Are You Nutty About Peanut Butter?
Like most dogs, Honey likes her routines. When to eat, when to go for a walk and when she gets a treat. So when we ran out of dog treats this week it was a doggy disaster in her mind!
However, I did find some peanuts lurking in the back of the pantry, so I wondered if I could use them to make some peanut butter? If so, it would be a win-win: I would use up some aging peanuts and Honey would get her treats.
What you need
Naturally you need peanuts! I had 1 cup of leftover Planters peanuts that I used.
The peanuts I used were already lightly salted, but if you are using unsalted peanuts, or you like your peanut butter salty, then add ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt for each cup of peanuts (depending on your taste).
The oil content of peanuts does vary so you may also need some extra oil, particularly if you like your peanut butter smooth and runny:
- For each cup of peanuts you can add up to ½ cup of vegetable or peanut oil.
- You could use olive oil, but it often has a stronger flavor than vegetable oil so may affect the taste of your peanut butter.
You will also need a food processor, or you could use a hand-blender with a chopper attachment like I did.
What to do
- Place the peanuts in a food processor bowl or hand-blender jar.
- Grind the peanuts for a couple of minutes, then scrape down the sides.
- Grind and scrape down the sides of the bowl/jar a couple more times until the peanuts are ground to the consistency you want.
- Add some the salt and oil, if needed. It's better to add a little and then add more rather than adding too much.
- Mix again and taste before adding more salt and/or oil.
- Continue mixing and adding oil and/or salt until you get a taste and consistency you like.
How much time?
It took me less than 10 minutes to grind the peanut butter:
- Grinding the peanuts to a fairly smooth consistency: 6 minutes
- Clean-up: 3 minutes
A cup of salted peanuts cost me $1.20 and it produced ½ cup of peanut butter.
A ½ cup of "grind your own" peanut butter from the grocery costs about $0.85, which means that making my own peanut butter is more expensive.
The homemade peanut butter is also much more expensive than the cost of ½ cup of a natural, brand-name peanut butter (like Jif) which is about $0.68.
Is it worth it?
After some consideration I give homemade peanut butter a 2-pig grading. Although it is easy to make, it is more expensive to make than buy. However, if you have peanuts that need to be used up then grinding your own peanut butter would be worth it.
Anything else I should know?
How much peanut butter can I make from 1 cup of peanuts?
1-cup of peanuts makes about ½ cup of peanut butter.
How do I store homemade peanut butter?
Once you've made the peanut butter, put it in an air-tight container and store it in the fridge. It should last for at least a couple of months. However, peanuts can go rancid. Therefore, if you see signs of mold or the peanut butter smells "off" or sour, discard it immediately.
You can store it in a pantry if the temperature is cool enough, but it will need to be used up in about a month or less.
When I open my peanut butter jar, there is a layer of oil on top - is this normal?
Yes, it is because the peanuts and the oil may separate over time. All you need to do is give it a quick stir before using it to reincorporate the oil. Don't drain the oil as this will make your peanut butter too dry.
What else can I add to peanut butter?
What flavor do you want? Just add the additional flavorings after you have ground the peanuts.
- Want a sweeter peanut butter? Add ½-1 tablespoon of honey per cup of peanuts.
- Or how about a chocolaty peanut butter? Add ½-1 tablespoon of cocoa powder or 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips per cup of peanuts.
- Perhaps a spicy peanut butter? Add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon or other spice per cup of peanuts.
Can I make peanut butter with peanuts in their shell?
You can, it will just take longer as you will need to roast the peanuts and then remove them from their shells. Alton Brown from The Food Network has an easy recipe to follow.
Did Honey get her dog treats?
Yes, she did!