Monday, July 15, 2013

Peeeaaaanut, Peanut Butter :: How I Ditched the Jar of Skippy and Started Making My Own Peanut Butter

First, you get the peanuts and you crush 'em, you crush 'em...

Just kidding. That's not how this blog post is going to go down. {If you want to sing the song, feel free to click here. Oooh! Even better, if you want to relive your childhood, you can watch this vintage Sesame Street film of a peanut butter factory! It's two minutes well spent. I'll wait.}

I'm totally into buying natural foods, but I've never been able to really bring myself to switch to the healthy peanut butter. You know, the kind that has all the oil on top, the kind that you have stir before using it. Whenever I tried it, I just..well...wasn't a fan. Even when I did start buying natural and organic food, I still bought my family's peanut butter at the regular grocery store. I figured if I bought the Skippy Natural kind (so it didn't have hydrogenated oils and stuff), we'd be good.

A couple months ago, I learned that peanuts are sprayed heavily with pesticides -- a problem since the shells of peanuts are porous, so the pesticides can get right down to the meat of the peanut. The pesticides that are used are carcinogenic, not to mention containing neurotoxins and hormone disruptors. On top of that, there are developmental and reproductive effects from these pesticides -- this concerned me most because of how much peanut butter my boys eat (seriously, both of my boys have been known to eat all the peanut butter off bread and ask for a second slathering). Peanuts are also prone to mold and when peanut butter is mass-produced, quite often the yucky ones get thrown into the mix. Remember all the peanut butter recalls we've seen in past years? It felt dumb for me to buy all this organic produce, meat, and dairy but hold out on the organic peanut butter.

Well, now that I've made you paranoid like I was, I have a solution: make your peanut butter from scratch! Not only is it suuuuper easy but it tastes delicious. It's not exactly the same taste or consistency as the jar of Skippy (mmmm...that's stuff's good for peanut butter on a spoon, which my husband, incidentally (and adorably), used to call "He-Man suckers" when he was a kid), but it's good in a different way. I love it. My kids love it. My often-skeptical-about-natural-foods husband likes it. I feel good about serving it to my family because it's healthier and I know exactly what's in it. And it's pretty inexpensive to make. It's a win-win-win-win-win situation, really.  P.S.- you can use the same method and recipe for other nut butters. Almond butter, anyone? Yum!

(Also, I have to give this blog a shout-out. I've read countless recipes for homemade nut butters -- they're all pretty much the same -- but this post was the one that finally made me do it. Credit where it's due, as always)

On to the recipe!

Homemade Peanut Butter

3 cups of roasted peanuts (I bought mine organic in the bulk section for $2.99/lb.)
1 Tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon salt (I like Redmond Real Salt)

Pour all of the peanuts into the bowl of a food processor.

Turn it on and let it run for about 6-8 minutes, depending on how smooth you want yours to be.

It'll seem like it's taking a while and that it's not working out.  At one point, it'll look all dry and grainy like this:

And then it'll look all clumpy like this:

Trust me, though -- it works out in the end.

Ta-da! Peanut butter! I like mine a little rough -- not super creamy but not full of chunks either. It has a sort of grit to it that the husband and I particularly like. Run your food processor as much or little as you like until you see a consistency you want.

Add the honey and salt. Turn the processor on for about 30 seconds.

In less than ten minutes, you've got your own homemade jar of peanut butter. I keep ours in the fridge in a pint-sized Mason jar.  What's nice about this peanut butter is that it's completely natural (none of that hydrogenated garbage), organic if you want it to be, and, unlike store-bought natural peanut butter, you don't have to stir it because the oils don't separate. The flavor of this peanut butter is so good -- the way the peanuts and honey mix, along with the hint of saltiness, is really great. I don't see us going back to the store-bought variety anytime soon. Sorry, Skippy.

Note: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

{This post is linked up to Homestead Barn Hop, Simple Lives Thursday, Little House Friday DIY Linky, Creative Home & Garden Hopand Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.}


Theresa said...

Found this post through the Homestead Barn Hop. It looks delish!! I'll have to try this after I get my food processor! I am on the way to switching us over to more natural foods so this would be perfect for the peanut butter! Thanks for the recipe!

hjurgelis said...

I found this through the Homestead barn hop too, and I'm so glad I clicked over. My husband loves peanut butter, and this looks so easy. I'm definitely trying this. Thanks!

Hannah J

StrivingSimply said...

If the oils do start to separate (or if you buy commercial peanut butter in a jar again), turn it upside down every time you use it. So buy it, turn it upside down. Use it, turn it right side up. Next time you use it, upside down again and so on. The oils stay distributed that way.

Do you think this would work with a blender (regular or immersion)? I have both kinds, but no food processor.

Heather said...

Thanks for the nice comments -- I'm glad you visited! I love the Homestead Barn Hop -- lots of interesting blogs and things to learn, huh?

@StrivingSimply: I did a quick google search and it seems like you could do it with a blender. If you try it, let me know how it works out! :)

Helen @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog said...

I'm allergic to peanuts, but I've made my own almond butter before. It was pretty good!

Blue Eyed Beauty Blog
Exercise Encouragement GROUP Blog

Unknown said...

hey, i love peanut butter. i thought peanut butter as a paste of peanuts and butter. Its unusual that you've made it with with three ingredients

CS said...

This looks great! Thanks so much for sharing! I do have a couple questions, mostly, I'm trying to determine how much this costs to make (trying to pinch pennies wherever I can). You mentioned that you got peanuts for $2.99 per/lb and that the recipe uses 3 cups of peanuts. How much do these 3 cups weigh? Also, what is your yield? Does your batch produce a pint-ish of pb? Maybe more??

Thanks for your help! :)

Heather said...

@Christy -- I wish I knew exactly how much three cups of peanuts weighs. I don't. (I really need to get a food scale...) I tried figuring it out on some conversion calculators online before I posted this but couldn't find anything that was very helpful. I imagine that three cups is close to a pound. You can get peanuts for cheaper than I did, but I did spring for the organic ones for the reasons mentioned in the post.

The yield for me is exactly 2 cups -- it fills a pint-sized Mason jar to the brim.

CS said...

Thanks, Heather! That's enough info for me to know this recipe is pretty frugal. Organic peanut butter isn't cheap! So knowing around a lb of peanuts yields a pint of pb is good enough for me. I can't wait to try it!


Beth said...

I'm loving the idea of no extra oils! Do you know what the shelf life is?

Heather said...

@Beth -- I'm not entirely sure of the shelf life. Maybe a month in the fridge? It never lasts that long because it's so yummy!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this. I have made it several times and love it. My question is, why does it need to be refrigerated? I have to microwave it a bit every time I use it for it to be spreadable so I'd rather keep it in the cupboard. Any reason why I shouldn't? We eat a pint within a week or two.

Unknown said...

I like peanut butter sweetened with molasses. Yum, yum.

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