Why? It tastes better, it's easy to make if you have a food processor, and it won't have nasty bugs that can make your kids sick. And, it's cheaper by far than buying commercial.
At my local Asian grocery, a five-pound bag of peanuts costs me $9.99. A pound of peanuts ($2) will yield a little more than a pound of peanut butter, less than half what you'll pay for decent peanut butter (Smucker's All-Natural costs $4.83 at my local store and a whopping $11.66 from Amazon—but hurry! only 6 left in stock!).
No reason not to make your own. Puree cooked peanuts till they're creamy, adding a little extra oil to get them moving, a little salt for flavor, and if you like some sweetness, a little honey.
Homemade Peanut Butter
- 4 cups raw blanched peanuts (about 600 grams)
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- Combine the peanuts and the oil in a heavy, high-sided pot over high heat.
- When the oil bubbles and froths, begin stirring the peanuts and don't stop until they're done (enjoy the beauty of peanuts boiling in oil and think about how good they're going to taste).
- When they're lightly browned (careful, they can turn on you in an instant), remove them to a bowl lined with paper towels. Allow them to cool enough that you can taste them by hand.
- Eat a few peanuts.
- Pour the peanuts into a food processor along with the salt and honey (if using) and, with a metal blade, blend continuously for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture becomes spreadable.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the processor bowl.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as you wish. Continue blending until you have the consistency you like.
- Store in the fridge, covered, for up to a month.
- Pour the oil through a fine-mesh strainer, and reserve it to use for other cooking.
Makes 1 pint of peanut butter (a little more than 600 grams), and a little less than 1½ cups nutty vegetable oil.
Other links you may like:
- My post on making a BLT from scratch.
- Learn more about inventor and peanut expert George Washington Carver.
- Roasted peanuts: Asian peanut sauce recipes guest post by Robert Dahni.
- Peanut butter needs jelly, Concord grape jelly.
© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.