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Saturday, May 23, 2009

homemade peanut butter: an essay in PICTURES, NERDS, because I have a camera again!

The pictures are very dark, because I'm still working out flash issues. I'm old, okay? Just be patient with me.

I'll try to be very clear and descriptive in my instructions so that you can understand just how easy, if needless, it is to make your own peanut butter. And of course you can extrapolate the relevant information and apply it to other nutmeats, like cashews, just in case you're one of those people who already has a diamond toilet and needs something else vaingloriously expensive to spend your money on.

Cost-per-poundwise, it is cheaper to buy your own peanuts in bulk from some hippie food store and grind them into peanut butter, rather than buy it premade. The product is not as silky-smooth--it's very similar in texture to that peanut butter/dried milk play dough stuff--but it tastes great, and you can adjust the seasonings or use a variety of nuts, and be sure that you're using whatever sugar and oil you want. But if you're employing cost-cutting measures, this is probably not the first place to start chopping. You might want to reconsider that diamond toilet, for example.

Homemade Peanut Butter
Cast of characters:
roasted peanuts (shelled, unless you need fiber in a way that I'm not comfortable discussing)
oil of your choice (I used walnut, because I thought the two nut flavors would play well together)
salt
sweetener of your choice (I used agave nectar so I could stick it in some extremely remote way to Monsanto, but mostly because I knew the liquid would be beneficial to the grinding process)

Amounts are very approximate, because I'm one of those annoying cooks who doesn't always measure, and I can't always reproduce my masterpieces.

Put 4 C of nuts in your food processor, sprinkle them with about a tablespoon of salt, and drizzle them with oil (1/4 C) and sweetener (3 T). Pulse the machine a few times until the nuts are roughly chopped--you don't want to jump intimacy levels with your fopro.

When they're broken down a little, then you can turn the machine on and just let it spin for a bit. Check the mixture about every 20 seconds to see if you need to add any more oil--you want the mixture to be thick, but not cementlike. Add salt and sweetener to taste.

Keep buzzing it around. It sort of takes a while. If you want to watch a TV show about vampires on your laptop, this is an okay time to do it, as long as you keep pausing and checking the peanut butter. It's pretty loud, though, and you're going to miss a lot of the dialogue.

When the mixture is smooth-adjacent (you're not going to get Skippy here) you can scoop it all into a quart jar and start using it. You might want to keep it in the fridge if you don't go through peanut butter very quickly. We do, so I'm not too worried about shelf stability. Or you can just make a smaller batch, if you want to start controlling the universe and all.

Go for it, people. Quick, easy, delicious.

4 comments:

richvm said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Very good in the delivery and I would love to taste it, mostly because I doubt I will ever reach the motivation to make my own. I only comment because of the unsung hero in your cast of characters. You made comments for each of them but the real hero. REDMOND Salt. For those of you thinking that Salt is Salt is Salt, please know that Redmond salt is unique in taste and procurement. I love that this Salt is a real marketing love story and that there is a very solid chance that I may be the only reader to have visited the birth place and hauled thousands of pounds of this salt in the back of a truck. Sorry for the comment hijack but.....GO Redmond Salt!

tipsybaker said...

Yes, thank-you for the tutorial. Does that dried milk play-dough you refer to also include honey? Is it that "candy" people used to make?
Am now going to investigate Redmond salt.

Layne said...

Richard--I actually have two cat-sized chunks of Redmond salt in my living room. They are objets d'art, and my kids like to lick them. I got them from Wade when he visited the Redmond Salt Mine. When did you haul salt from there?

And I agree--it is great salt, and it's all I use, especially now that I can get it in kosher size.

Tipsy--yes, that is the same peanut butter stuff.

richvm said...

Layne,
We would buy two to four tons of salt in a summer from Redmond salt in fifty pound sacks for the sheep herd. The salt is good for the sheep in its minerals and also helps put the weight on the lambs. I would go down to Redmond (fifty minute drive) two to three times a year. I do think that there is a big difference in taste but I might be biased because of it being close to the home and heart. I love that they took a product sold in bulk so cheap put it in smaller containers and were able to increase the price by over 1000%. Still love that salt!