Freshly Ground Peanut Butter (A gift from the gods??)

While we’re on the topic of sodium, when was the last time you looked at the ingredient list of your favorite brand of peanut butter? I am blessed to have a wonderful food market near my home, which carries freshly ground peanut butter. Of course you could start grinding your own peanut butter at home. (I know it sounds like too much work, but it really doesn’t take too much effort to produce the heavenly goodness of homemade PB.) But if you don’t feel up to it, make sure the brand you do purchase does not have any added sodium (AKA sodium chloride), sugar, or hydrogenated oils. I mean, isn’t peanut butter supposed to be simply ground nuts? Why is all that other stuff in there in the first place???? There are a few organic brands out there on the market, which do not have any added fillers. Simply turn the jar over and take a peek for yourself.

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I started making my own peanut butter a couple of years ago…it’s way easy, takes just minutes of time, and it tastes REALLY good. No recipe is needed. All you need is a food processor, raw peanuts, some peanut oil, and, if you want, honey and salt.

Step 1 – Dry roast the raw peanuts on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until they start to brown and smell good. Take them out and let them cool to room temperature.

Note:  If you want to skip Step 1 and use peanuts that are already roasted, that’s fine.  It’ll still be good, just not quite as good.

Step 2 – Put the peanuts in the food processor with the honey. Begin to process them while drizzling the peanut oil. Add as much oil as is needed to make the peanut butter soft and almost drippy. It’ll take several minutes of processing for the peanut butter to reach the right consistency.

Amounts of the ingredients are up to your discretion. The amount of oil necessary depends on the kind of peanuts you get — some are oilier than others. How much honey and salt you use (if any) is for your taste buds to decide. For 2 cups of peanuts, I usually use about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of oil, several large spoonfuls of honey, and no salt (the freshly roasted peanuts don’t need it).

The first batch of this I made lasted for about a day. Everyone in the house kept eating it by the spoon! Now, I can’t recommend that homemade peanut butter be used for baking — the commercially made stuff is much smoother — but the flavor can’t compare. Plus, you’ll know exactly what is (or is not) going into your PB&J!