Akin to Nutella and any nut spread, peanut butter is an item that you can easily and inexpensively make in your own kitchen, since it does not require a lot of ingredients. Making your own peanut butter will also provide a healthier alternative to the commercial, store-bought kind, as homemade peanut butter will be free from preservatives and artificial flavors. A physician from St. Louise invented peanut butter in 1890 to provide his patients with an easy-to-digest, high protein food. Several dozen commercial brands of peanut butter were on the market by 1914, and in 1923 a process was invented to keep the oil and peanut butter from separating. Peanut butter is a blend of ground shelled peanuts, vegetable oil and salt. The advantages of making your own peanut butter is that you have full control over the amount of salt or honey you want to add. While some people like peanut butter crunchy, I have a stronger preference to smooth peanut butter. All it takes is some roasted unsalted peanuts, a food processor and 15 minutes of your time. If you can find a good, inexpensive supply of peanuts, making peanut butter may help save money in the long run while providing you with your own tasty batch of homemade peanut butter. You can always roast your peanuts. Just bake them in a 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes, shaking them every 2 minutes to ensure that they don’t burn. Of course, the shelf life expectancy and supply of homemade peanut butter would be shorter as compared to its branded counterparts, unless you have family members with peanut allergies. You can add a bit of honey to sweeten it. If you decide on salted peanuts, I would not recommend adding more salt. Homemade peanut butter should be refrigerated after opening and will last 6 months this way, while other commercial brands will last as long at room temperature.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 cups of roasted peanuts
- 2 teaspoons of peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of honey (optional)
- Pinch of salt (if the peanuts are not salted
Pour roasted peanuts in a food processor with a metal blade attached. Add the peanut oil. Cover the bowl with the food processor lid and chop the peanuts continuously for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture forms a ball. Scrape peanuts down from the food processor bowl into the bottom, as needed, when processing the peanuts. Continue processing the mixture until it is of your desired consistency. For smooth peanut butter, you may have to process the mixture for a longer period. Add the honey and salt if needed. Transfer peanut butter into a jar or air-light container. Store in the refrigerator for a day or two so it can set in to a lovely thick peanut butter paste.
Yields about 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter