Homemade Peanut Butter (recipe and benefits)

 

One doesn’t need any reason to make peanut butter at home; it just is that thing of beauty, okay? But I’ll provide you with several mindful ones anyway:

1.       No preservatives: Does anyone need a reason beyond that? Well, I didn’t. – Processed foods, store bought condiments, spreads, etc, are overflowing with preservatives. And these P-word abominations can do no one any good.

2.       No added flavours: Does it make you feel great? Lathering your breads, smoothie bowls, and tastebuds with synthetic, chemical flavours that overlay everything the real deal offers?

3.       No added sugar/salt: Unless you opt for it, there’s no addition of either sugar or salt. Say, someone’s diabetic, but loves peanut butter. They ingest all these store-bought peanut butter jars over the years, without realizing the poison they’re consuming. Same goes for people with Blood Pressure who’re generally advised to stay away from salt. Small amounts are okay, you say? Why not think long-term health, instead?

4.       No inferior quality oils: When peanuts are ground, in addition to the natural oils they release, edible oils are added for smoothening.  Now, when something is mass-produced in mega-factories, do you really think they’d use the same good-quality cooking oil you use? Or olive/canola oil? No.

5.       Not being ripped of the skin nutrition: Have you noticed how store-bought peanut butter is usually spotless and lacks the flecks you see in the picture above? That’s because the nutritionally precious skin of peanuts is removed and sold to poultry farms as animal feeder (believe me, I watched too much TV as a kid). In doing which, we miss out on an abundance of antioxidants, a significant amount of dietary fiber, and reservatrol. Not only that, “roasting peanuts with the skin on increases the amount of antioxidants in peanuts” – as I read somewhere.

However, it is worth mentioning that peanut butter has been made without skin because if mishandled the natural oil in the skin could cause staleness while making peanut butter.

6.       Economical. I buy two 500g packets of peanuts for Rs 60-85, depending on the brand and type of peanuts. I make 250g of peanut butter every week. One 450g jar of peanut butter costs about Rs 250. You can do the math. Not to mention, I heavily use peanut butter on a daily basis. From adding it to pancakes, smoothies, to making cookies with it.

 

RECIPE.

You’ll need:

  1. 250g / 2 cups of raw or roasted peanuts.
  2. 1-2 teaspoons of cooking/olive/canola oil. Even melted butter works (if on a keto diet).
  3. Food processor / blender / grinder.
  4. Salt/sugar. Optional.

 

If using raw peanuts you can either roast them in a pan/wok or bake them in an oven. Neither takes much of your time.

  • To roast using a pan/wok: Heat the utensil at medium-high heat. Add the peanuts. Keep stirring everything every 5 seconds till it starts changing colour. Then turn the heat to low-medium to ensure everything is roasting evenly; you can tell when they’re cooked enough. You can munch one to check the taste and done-ness.
  • To roast using an oven: Without overcrowding a baking dish, bake the peanuts in a preheated oven at 200°C for anywhere from 10-15 minutes. And check and stir the peanuts every 5 minutes to ascertain they roast evenly and to judge when they’ll be done. Oven-roasting for more than 15 minutes is a NO if the quantity is 250g or less. Unless your oven’s heating is not powerful enough, do not go beyond 15 minutes.

Cool the peanuts down a bit before turning them into peanut butter.

 

Method:

  • Put the peanuts in the blender/grinder/food processor pot. Pulse till it’s a fine powder. Scrape down the sides. Pulse again till it resembles clumps. Add a bit of the oil. Pulse. Scrape down the sides. Pulse again. The oil smoothens the peanut butter and you’ll notice it coming together nicely. Add oil as per your preferred consistency.
  • You can pulse it till it’s completely creamy or let it remain a tad chunky. Up to you.
  • Taste. Check the taste and add sugar/salt as per your requirement. I’d say add neither. The real taste of peanut butter is unmatched and dulled by added flavours.
  • Refrigerate. Once done, transfer the creamy, gooey goodness to a container and refrigerate! Peanut butter never lasts for more than a week at my place. Also, I consciously choose not to keep it for longer than that. The fresher, the yummier. Hence,  I make it in small quantities.

And you’re done. Enjoy that fresh, homemade, healthy peanut butter with a slice of toast or by adding a large dollop to banana pancake batter. Ways to indulge in gluttony are aplenty! Just make sure you’re having fun while at it.

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