Just about everyone loves the taste of peanut butter and it is the perfect healthy snack to have at hand when the kids (and adults too!!) are ravenous. But did you know that you can quickly and easily make your own peanut butter at home? Not all store-bought peanut butters are equal, and many manufacturers add unhealthy amounts of salt and sugar to their product, not to mention “stretchers” such as corn starch. Making home-made peanut butter has the advantage that you can control exactly what goes into the jar of delicious, health-boosting spread, and leave out all the things that do not belong in your diet.
Health benefits of Peanut Butter
- Peanut butter is a good source of protein, essential for healthy muscles and cells
- Peanuts are heart-friendly, meaning that they have a good percentage of healthy fats
- Peanuts contain potassium, magnesium and anti-oxidants, all of which help the body to repair itself; in addition, small amounts of vitamin B6 and zinc help boost immunity
- Peanuts also contain fibre, which is an essential component of a healthy diet and helps to keep your bowel regular
- Peanut butter can aid weight-loss! Although peanuts are packed with nutrients and have a significant amount of calories from fat, you will feel full and satisfied for hours after eating just two tablespoons of peanut butter, which will prevent you from snacking on other unhealthy, sugar-laded foods.
- 2 cup of raw shelled peanuts - makes about 1 ½ cups of butter
- Silicone-lined baking tray (or just use baking paper to line your tray)
- Food Processor or blender – Kitchen Aid or Magimix are both excellent, although most other makes will also do the job.
- Sugar, peanut oil and salt, if required
- Clean (preferably sterilized) glass jar for bottling
1Roast the peanuts (optional)
Lightly roasting your peanuts improves both the color and flavor of the butter, and makes the nuts a little easier to blend into a smooth paste. However, this step is completely optional and you can leave it out if you prefer raw peanut butter.
Heat your oven to 350⁰F and lightly roast the peanuts on a baking tray for around 10 minutes. They are ready when they turn slightly golden and glossy.
2Chop and remove excess nuts
Transfer the warm nuts to your food processor. Pulse a few times until the nuts are quite uniformly chopped. If you prefer crunchy or chunky peanut butter, you should now remove half of the chopped nuts and set them aside.
3Blend the remaining mixture
Now you need to set your processor to run continuously for at least a minute. Depending on the model you are using, the nuts should look a little dry and grainy after a minute, similar to couscous.
Run the processor for another minute, and then stop and scrape down the sides and bottom with your spatula. The nut butter should be starting to get more like a really thick paste. However, it still needs a bit more work!
4Scrape the bowl and blend again
Once again, scrape down the sides of the bowl and process continuously until you have a really thick, glossy butter. This should take about another minute.
5Add salt, sweetener or oil
At this point you can add some salt, sweetener or oil to the mix, according to taste. If you like a really creamy and soft butter, add a tablespoon or two of peanut or other oil. Taste it first – you may just love it exactly as it is. If you do prefer it a little sweeter try adding a tablespoon of organic honey, rather than sugar.
6Blend until smooth
Continue to process the butter for another minute or two until it is completely smooth. Do not expect it to get quite as smooth as commercial butters, but it should definitely be of a spreadable consistency. If you have reserved some of the nuts to make crunchy-style butter, now is the time to return them to the bowl and pulse a few times to combine.
Now scrape your delicious peanut butter into your clean container (glass is always best and a glass jar can be easily sterilized by filling it with water and popping it into the microwave to boil for a few minutes.) Store the butter in the fridge and use within a month.
Now sit back and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you have produced a nutritious and completely additive-free, superior peanut butter that everyone in the family will enjoy.
You can use exactly the same technique to make other nut butters too…try macadamia nuts, almonds and hazelnuts to ring the changes.