Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Homemade peanut butter

I have a confession to make. I love peanut butter and if I could eat it every day, I would. Alas, it’s calorific so I can’t, or I would have to exercise seven days a week and I can barely handle two, but that’s another topic for another day. Back to peanut butter.

Yes, I love the stuff, and a long time ago, I was somewhat addicted to commercial peanut butter, of the unhealthy kind. I wised up, though, and started making my own some years ago; a healthier version of it, without all the additives, preservatives, tons of salt, sugar and all the rest bad-for-you ingredients.

I have always been partial to cashew butter which is the best nut butter there is in my humble opinion, but there’s something about peanut butter, particularly the homemade kind, that makes it quite impossible to resist.

I love slathering it on top of my toast (oftentimes with an extra sprinkling of flaked sea salt), eating it, secretly, straight from the jar with a spoon, baking with it, of course —hint: peanut butter brownies to come are here!—, adding it in my morning granola or in savory dishes like stir-fries, Asian-inspired sauces, and the list goes on and on.

It’s easy and quick to make, and all you need is a good food processor to make it happen.
So here is my version, hope you enjoy.

Homemade peanut butter

It’s best if you use raw peanuts that you’ll roast yourselves rather than already roasted peanuts, as their flavor will be more intense thus making your peanut butter more flavorful.

You can skip the ½ tsp of Demerara sugar if you want, but I think it adds just a hint of caramel-y sweetness that is very appealing.

Makes 1 heaped cup

250 g raw, unsalted peanuts
30 ml (2 Tbsp) peanut oil (or other mild-flavored vegetable oil)
½ tsp sea salt flakes (I used Maldon) or coarse sea salt
½ tsp Demerara sugar (you could also use coconut sugar)

Special equipment: small rimmed baking sheet, baking paper, food processor (preferably with a strong motor as it will work for a few minutes straight)

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with baking paper and spread the peanuts on top in one layer. Place on the middle rack of the preheated oven and roast the peanuts for 7-8 minutes, stirring them halfway through so they roast evenly on both sides. Keep an eye on them so they don’t catch.

Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely on the baking sheet. Then, place them in a food processor, process them until quite fine and add the peanut oil. Grind the peanuts until they release their natural oils and become somewhat creamy, for about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl of the food processor halfway through with a rubber spatula. At this point, the peanut butter will be somewhat grainy. Add the sea salt flakes and Demerara sugar and process for a further 2-3 minutes or until it liquefies and becomes even creamier, scraping again down the sides of the bowl of the food processor halfway through with a rubber spatula. If you like your nut butter crunchy, add a few more peanuts at the end of processing.

Empty the peanut butter in a clean, airtight, glass container or jar.

It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


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