Monday, June 27, 2011

Homemade Peanut Butter

I promise that I'll be back to my normal sickly, sugary, buttery creations very very soon (in fact, we just did the shopping and butter was on special so now there are *ahem* five blocks of it in my fridge!) but for today I thought I'd revisit something that was suggested as a money-saving option last week - making our own peanut butter (thanks to makeitgiveit for the instructions and to tartankiwi for pointing me to them).

I did make some earlier in the week, but I wasn't completely happy with it, so wanted to play around a little. Tonight I had the opportunity to fiddle a little more, and am quite content that I never need buy the stuff again.

On attempt one I bought natural peanuts - just the unadulterated nuts. I also overcooked them ever so slightly, which made them a little bitter (they were still edible, especially once skinned, but not really the flavour I was after). I didn't really want peanut butter full of flaky peanut skins so unrobed them by rolling them vigorously in a clean teatowel.

Once they were skinless I popped them in my trusty mini food processor (stick blender attachment) and ground them to a pulp. I added perhaps 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil to about 350g of nuts - but I'm not sure if I needed to - it might have come together on its own if I'd pulverised it for longer. Anyway, the overcooked nuts made it slightly too bitter, and it was quite oily too, so on to round two. 

 The second lot of nuts I bought were roasted, salted nuts, which don't cost any more and conveniently come skinless already. They're also coated in vegetable oil and salt (which I would otherwise add - what is peanut butter if not a sodium carrier, after all?). Since I'd heard that roasting could lend an amazing depth of flavour and the off-the-shelf "roast" looked a tad anaemic, I popped some of these in the oven too - just 10 minutes at about 170 C. Blended them up, with a much better result than the first lot. But... Well, I'm pretty lazy. And I don't know about you, but when I'm looking to eat peanut butter I'm not necessarily seeking smoky, complex flavours and depth - so I thought I'd try straight from the bag, too.

They don't look as pretty and golden, but they still blend well. If you try this, you'll think it won't work - the nuts first become crumblike, and look as if they're too dry to combine. They will eventually release their oil, though - blend in short bursts if you fear for your food processor's motor - so stick at it and you'll get a very spreadable paste.

It won't be as smooth as the stuff you buy, but it's smoother than I expected. Do feel free to further roast your nuts if you like even your humble PB to have depth - but do you know, I really do prefer the anaemic one. It's extra likeable when you think about how easy it is to make - buy salted roasted peanuts, place in food processor, blitz. Spread on hot toast or eat by the spoonful. 

I'm finding it unbelievable that it's never occurred to me before now to make peanut butter myself - we grow so accustomed to getting things from the supermarket. It definitely does work out cheaper than buying it [edit: it works out cheaper than Eta or Sanitarium or nicer brands - it'll cost about the same as the cheap brands but I dislike them so my analysis was flawed. Sorry!] - and you can choose how you have it. Have you ever discovered how to make something you assumed was far more difficult than it is?


  1. So did this actually works out cheaper?
    Or just cheaper than the super awesome, expensive peanut butter?
    How much did it cost?

  2. I'm actually one of those terrible people who look for sugar in their peanut butter. Not sure why, but a little bit of sweetness makes it nicer for me. I don't mean turning it into desserty goodness, but just a touch

    I will try this, but add a little bit of raw sugar during the process. At least I can control what, and how much goes into it. Excellent. Thanks Rosa

  3. Miss Cake, there's no waste if you buy skinless peanuts, so whatever you pay for the peanuts = cost. We paid $2.99 for a 500g bag of peanuts, and last week's jar of peanut butter, which was 375g, cost $2.23. This means the peanut butter we made was 59.8 cents per 100g, and the stuff we bought was 59.5 cents per 100g - very very close. The peanut butter was on special, though, and the cheapest in the supermarket - and I wouldn't buy that brand again. The brands we normally buy (Eta or Sanitarium) are at least $1 more per jar. So it is about as cheap as the cheapest peanut butter, but you have control over what goes into it and I think it tastes better than the cheap stuff.

    Shirleen, I prefer my peanut butter without sugar - I'm all about the salt. ;-) But if you wanted to add sugar that wouldn't be a problem.

    Kaz, it's not terrible! Everyone has different flavour preferences. Hope it works well with raw sugar - let me know how it goes. :-)

  4. Ooh, sounds nice and easy. Will have to give this a go.

    Something that I make now that I never thought I ever would is bagels. So easy. And yum!


  5. Fun! Glad to hear it works well with the supermarket's own salted roasted nuts.

    Might have to try this next time cashews are cheap, hey?

  6. I make cashew butter (sounds like 'hungry and frozen' does too), it's really easy and totally delicious. I use the roasted unsalted nuts and add a tiny bit of salt. That's it. Impossible to stop eating.....

  7. Lissa, yum, homemade bagels. :-) A little more effort involved there but still worth it! I should make those for my workday lunches.

    Laura, or almonds! Oh, almond butter, the glory...

    Jacqui, stopping eating is definitely a problem. My Mum commented to me that maybe this way costs much more than I've counted since it tastes better. ;-)

  8. Yes I recently made my own almond butter, it's very, very good. (If I may say so myself). It's very cost effective when you get a large 1kg bag of roasted almonds for $15, especially as buying a jar of almond butter here costs about $8-10! And, you'll like this Rosa, you can make dark chocolate almond butter, by adding through a small amount of dark melted chocolate at the end. It's like the much better cousin of nutella. Check out I subscribe to her blog, and although she's vegan I do love her blogs and recipes.

  9. Anita, that sounds absolutely incredible! I love almonds, and the chocolate would be a great touch. Thank you!


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