This summer my amazing sister introduced me to cinnamon peanut butter. At that point, I had tried making my own peanut butter a few times, but my results were mixed. It tasted great, but the texture was not. It was clumpy and didn't spread well. Sometimes it was too oily. I'm happy to report that practice does indeed make perfect.
I've taken photos of the process so you can follow along (and avoid some of my mistakes). If you want just plain peanut butter, you can skip the optional steps.
We buy our peanuts at a local bulk food store and keep them in these plastic containers from Target. We are slowly converting to all glass storage containers, but we rotate through all our food pretty quickly so I'm confident that my peanut butter is still better for our family than the processed stuff.
I buy roasted peanuts to save a little bit of time, but if you buy raw peanuts you will want to roast them yourself by placing them in a oven heated to 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they start sweating.
Learn from Jen Tip #1: I've used peanuts both with and without skins. I find the texture is better without the skins.
Learn from Jen Tip #2: For the initial blend, stick to just the peanuts. When I tried adding oil, cinnamon, or chia with the whole peanuts, the texture didn't turn out as well.
In the first minute, the peanuts will go from whole, to chopped, to crumbly. Depending on your processor, they may start to clump up in a ball at this point. After a minute, I stop the processor to scrape the sides.
After two minutes, the peanuts will go from crumbly, to clumpy, to pasty. The temptation is to stop here. Don't.
Learn from Jen Tip #3: Don't stop blending too soon. At the two minute mark, the oil in the peanuts are being released. You want to keep going to get a smooth texture.
After three minutes, the peanut oil will be released and you'll have a nice smooth butter. If you'd like, you can enjoy your peanut butter as is, although it will be quite sticky. (Imagine a dog with a Kong dog smacking the roof of her mouth!)
If you want plain peanut butter, skip ahead to step 5, otherwise, add your chia seeds and cinnamon. Chia seeds have a lot of great health properties and I find it curbs my appetite, so I like to add them to (most) everything. Cinnamon is also good for you, and I like the flavor it adds. (I apologize for the blurry photo below. My eyes are not working so well today!)
At this point you don't need to blend for texture, just to mix, so thirty seconds is plenty. I continue to scrape the sides every time I stop the processor.
The maple syrup (or honey) is optional to add a little sweetness. The oil (I use walnut or flaxseed) helps the butter keep its smooth texture.
Learn from Jen Tip #4: If you don't like the texture at this point, do not add more oil. It will not smooth out your butter, and it will make it more oily. The plain nuts needed to be blended longer. I've had luck saving my butter when this happens by adding a little bit of (almond) milk until the texture smoothed out.
I store our peanut butter in recycled glass containers. I keep it in the frig because it doesn't have any preservatives. We go through a jar every couple of weeks.
Here's a quick visual review:
You know what goes really well with homemade peanut butter? Homemade (and healthier) Nutella!
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