Lately I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes.
All Most of them have turned out really well. One of my new favorites is this homemade peanut butter. If you’re like me, then you’re probably cautious of the chemicals you put into your body. Many peanut butters you buy in a grocery store have ingredient lists miles long; most containing mono- and di-glycerides, hydrogenated vegetable oils (these are the ‘bad-for-you’ fats), corn syrup solids, and sugar. Even jars that contain a more modest set of ingredients add oil AND sugar to their nut butters. And, if you are lucky enough to find nut butter that doesn’t contain these unhealthy additions, you are certain to pay a pretty penny for it. That’s why I decided to make my own! I know, it sounds crazy. And I have to admit my family was somewhat astonished (and a little skeptical) in the beginning. I got a lot of statements like, “You’re making your own what? Peanut butter? But how?” And then, as it gradually started to take shape (and taste delicious) I heard more “Wow! This is really good” and “That’s so cool!”
This was the second time I’d made my own peanut butter, and this batch was even more delicious than the first. (I made this one super creamy). But, I wanted to try something new too; my challenge? Homemade chocolate peanut butter.
Now, before we get into the recipe I want to explain why I chose peanut butter over other nut butters. Firstly, I don’t like sun butter (made of sunflower seeds). I’ve tried it, I’ve tried making it, and it just isn’t for me. (Which is somewhat disappointing because I have a pint of raw sunflower seeds just begging to be devoured). However, if you do absolutely love sun butter, you could easily sub sunflower seeds for peanuts and the nut butter still turn out beautifully. (You may want to cut down on the roasting time a bit though). Secondly, peanuts are a pretty soft nut comparatively. I have a somewhat decent food processor, but I wasn’t willing to risk wasting my precious almonds if my processor couldn’t grind them efficiently. I love almonds too much to lose them to such a catastrophe. Lastly, peanuts are dirt cheap (and I’d rather save my more expensive nuts; read cashews and almonds, to make cheeses and milks). I bought my peanuts raw and organic at Whole Foods in Jacksonville, FL for $3.00 a pound. See what I mean? Easy, cheap, and delicious.
2 cups raw, shelled peanuts
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast your nuts at this temperature, turning once.
Remove from the oven and allow the nuts to cool enough to handle. Pour all the nuts into a food processor and begin processing until smooth.
Transfer nut butter into an air tight container.
That’s all there is to it. Be patient with your processing peanuts. It will take a bit of time (5 minutes for my super creamy butter) for them to transform into the gooey, sticky, nut butter you crave. And don’t stress if your mixture doesn’t immediately look like peanut butter. Continue processing the nuts until they release their natural oils and turn into nut butter. Your mixture will progress through the process looking something like this:
The first picture is of the peanuts being put into the food processor. Next, you’ll get a fine peanut powder. Eventually, this powder will transform into a lumpy ball of dough. And then at last you’ll have your peanut butter.
If you’re the type to prefer a crunchier peanut butter on your morning bagel or with your banana, I would recommend you blend your peanuts to this smooth consistency and then add a few handfuls of coarsely chopped nuts to the mixture and stir in by hand. Over processing will just yield an even creamier peanut butter.
The chocolate peanut butter takes a little more effort and is (not as) healthy. This flavored nut butter does have a smidge of added oil and sugar; but I assure you, it is WAY less than you would ever find in store-bought chocolate nut butter.
P.S. I only made half a batch of this recipe because I ran out of roasted peanuts and didn’t want to wait and roast more. But you could easily make a full batch by doubling this recipe.
Chocolate Peanut Butter
1 cup raw, shelled peanuts
4 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. peanut (or other mild-flavored vegetable) oil
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast your nuts for ten minutes, turning once.
Remove the nuts from the oven and allow them to cool enough to handle. Pour the nuts in a food processor and begin processing until smooth.
Next, add sugar, cocoa, and oil to your processor and blend until fully mixed. Transfer to an air tight container.
This recipe is great, not only because it is so easy and quick, but also because it is so versatile. You can easily make substitutions depending on your personal preferences without affecting the wonderful taste. I used carob powder instead of cocoa so I could share with my pups (and they absolutely loved it).
Other substitutions you could make (and I probably will for my next batch) include using Truvia or Stevia brand natural no-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar. Just make sure you consider that these sweeteners often have a stronger sweetness than regular sugar does and you may want to use less of them to achieve the same flavor.
You can also substitute unsweetened almond milk in place of the oil. Remember if you use almond milk, you’ll need to store your nut butter in the refrigerator; not the pantry!
My nut butters have lasted about two weeks in my pantry (sealed tightly); but I imagine they would last even longer in the refrigerator (if I could keep from eating them long enough to find out). I can’t wait to try new flavors (maybe vanilla?) and try new substitutions to this recipe. What flavors are you going to try?
Let me know how your nut butter recipe turned out or how you used your homemade nut butter on Twitter @hicks_erica.