Thursday, May 14, 2009

Peanut Butter

I have been making peanut butter at home for about three years now. After Whole Foods came into our neighborhood, we fell in love with the fresh ground honey roasted peanut butter that you pay an arm and a leg for but grind it right there in the store.

It didn't take long for us to try it at home. The result was just beautiful. Slightly bumpy (a food processor can't get grind it completely smooth), fresh smelling, never separating into that oily goop like the natural stuff you buy in the store, and slightly sweetened because we still use the honey roasted peanuts.

When I mention that I make my own peanut butter, people get that glazed look on their face. You know that look: The "Oh. You're one of THOSE weirdos who sew their own clothes and raise their own chickens and don't use deodorant and sing songs around a guitar instead of watching Make Me a Supermodel like the rest of us" look. Well, I would raise my own chickens if I could, but I'm really liking Salome and the hot guy from England and I hope one of them takes it all.

The thing is, it is so.damn.easy and cheap for that matter, it doesn't make sense not to make it anymore. It lasts forever and it tastes so much better! And it takes approximately 8 minutes to make. I timed it.

So, I'm sharing my peanut butter strategy with all of you. I encourage you to run out right now and try it.

First, get yourself a big ole can of honey roasted peanuts. You can use plain roasted peanuts, but DO NOT use dry roasted. I'm not sure why, but they are not as oily and do not develop the butter texture. No matter how long I ground them, I ended up with just crumbly peanuts. I now go to one of those wholesale stores and just buy a case of the huge tubs of peanuts so we don't have to worry about running out.

Add those peanuts to your food processor, about 1/2 to 3/4 the way up the bowl.

Next, start the processing/chopping of those peanuts. At first, your peanuts will look like, well, chopped peanuts.

pb1


Keep the processor running. At the next stage, your peanuts will start to clump together. They are starting to extrude oil, and you'll notice that there are little clumps at the bottom of the processor, and it may even clump around the top. This is a good time to get a spoon and start breaking it up a bit. Keep processing.

pb2

The next stage is when the peanut butter is really starting to come together. There will be some areas that look like peanut butter, but it's still really chunky. Stir it up a bit again, and keep processing.

pb3

About another minute or so into the processing, and it's really going to start looking like peanut butter. You're going to look at it, taste it, and cry out with pure joy and consider all the things you could do with this sticky elixer from the gods. But don't stop now. The picture below really looks like peanut butter, but I strongly encourage you to keep processing for about 2 more minutes. If you stop now, the peanut butter may firm up substantially in the fridge (which is where I keep it, just to be safe) making it nearly impossible to spread on that squishy white bread your child so desires. Trust me. Let it go. Stir it up again. Process for about another 2 minutes.

pb4



Finally, your peanut butter should look like this:

pb5

See how it's no longer holding a line? You may think it looks a little runny, but once it is away from the heat of the food processor, it will firm up. It's done now.

Finally, give a taste to your child who has been begging for some peanut butter since you started making it.

pb6

And there you have it. I was told as a child that eating peanut butter alone was one of the most dangerous things you could do since the Heimlich doesn't work on peanut butter. So please don't turn me in to Child Services.

1 comment:

Matt L said...

I do believe you have inspired me.