I love peanut butter, but it has to be creamy, not chunky. I always had a jar in the cupboard of one of the many name brands, whether it be the one you could jump rope with or the one that mothers chose, it was always there, ready to be slathered on whatever; a banana, slice of toast, cracker, bar of chocolate (think Reese’s) or of course, a soft slice of white bread with jelly…yum. I’d even just grab a spoonful out of the jar and eat it like that.
Several years back, I attempted to try the natural peanut butter, you know, the one without…SUGAR! I tried it by the spoonful first and wasn’t too crazy about it. It was missing something; oh yeah, the sugar (and salt). So I tried it on bread with jelly. That wasn’t as bad as I was getting the sugar hit from the jelly. After I managed to get through the sugar-free jar (luckily it was a small jar) I went back to the sugared PB…whew!
Then I moved to the UK….
Talk about culture shock! I couldn’t find my favorite brands of PB, let alone many other products. I had to make do with brands I never heard of. They were OK, but they weren’t what I was used to. Don’t get me wrong, it got the job done, but I guess I was just homesick for what I knew.
A couple of years ago, I decided I need to embark on a healthier way of eating and went back on South Beach Diet, which of course, restricts your sugar intake (something we should all do). As I didn’t want to give up my PB, I thought I’d try (again!) a natural sugar-free brand. This time, it wasn’t so bad and I didn’t really miss the sugar…but it was rather pricey. A 454g/16oz jar of brand name all natural no-sugar added PB was £3.19 (U.S. $4.59).
I found a recipe for making my own peanut butter that seemed really easy and now I make it myself all the time and it’s much cheaper. I can get a 400g/14oz bag of store brand roasted salted peanuts for 96p (U.S. $1.38). I usually buy two bags and that’s enough to fill a 454g jar and then some. The only other thing I add to it is about a 2-3 tsp. of peanut oil.
So what will you need to make your own peanut butter? Well, of course you’ll need salted roasted peanuts, whatever quantity you want, a food processor and some nut oil…and a clean jar to put your peanut butter in.
Put the peanuts into the food processor and start pulsing a bit…it’s going to be really noisy when you first put it on. Pulse about 10-15 times then put it on full blast. Check it every 20 seconds or so. After a bit, the nuts will start to creep up the sides of the processor bowl. This is when you want to add the oil. Start off with about a teaspoon of oil, then turn the processor on again for about 20 seconds. Check it and add a bit more oil and process again about 20 seconds. Depending on how much peanuts you used, you shouldn’t need more than a tablespoon of oil. Continue to process until it reaches your desired smoothness.
The longer you process, the smoother it will get. Let it rest for about 5 minutes and then continue to process. This lets the oil settle into the nuts and also gives the processor a break. It doesn’t come out completely smooth, but it’s close enough for me.