November 7, 2011

REAL peanut butter

The first time I had REAL peanut butter was at the Natural Food Co-Op in Sioux Falls (a great little health food store on 33rd and Duluth...they have an awesome bulk section) and it was like an instant addiction. I'm talking REAL, not like the kind on the shelf at Wal-Mart, but the freshly-ground-from-roasted-peanuts-right-into-my-jar kind. makes the jarred stuff taste like cardboard. So we loaded up a little container of the honey-roasted kind (since you have to buy your containers if you don't bring your own) and went home, planning to bring an enormous jar back next time.

Apparently, it was on sale the first time I had it. Because when I came back with my gigantic peanut butter jar, I discovered the price had almost doubled. Not cool. So like I often do when I don't like the price or ingredients of store-bought food, I tried to make my own. Turns out, it's pretty easy.

I took it back one step further and decided to roast my own peanuts so I could make it just about as fresh as possible. I started with raw Valencia peanuts. Normally I get them from Azure Standard, but they were out this month so these came from Amazon. Valencia peanuts are a bit sweeter than other varieties and the most common type used for commercial peanut butter.

One pound of peanuts = about 3 cups, which will make 1 pound of peanut butter.
For honey roasting, melt about 1 1/2 T. butter and stir into about 1 1/2 T. honey. Pour over 3 cups of peanuts. (I tripled mine so I could make 3 pounds at a time). I leave the skins on because I like texture it produces. You could take them off if you really wanted to. Or, you could just buy pre-roasted peanuts without the skins and skip the roasting process altogether.

Spread the peanuts evenly on a baking pan. Ideally, they'd be spread in a single layer.

Roast at 350 degrees for about 15-25 minutes. Mine took about 25 minutes because I was using stoneware, which seems to take longer. Stir at least twice during roasting. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.

Then, plop those babies in your food processor fitted with the chopping blade and let 'er rip! After just a minute or so, it will look like this, kind of lumpy and grainy:

But keep blending away and eventually it will become creamy. It may take up to 10 minutes or so, depending on the size and strength of your food processor. Because I left the skins on, I added a little heart-healthy coconut oil to smooth it out. After that, add salt, to taste. I usually end up using about 1 tsp per pound of peanuts.

I like to use Redmonds RealSalt because it's completely natural and unrefined. No yucky anti-caking agents or anything else that's not supposed to be there. Plus it has wonderful flavor and still contains all the natural minerals.

Give it one last spin to get the salt mixed in and you've got homemade peanut butter!  And it's hydrogenated oil and additive free!

Want to try some before you go out and buy a 10 pound bag of peanuts? Just let me know. No bread required....I'm eating it off a spoon, right now. (Suggested donation $8 - proceeds to adoption fund).


  1. Fantastic! Amy and I love REAL peanut butter! And I brought back a bunch of peanuts from our trip through the south! Think I know what I'll be doing with those this week! :) Thanks!!!

  2. @Amber Bertsch No...I wish I could ship them for that! I could save you one until we see you at Thanksgiving. Or we could make some fresh then :)

  3. Virginia-I would LOVE to try some. I live in OK we will have to figure something out...maybe even when I come home for Christmas! Also...I am completely intrigued by your diet and would really live to learn more!

    Jennifer Tuttle

  4. @Jennifer T Thanks Jen! I definitely plan on posting more about how we eat in the future. Hopefully I'll get organized and figure out the best way to do that soon.

  5. Very impressive!! Looks delicious!

  6. Virginia, you're my hero. I want to be you when I grow up.