Halloween Magic: Homemade Peanut Butter

2

October 31, 2012 by Meg G.

So, I’m a week (or two?) behind on my From Scratch Club book club challenge, but that’s okay. Because this is a ZERO pressure book club.

Over at Goodreads, we were asked to name our favorite condiment. This was a tricky question for me. It is far easier for me to name my least favorite. Mayonnaise. Period.

{Did I ever tell you about how my college boyfriend, knowing that I hated mayo with an undying passion, volunteered me to be the class guinea pig during a “how to make mayo” lab experiment in food science 101? Oh yes. That’s right. Never willing to admit defeat, I confidently strolled to the head of the class and whisked together the egg yolk, vinegar, and olive oil.}

Yuck!

Forgive me, all you mayo-lovers out there. I just can’t do it.

When it comes to my favorite condiment, I was torn between peanut butter and hummus. But when I remembered that I have, in a pinch, used peanut butter as a tahini substitute in my hummus recipe, it won first prize in my heart. I put PB on so many different things – sandwiches (grilled PB and apple, anyone?), cold cereal, oatmeal, celery (ants on a log!), ice cream (duh), apples, the end of my spoon, noodles and veggies and tofu dishes, the list goes on…

We really like peanut butter in this house.

A few years ago we switched to all-natural peanut butter. I have tried a few different brands, but our most recent and longest favorite is Teddie. The ingredients are literally roasted peanuts and salt. I have long thought to myself, “I could do that!” but it wasn’t until yesterday that I finally tried it – along with the help of Alana Chernilla’s The Homemade Pantry.

Here goes!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (3.5 cups) shelled raw peanuts*
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3-4 Tbs canola or peanut oil

*I could not, for the life of me, find raw peanuts – not even in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods. So, I opted for dry roasted, which worked perfectly fine. However, you do miss out on the smell of freshly roasted peanuts in your kitchen – and it probably impacts the flavor slightly.

If you’re roasting your own peanuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast for 10 – 15 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool slightly.

Next, place the nuts, salt, and honey in the bowl of a food processor (use the chopping blade). Blend for 20 seconds.

With the motor still running, drizzle 3 tablespoons of oil into the bowl (through the chute in the lid) and process for 30 seconds. If the peanut butter is still dry, continue to blend and add the additional tablespoon of oil (we did this). Process for up to another minute to reach your desired consistency.

I confess – I was dazzled by this simple process! I turned to Heather and said, “Isn’t it magical?!”

We didn’t feel that it needed additional salt, but if you did, now would be the time to add some more. We actually added another teaspoon of honey to sweeten it up a bit. I think that was a perfect move on our part. The result is a very nutty, but slightly sweet (at this point warm) peanut butter that rivals our favorite.

It makes about 12 oz and lasts for a month in the fridge – but we go through a 16 oz jar of Teddie about every 10 days, so I’m not too worried about that!

Now…we return to Alana’s classic question: is it worth it?

I have to say, that it is pretty magical and very easy to make. You can also control how much salt, sweetener, and what kind of nut you want to use (this recipe works for almonds, peanuts, or any other nut). However, nuts can be expensive and while I thought for sure that it would be less expensive to make our own, it really depends on what kind of deal you can find on nuts. We found ours for about $5.99/pound (not a deal), which produced 12 oz of peanut butter. We usually pick up Teddie for $4ish and it comes in a 16oz jar. So, until we can find a really good source for nuts, we might stick to our Teddie (with the exception of a special peanut butter occasion…whatever that might be!).

Here’s the other drawback – we tried making this peanut sauce with our homemade peanut butter last night.

My PB measuring trick – fill measuring cup with 1cup water. Add peanut butter until the water displaces to the proper amount of PB needed. In this case, I kept adding PB until the water level reach 1 3/4 cup, because I needed 3/4 cup PB. This means no scraping the sides with a spatula and losing precious PB!

While the flavor was great, the texture was off. The oil started separating from the nuts and we wound up with a chunky version rather than a smooth one.

See chunky sauce in the lower right corner.

When we dressed the noodles, veggies, and tofu, it wound up being perfectly fine; however, I’d prefer a nice, smooth consistency for my peanut sauce.

Rice noodles with peas, carrots, tofu, and peanut sauce.

So, is the magic of watching peanuts become peanut butter enough to entice you? Or is the trick of finding cheap peanuts not worth the treat? (See what I did there?)

Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Halloween Magic: Homemade Peanut Butter

  1. ginger says:

    also despise mayo! another hater mentioned to me once…did you ever notice all mayo has evil names… HELLman’s…CAINe’s (Abel would be glad to see him grouped here)…Miracle WHIP…ha! glad to know i can continue buying my peanut butter in bulk from bj’s without homemade guilt! 😉 http://www.smuckers.com/products/ProductDetail.aspx?groupId=2&categoryId=11&flavorId=65 bj’s might also have raw peanuts…i can’t remember they do have a lot of nuts! Love the peanut butter measuring trick…this is what i use for pb, honey, tahini, etc… http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=210&categoryCode=KW i think they sell a nice metal one at crate and barrel though too! use it for everything!!! but especially the sticky stuff!

    • griffson812 says:

      Ginger – happy to have a mayo-hating buddy! I had not noticed that little tidbit regarding the brand names. ; ) Guilt isn’t helpful in cases like these, but, I will say that another perk of making your own is that you control the quality of ingredients. No worries about recalls and food safety!

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