Thursday, February 12, 2009

DIY Peanut Butter

While not every food manufacturer is as irresponsible and criminal as the good folks at PCA, there is a sure fire way of knowing that your peanut butter is safe, and that is to make your own. It is very simple as you will see below. This is one sure way you will know for sure that the only thing on your PBJ is what you want on it. You did make your own bread and jelly didn't you?

Here is how you make peanut butter at home. You control the sweetness and you control the salt. You also control the smoothness. I've also included instructions for roasting your own raw peanuts if you want to make absolutely sure of the purity. Back to basics baby!

15 ounces or 3 cups of shelled and skinned roasted peanuts (if you are roasting your own raw peanuts in the shell then you will need about a pound a half--see below)
1 teaspoon of sea salt or Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of honey(any kind)
1 1/2 tablespoons of peanut oil (you can use canola or vegetable oil but peanut oil is best...duh!)

What you do:

  1. Put the peanuts, salt, and honey into your food processor.

  2. Process for a minute or so until the mixture begins to get smooth.

  3. Drizzle the oil in with machine still running.

  4. Process until creamy (2-3 minutes) or until it is whatever texture you like.

  5. Store in an airtight container.
This will safely keep for at least two months. If you don't want it sweet, leave out the honey but you might need a little more oil. You can also cut back on the salt if you want. Experiment and see what you like best.

Roasting peanuts in the shell
If you really want to go from scratch you can roast your own peanuts and it is pretty easy. Roasting yourself guarantees that you are using sterile ingredients as the roasting will kill any bacteria including salmonella.
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°.
  2. Spread raw peanuts in the shell in single layer in a shallow pan.
  3. Bake at 325° for about 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the pan or stirring frequently during that time. After 20 minutes or so you should sample one for doneness. You should be smelling roasted peanuts by now. Remember that you will get some carry over cooking as the hot peanuts will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Enjoy.
  1. 1 1/2 pounds of peanuts in the shell will yield 3 1/2 to 4 cups of shelled peanuts.
  2. Unshelled peanuts may be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to 6 months. Peanuts may also be frozen.
Here are some more references if you would like to experiment or find out more:
  1. How to Make Peanut Butter at Home
  2. Choosing the Right Peanut Butter
  3. Health Benefits of Peanut Butter
  4. Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe
  5. Homemade Peanut Butter

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