My Blendtec was busy over the weekend. I made some pesto, which came out a beautiful light green and was so smooth. It's the best textured pesto I've ever made at home. Then, I went to the local Vietnamese grocery store (Thanks, Fely!) for a 4 lb. bag of raw, shelled peanuts. And I ventured into making homemade peanut butter.
Let me explain why homemade peanut butter sounded like a good investment of my time. My husband loves peanut butter. Not gobs of it at one time. Just a touch. But often. On cereal, oatmeal, bread and graham crackers at a minimum. We're also quite picky about our peanut butter. It must be natural with only salt added. No oils. No sugars. And if we're lucky, we like to get it with a little flax seed, which is great for Omega-3s, and also for fiber and protein. Flax seed is an important secret in my diet.
The recipes I read for roasting peanuts said 10-15 minutes for shelled. Nope. It took nearly 20. My mother-in-law coached me with a warning that you didn't want to burn the peanuts. So as I increased the baking time by 2 minute intervals, I was careful to shake the pan often.
When the peanuts were finally a nice, toasted brown color. . and when all the taste-tests of cooled peanuts were a fresh-roasted-quality-flavor, we removed the peanuts and transferred them in 20 oz. segments into the Blendtec. A couple rounds on the "milkshake" setting--OK, maybe like 5 times--yielded a perfect consistency. And the flavor was just like I wanted.
My final opinion? Let's just say, this is a good candidate for homemade Christmas presents for my dearest friends.
Peanut Roasting Secrets
- Peanuts can be roasted in or out of the shell.
- 4 lbs. of peanuts should be divided evenly among three jelly roll pans.
- Peanuts won't taste right when warm. You must allow them to cool to make sure they have the flavor you are looking for.
- Store-bought peanut butter is significantly darker because the peanuts are actually over-roasted.
- Food processors work just as well for blending as the Blendtec. The sides might need to be scraped a little more often.
- 1 lb. of peanuts yields 1 lb. of peanut butter, the amount in the average jar of store-bought peanut butter. This will help you gauge how much you need to make at one time.
- Refrigerated peanut butter lasts longer.
And just in case you don't have time to deal with the roasting of peanuts yourself, just buy a bag of your favorite dry roasted peanuts and blend it up. Just a few minutes of your time yields pure bliss in a special treat.
Cost to Make Homemade Peanut Butter
Our peanut butter costs roughly $4 a jar or a pound at the store. The raw peanuts cost us $10 for 4 lbs., an estimated cash savings of $6. But how much is the superior flavor worth?
Recipe for Homemade Peanut Butter
If roasting, spread raw peanuts out on a jelly roll pan. Roast at 350F for 10-15 minutes. Add an additional 2 minutes, shaking pan regularly, until peanuts look toasted and tanned.
Pour peanuts into blender or food processor. Do not over fill machine.
If using Blendtec, run ice crush setting, scraping as necessary between cycles, until creamy. Otherwise, run food processor according to directions, scraping as necessary.
Pour peanut butter into jars or eat out of blender. Refrigerate anything that's left.