The Secret to Delicious, Homemade Peanut Butter

Creamy peanut butter!

I really do have the secret to delicious, homemade peanut butter.  My first couple of attempts at making peanut butter yielded a rather unfortunate, crumbly non-peanut butter like substance.  I still ate it.  After all, I had spent a lot of time and peanuts getting to that point.  Might as well use it up!  But now, I have figured out the secret.  Would you like to hear it?

Patience!

Yep, that’s pretty easy.  Well, except sometimes it’s actually not so easy for me.  I finally noticed on enough different blog posts showing how to make peanut butter that you need to let it go for 8-10 minutes.  Apparently, the 2-3 minutes I would give it before dumping in all sorts of various oils was clearly not the right method.  I’m happy to say that I have now successfully made creamy peanut butter at home.  So delicious!

First of all, you need some peanuts.  I’ve heard that Spanish peanuts make the best.  So I got a couple of pounds of raw, Spanish peanuts from Vitamin Cottage.

Soaking peanuts

Next, you need to soak your peanuts to help reduce the amount of phytates in them.  Phytates block mineral absorption and is one of the main reasons I’m not buying peanut butter from the store.  I’m not going to go into anymore detail about that today, but you can read more here.  Put the nuts in a large bowl, add about 1 tablespoon of quality sea salt per 4 cups of nuts and cover with filtered water.  Let these soak for at least 7 hours.

Once they are done soaking, you can drain the peanuts.  You can give them a rinse, if you like, or just drain off the water.  Next, you’ll want to dry out the nuts.  You can either jump straight ahead to roasting them or dehydrate them first.  I chose to dehydrate them.  I put them in my dehydrator for around 12 hours or so at about 155 degrees.  Since we’re going to roast them anyways, we don’t have to worry about keeping the temperature lower to preserve the enzymes.

Saving some for snacks

Now it’s time to roast the peanuts.  Place them on a baking sheet in a 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.  I would start checking them after 20 minutes.  The best way to tell if they’re done is by taste.  If it tastes like a peanut, it’s done.  Before you roast them, they will just taste like a legume.  Be careful not to roast them for too long.  Otherwise your peanut butter will taste burnt.  Ask me how I know!

Once they have cooled you can finally make peanut butter.  I know, it’s the part you have been waiting patiently for!  Pour a bunch of them in the food processor.  I did mine in 2 batches and I kept some of the peanuts whole for snacks.

Now is where you have to use your patience so that it turns out well.  Turn on your food processor and let it go for at least 8 minutes.  It’s tempting to stop it to take a peek.  Just let it keep going.  If you must take a look, just scrape down the sides and get it going again.  I found it best to set a timer and walk away.

The finished products

When I came back after 8 minutes, I actually had peanut butter!  I didn’t even use any coconut oil or palm oil.  It turned out great by just giving it time.  I prefer my peanut butter salted, so I sprinkled about half a tablespoon of coarse Celtic sea salt in and turned on the food processor again for another minute.  Then I just double checked the salt amount by tasting it.  So very good!

Then I put it in a small jar, labeled it, and stuck it in the fridge.  Approximately 1 quart of peanuts made 1 pint of peanut butter.  Now I really need to try making almond butter again.  I just have to remember to be patient!

What is your favorite nut butter to make?

This post is part of Fight Back FridaySunday SchoolMonday ManiaFat TuesdayReal Food WednesdayPennywise Platter ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, Eat Make Grow Thursday.

 

Comments

  1. Meghan says:

    I wrote a post about peanut butter a few weeks ago – I think I mentioned almost all the same things as you! :) And it does take a LONG time – I think more than 8 minutes for me. My food processor (and the peanut butter) is always really hot by the time it’s finally done.

    • Mindy says:

      That’s right! I think I read yours when you posted it and then came across several other blog posts about making peanut butter around the same time. I decided to give it a try without any oil since others were doing the same. Just the extra time made such a difference!

      I did much smaller batches this time, too. My peanut butter and food processor were both nice and warm, too. It tasted so good straight out of the bowl. I may have licked the entire thing clean…

  2. Leah says:

    I just figured out that I have been making the same mistake (not letting it process long enough). But I do worry about burning up my food processor…it’s just a cheapo one from Wal-Mart. What kind do you have?

    • Mindy says:

      I have a Cuisinart which managed it just fine. Maybe you can try pretty small batches with breaks in between to let it cool down so you don’t overheat the motor.

      By the way, if you’re ever looking to upgrade your food processor, I would recommend looking on Craigslist. I ended up finding one that was never used and still in the box for about half the retail value. I really love how quiet and powerful it is!

      Best of luck with your peanut-butter making!

  3. Julie says:

    Does this stay soft in the fridge? I have tried peanut butter many times but it always gets rock hard in the fridge (which does not make for good p,b&j’s for my little man!). Any secrets I need to know about? thanks!

    • Mindy says:

      It stayed fairly soft for me this last time, but I think it’s because it didn’t last very long! I’ve also kept peanut butter in my cupboard. The last time it didn’t last well and turned moldy. I think it was because it had too much moisture from all the palm oil I had added. I also was eating it pretty slowly because the texture was all wrong.

      If you go through it somewhat quickly, I bet you could just leave it in a cupboard without a problem. I might give that a try when I make my next batch.

  4. What a great post and I had no idea you had to soak peanuts and why. I am so excited as I have found a recipe to make my kid’s favourite spread-thank you!
    I would be greatly honoured if you were to choose to include Seasonal Celebration in your linky list. Do pop over and take a look, it would be great to see you there! http://naturalmothersnetwork.com/seasonal-celebration-sunday/seasonal-celebration-sunday-5/

    Rebecca x

  5. Jen says:

    I was inspired by your post to try making peanut butter for the first time. I did not soak and roast my peanuts because I had a fresh batch of organic, unsalted, roasted peanuts from Whole Foods so I skipped right to the food processing step. It worked very well, I added salt and a touch of honey and I love how it tastes. When I opened my jar of freshly made peanut butter a few hours later so my husband could try it, I found that it had thickened a bit and was hard to spread. I wonder if I didn’t give it enough time in the processor? Maybe I’ll scoop out the jar and give it a few more minutes to see if I can get it slightly softer for an easier spread. Has this ever happened to you?

    • Mindy says:

      I’m glad I inspired you to give it a try! Did you put the peanut butter in the fridge when you were done? I wonder if that made it thicker. Maybe the honey hardened it a bit too?

      That often happens with our store bought peanut butter after a long time in the fridge. Not sure about why it did that so soon after making it.

  6. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
    http://realfoodforager.com/fat-tuesday-february-28-2012/

  7. Kristi says:

    This is so informative on such a nutritious food. Would you mind sharing it at my pregnancy food blog carnival, superfood sundays?

    http://www.painfreepregnancy.org/2012/03/superfood-sunday-3rd-edition-march-11.html

    Thanks!!

  8. Kathleen says:

    It is my understanding that you can add whey to nut butter and let it ferment for8 hrs. That will take care of the phytates. I’m not sure if it would change the flavor to not soak and roast (since you wouldn’t have to for the phytates)? I make my own almond butter that way. I haven’t been able to try peanut butter yet so I just add some whey to a good store bought one and then I don’t feel so bad feeding it to the kids :)

  9. Margot says:

    Wonderful! How long does this last in the fridge–if you manage not to eat it all in the first few days?

    • Mindy says:

      Assuming it’s not gobbled up quickly, I would say for a month or two. It’s been rare that ours has stayed around that long. ;-)

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