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Peanut Butter Made Simple

All you need for a great peanut butter is peanuts. I know…

it seems too simple, but that’s how it should be. Depending on your tastes, you can also add a little oil, a pinch of sea salt, or a bit of raw honey if you like yours sweetened.

Choosing Your Peanuts

Rule 1:Be particular about your peanuts. I recently looked at a container of peanuts innocently resting in our cupboard, thinking I would just find “peanuts and salt” under the ingredients. Instead, to my horror, the list of ingredients included things like monosodium glutamate (MSG!), sugar, maltodextrin, corn syrup solids, hydrolyzed soy protein, and other ingredients I was not prepared to see. (Just another example of how reading labels is a complete eye-opener!)

The unopened peanuts were returned to the store on my next shopping trip… and I may or may not have gone on a short rant in front of the grocery store clerk when asked my “reason for returning.” (She was not amused by my peanut dissertation.)

Rule 2: Choose any type of peanut you are comfortable using. You may prefer organic, dry roasted, salted, unsalted, or the cheapest kind available. But again, I’m passing along the lesson I learned… CHECK THE INGREDIENTS. A container of dry roasted peanuts (or other variety) may have additives you are trying to avoid in your peanut butter. Purchasing bulk peanuts is usually cheaper, but check the ingredients on the bin to be sure you’re getting what you want.

Ingredients & Supplies

*If using raw peanuts, you may need to add about 2 teaspoons of oil per cup of peanuts.

Directions

1. Dump peanuts and any other ingredients you are using into blender or food processor. Secure the lid.

2. Turn on machine and blend on highest setting until peanut butter begins to move freely through the blades.

VitaMix users: Push peanuts into blade using the plunger while blending. Stop processing when peanut butter begins flowing freely through blades and the high pitched motor sound changes to a lower pitched sound. In my VitaMix, I am careful not to process for more than 1 minute after butter begins flowing freely or the machine could overheat.

For food processors or blenders that do not have a plunger: You may need to stop the machine once or twice during blending to scrape down the sides. Continue blending until desired consistency is reached.

3. Stop machine, scoop peanut butter out of your machine with spatula and refrigerate in an airtight container. Yields about 2 cups. Refrigerated peanut butter will last several months.

Additional Notes

  • If you’re feeling ambitious, go ahead and roast your own peanuts to be made into peanut butter!
  • Be sure to use peanuts that are as fresh as possible, or you might end up with an “old” peanut taste in your peanut butter.
  • If you prefer crunchy peanut butter you will want to stop blending before it is moving freely through the blades of your machine.
  • The color of the peanut butter will be different depending on the type of peanut used. (I say this so you don’t think there is something wrong with your peanut butter when it doesn’t look exactly like store-bought.)

So instead of processed, mass produced, commercial peanut butters, experiment with this simple recipe and let us know what you think!

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