Post by: Julie Kostyk, RD
Does the thought of opening a new jar of natural peanut butter and spilling stirring all that oil cause you to cringe?
No matter what I’ve tried (storing the jar upside down before opening, stirring with a butter knife, stirring with a large spoon, pouring off some of the oil, and on and on…) it is inevitable that oil will end up on my hand, down the side of the jar and all over the counter. Messes like that drive me nuts (no pun intended!).
So… something had to change. For over a year now, I have made my own homemade peanut butter and am happy to say that the results turn out perfectly every time, with no oil separation or need to stir at all. This makes for one happy girl! And at the rate that we go through peanut butter in my house, it actually ends up saving us money.
Now, in order for this to work you do need a powerful food processor (or perhaps a very powerful blender, although I don’t own one of these and can’t attest to their success rate). I have success with my 12 cup Cuisinart food processor but other high quality food processors will likely do the trick as well. Other than that, the only other ingredients are peanuts and the optional addition of salt! Easy peasy.
Preparation time: 25 minutes (or less if you choose not to roast the peanuts)
Yield: 1kg of peanuts will fill a 1kg jar
Step 1: Spread peanuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or so. I find that roasting the peanuts helps to bring out the natural oils, which makes the processing part go smoothly.
*Tip: Stir after 10 minutes and roast for another 5 minutes or so, depending on how hot your oven is. I admit to forgetting leaving these nuts in the oven for longer than 20 minutes and it definitely results in a much darker and more roasted
(or if left too long a slightly burnt-flavored) peanut butter…
Optional: If you prefer the taste of natural peanut butter with salt, consider either using salted peanuts or
adding your own salt once you start processing them (the latter options allows you to determine how much salt you wish to add). Typically, natural peanut butters will have around 1- 1.5 teaspoons of salt per 1 kg jar.
Step 2: Remove the peanuts from the oven and immediately put them in your food processor.
If you have food-motivated pets in your home (like this one in mine!) you may find them anxiously
waiting for you to accidentally drop a peanut or two on the floor… My golden retriever knows the sound of the food processor coming out of the cupboard and appears in the kitchen at lightning speed every time.
Step 3: Turn on your food processor (I remove the pusher to allow the steam to escape). Stop once or twice in the first 3 minutes to scrape down the sides. It should look a little like this:
About 7 minutes into the process, it should start looking more like this:
It might be tempting to stop processing now, but if you keep going for 1-2 more minutes until the peanut butter is fairly “liquidy” (i.e. it starts to sound like it is sloshing around in the food processor), you will end up with a very nice peanut butter that pours out of the food processor and is super easy to spread. The peanut butter will harden up a bit when put in the fridge.
Voila! There you have it. No more oily messes!
Check out these other blogs for nutrition information, tips on homemade nut butters and delicious nut butter alternatives: