I have developed a bit of a thing for peanut butter this year, ok if I’m being absolutely honest, I’m a bit obsessed. I eat it on toast, on bagels, straight from the jar when Kate can’t see me… but it took me a bit to realise that there is sooooo much more in some peanut butters than just peanuts. Even worse, some of the “healthier” brands are actually putting palm oil in there and as orangutan lovers, that’s a big no-no for Kate and I (ook!). So it was luck that someone at work mentioned that it’s actually really easy and serious quick to make your own peanut butter. Not only meaning you control what goes in, but also you can complete customise the flavour to your tastes… crunchy, smooth, salty or sweet. Once you’ve made your first batch you’ll wonder exactly why you were paying out 3 or 4 quid for a jar of peanut butter. I know, I know, you are probably thinking there goes Eli exaggerating again, but seriously until you have actually made your own homemade peanut butter, you really can’t imagine just ridiculously easy it really is. Put the peanuts in a blender and hit the button!
- Peanuts – 450 grams
- 1 tablespoon of veg or peanut oil (optional)
- half teaspoon of salt (optional)
Lets make it then.
Right, so first thing you’ll need is a food processor, sorry there is no getting around it, you need one of these delightful whizzy makers to get the peanuts broken right down and release the lovely oil (heart healthy).
I start by roasting the peanuts, you don’t have to do this, but it gives a richer flavour, so feel free to experiment and try either way. Oh I should also mention, if you have bought peanuts with the skins on you’ll need to get rid of these and don’t buy salted peanuts folks. Just plain peanuts.
Right roasting. I go for 3 mins at 160C then stir and another 2 mins. I’m also a lazy sod, so I take that opportunity to shove my jar in the oven with the peanuts to sterilise it. Obviously be careful, things will be really hot when you take them out of the oven, so set them aside and let them cool.
If you’ve never sterilised jars this way, there are some great resources you can read on the web.
Ok so once the peanuts have cooled a bit, pop them into your food processor, if you want a smoother peanut butter you can add a tablespoon of oil here just to help things along, then give them a few pulses just to get things going, then it’s just 5 minutes between you and the most delicious peanuty goodness.
You will notice a few things over that 5 minute period, namely there are a few stages of texture between peanut and smooth, lovely, spreadable noms.
After a few pulses there are just big crunchy bits of peanuts but once you have run the food processor for a minute you get crumbs. Dry crumbs at that but trust me, let the processor run a little longer and it will come together.
After another minute, it will start to look wetter, not exactly peanut butter yet but you will stop worrying that this is never going to work. Scrape all the stuff that’s stuck to the sides down and keep going.
But again just trust me on this. Scrape it down again and give it one or two more minutes and suddenly you have the most luxurious delight.
This is peanut butter heaven and the best bit, this is where you get to taste it and decide if it’s right or if you want to tweak. At this point I add a half teaspoon of salt. I like salty peanut butter, but this is your peanut butter, you get to choose. Maybe you’ll add a tablespoon of honey and make yours a little sweeter, you are in control! Add whatever extras you think it needs and give it another quick pulse or two just to mix.
One you are happy, scrape it into your jar and pop it in the fridge (if you haven’t already spread it on toast!
Obviously, this isn’t full of preservatives like the jars you buy in the supermarket, so it’s not going to keep forever and the fridge will help, but something else I feel I should warn you about. If you only ever buy the nasty stuff in the shops you may notice something a bit scary. Good peanut butter, if left undisturbed, will split. Yup the peanut solids and the oil will separate. DON’T PANIC! This is normal and ok. Just mix it before you use it. Luckily a work colleague warned me about this or I might have panicked.
I turned my back for 2 seconds and Kate was eating it!