups
- 1 lb raw shelled peanuts
- 1-2 tbl oil (melted coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, etc)
- 1-2 tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large saucepan or soup pot with water and bring to a boil.
If you have pre-blanched nuts you can skip the boiling step and go right to roasting.
Add the raw peanuts to the water and boil for 1 minute. Strain the peanuts and spread them on a rimmed baking sheet.
Place the peanuts in the oven and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour. The nuts should be browned but not burned.
Take the peanuts out of the oven and let cool completely.
Remove the skins. Rubbing the peanuts vigorously in your hands will help loosen them. This can be a tedious process, so it's nice to have a helper or someone to chat with. My husband had a great idea: rub the peanuts while wearing rubber gloves (more friction), then place the baking sheet in a large clean trash bag. Aim a hair dryer set on cool at the tray and blow off the skins into the bag. You can also purchase skinless peanuts, which are sometimes even pre-blanched (this is what I get, from nuts.com). My family goes through a ton of peanut butter, so while buying them still in the shell or skins is much cheaper, I would rather pay a little more and save a lot of time.
Place the roasted, skinless peanuts in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the blade attachment. (You may want to advise onlookers to cover their ears as the initial whirl is really loud.) Process the peanuts for a minute or so until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add a teaspoon of salt and continue processing. Drizzle in the oil a little at a time. After a few minutes, the mixture will begin to transform from dry pieces into a matte, chunky paste. Keep processing, it will eventually break down further into a fairly smooth, shiny butter. (The length of time depends on the strength of the processor's motor and the sharpness of the blade. I am not able to get my peanut butter to the velvety consistency of a store-bought jar, and that's okay with me.) Taste your peanut butter and add more salt or oil as needed.
That's it! Now you know how to make peanut butter! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Have you ever made your on homemade nut butter of any kind?
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