This classic, all time favorite is something most of us grew up with. Mostly in the form of PB&J sammys, but these days it’s part of my diet almost on a daily basis, usually as a snack and sometimes right out of the jar to tie me over until the next meal.
But have you ever tried homemade peanut butter? I’ll warn you, once you do, you won’t be able to go back to store brought brands. It’s just not the same. But with only 15 minutes of your time, why would you settle for the hydrogenated oil-packed stuff? Albeit at least the “natural” brands these days are a better option if you still opt for the store bought, but it’s still not as healthy or tasty.
Before we get started on the “how to”, I want to give you some insight into what hydrogenated oils are. Very simply, it’s liquid oil that has been converted to solid fat. Partially hydrogenated oils are unsaturated fats that have been converted into saturated trans fats. Fully hydrogenated oils don’t contain the trans fats but are still solid fats nonetheless. Why use hydrogenated oils at all? In the case of peanut butter, it’s to keep the actual peanut oil from separating. Of course, this is entirely unnecessary and easily solved with a quick stir of the jar.
To touch upon trans fats for those who are unfamiliar, it’s an unhealthy form of fat that raises your bad (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your good (HDL) cholesterol. Some will the say the amount of trans fat is so minimal it’s irrelevant, but is it really? Perhaps if you only consume the 2 Tbsp serving size occasionally. For an avid peanut butter enthusiast such as myself….. I prefer the good stuff.
So let’s get on with it!
Prep: Pick up a bag of raw unsalted, shelled & skinned peanuts. A 1lb (16oz) bag will make about 8oz of peanut butter. I’ve found the best places to find this are indian or asian grocery stores.
Step 1: Heat the over 350º. Spread the peanuts in a baking tray. Throw it in the oven for 10 minutes, tossing them once half way through. This is what you’ll end up with…
If you prefer your peanut butter to really have a roasted flavor, add an additional 3-5 minutes. Note that the peanuts will continue to brown slightly as they cool.
Step 2: Toss the nuts into a food processor. Only fill it up 1/2 way to allow enough space for the peanuts to do their thing. If you have the option, use the blunt end of your blade, pulse at low speed. You’ll see the nut dust start to clump together. Be sure to scrape the sides down occasionally. This will eventually clump up so much it’ll be like ball of dough but just keep scraping and going….
Until you end up with this….
That my friends, is it!
Oh, and the snack I mentioned earlier…. a banana sliced, drizzled with honey, 1 Tbsp of freshly made peanut butter, and a 1/2 glass of cold low fat organic milk.