DIY peanut butter…the healthy way!

One of my resolutions for 2015 is to follow a healthier lifestyle and eating better. In the last year or so, I noticed that I started developing various allergies and intolerances to food. To give my body a rest from the strain of rejecting particular foods, I decided I need to aim at eating better by introducing some form of clean eating.

I came across an article from Skinny Ms with simple recipes for 50 clean eating snacks/. I wasn’t sure whether there would be anything to entice me, normally ‘healthy snacks’ involve veg that I’ve got no interest in, but to my surprise there were quite a few snacks that I was eager to make at home. First on the agenda: DIY peanut butter.

I checked the jar of store bought peanut butter we had at home that I was running out of just to have a look at the ingredients used. The contents include 95% peanut products (peanut oil, peanuts) with stabiliser, sugar and salt. All this for about £2.39 a jar. The idea of making my own really interested me: making my own jar means using only peanuts, a bit of oil and some table salt for flavour. I already had the oil (sunflower oil) and a big jar of table salt at home, so really I only bought a bag of 500g peanuts from the shop for £1.19! Even with the 1/2 tsp of oil and salt, you’re looking at spending no more than about £1.39 for slightly more peanut butter than what you can get in the store!

I generally followed the simple peanut butter recipe, but I realised it takes a lot of effort from food processor to churn the ground peanuts. so added a small bit of oil to help ‘lubricate’ the processed peanuts. It took a lot longer than the recipe quotes (it said to process the peanuts on high speed for about 10 minutes, but the whole process took about an hour and a half from start to finish).

I wasn’t too sure if the effort was worth it, but like seeing any end product you made yourself, I forgot all about the time it took to make the lovely jar of golden nectar. My first scoop and I was in heaven!

DIY healthy peanut butter

Makes approx. 460g peanut butter

500g red skin peanuts (bought from Tesco for £1.19)
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp sunflower oil

1. First of all, pre-heat the oven to 170°C (350°F).

2. Lay the peanuts on a baking tray as spread out as possible so all kernels get some heat.

3. Stick the tray in the oven and every few minutes, stir the peanuts carefully so they don’t burn.

4. After about 20 minutes in the oven, you’ll see that they’re already slightly darker in colour. The roasting of the peanuts help to dry out any moisture.

Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until it’s fully cooled down.

5. Next, skin the peanuts if you can be bothered. I didn’t only because that would be about 500 peanuts to skin! I just stuck the whole lot in the food processor, but to reduce the amount of strain on the food processor, it’s better to process small quantity first and slowly add a bit more every now and then.

6. Add the 1/2 tsp of salt to your peanuts.

7. Start the food processor at the highest speed.

8. After a while, you should get finely ground peanuts.

The original recipe calls for continuous processing for 10 minutes, but this heated up our processor quite badly, so we let it go for a couple minutes at a time. Each time, we left it for about 5 minutes to let it cool down some before we started it again.

9. You’ll start to notice when the peanuts are starting to produce some oil when the peanuts start sticking to the sides.

When this happens, scrape down the mixture from the sides with a spatula

10. Keep blending it in short spurts on high speed. You should be able to see a difference in the mix about 20-30 minutes in.

Peanut butter starting to show some texture!

11. Once you see the mix start to blend a bit better (like thick cake batter), let the processor do it’s thing for a little longer and before you know it, you’ve got your own peanut butter!

12. Last but not least, spoon the peanut butter into jars and store in the fridge.

The original recipe from Skinny Ms claims that the peanut butter will be ready after processing the peanuts for 10 minutes, but this actually took a lot longer. It seemed to take a lot of effort from the food processor as well, so instead of putting it on high speed for a continuous 10 minutes, we did it in short bursts and used a touch of sunflower oil to help the peanuts along. With such a dry mix as well, the oil helped give the mix a bit of ‘give’ or move when the blades were rotating.

It doesn’t look like peanut butter you can buy in the store, only because it’s not been skinned. The slight red colour from the skin interspersed in the peanut butter makes all the difference, but I think it makes it look more homemade. If you really wanted professional looking peanut butter, you could take the time to remove the skins. Looking at the jars I’ve got, I think the skin is the only thing that makes it less…commercial, but it tastes just as amazing.

Without the sugar, it’s less sweet but it doesn’t make it taste any worse (if anything, it tastes better!) and without stabiliser, the oil separates some, but it’s just a matter of giving the peanut butter a quick stir before spreading this on your snack of choice.

When comparing the ingredients to commercial store bought peanut butter that claims 95% of its ingredients is from peanuts, you can boast 99.5% peanuts in your homemade product (the other 0.5% from 1/2 tsp of salt).

I’d like to hear how you get on making your own peanut butter! What’s your favourite snack to enjoy your new protein packed goods with?

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