Peanut Butter: John’s Homemade Recipe
Today we made the best peanut butter that I have ever had. It tastes similar to the freshly ground stuff that you find at stores with peanut butter grinding machines. There are nuanced differences because we use lower temperatures when we roast at home.
First, we ordered raw, organic, Valencia peanuts (with skins on of course) from Purcell Mountain Farms (a great resource for beans and lentils too!) They are very reasonable compared to what you would pay for roasted, organic peanuts (without skins) at Whole Foods (about half the price at 3.70 per pound.)
The peanuts arrived in just two days. We roast them on baking sheets or in glass trays at 200F for just under two hours. Our reason for this is simple:
Peanut butter is commercially made with temps around 500F. These high temperatures and the acrylamide that forms, combined with mold issues in peanuts grown in moist environments, and potentially very high pesticide levels, can make this great staple food a land mine. If your children are anything like mine, they enjoy peanut butter more than anything else!
These Valencia peanuts are grown in dry environments, are sun-blanced (no mold) with no chemicals. When they are roasted at 200F it is enough heat to inactivate the trypsin inhibitors in the peanuts and will not form toxic by-products like Advanced Glycosylated End Products (AGEs) and acrylamide. (Never eat raw peanuts!)
After allowing to cool, first place the peanuts in a food processor and start to spin for about 2 minutes at a time. After the first two minutes, you might need to scape some of the peanut meal – it is not butter yet – off of the sides back into the mix, but after 4-5 minutes it starts to look and smell like freshly ground peanut butter. You could add some salt if you wanted to.
Refrigerate in glass jars (with no air pockets at the bottom of the jar) for longer term storage. We eat it fresh – in my house, peanut butter doesn’t last long!
Header photo courtesy Daniella Segura