How-to: DIY peanut butter
Nearly everyone has at least one unwavering peanut butter preference, whether it's a matter of crunchy vs. smooth or super-processed vs 'natural'. Allow me to introduce a third peanut butter dichotomy to fight over: store-bought vs. homemade.
I had never heard of making peanut butter at home until my husband and I got on a kick of cutting down on all the packaged food we bought, and he suggested we try our hand at it.
I was already aware that you could get peanuts ground fresh in certain health food stores, but I was skeptical that we could replicate this in our modest apartment. To my surprise, making peanut butter at home was insanely simple and took just five minutes — and the only special equipment required was a food processor.
Packed into an airtight container, homemade peanut butter keeps as well as the bought stuff. Since it hasn't sat on a shelf for weeks or months, I've never seen any oil separation occur — one of the primary complaints lodged by natural peanut butter's detractors. If you buy the peanuts from a bulk bin, it's much cheaper than most of the store-bought stuff.
Also, did I mention that it's totally delicious? It tastes fresh and light and has an airy consistency unlike any other peanut butter I've ever tried. You can adjust the saltiness and crunchiness exactly to your taste, and even add a touch of honey for a sweet flavour balance.
HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER
340g roasted, unsalted peanuts, plus ½ cup extra if you want a crunchy consistency
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp peanut oil, or more if needed
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp honey (optional)
Put the 340g peanuts in a food processor and turn it on. Gradually over the course of about one minute, add the peanut oil through the feed tube. The peanuts will go through a few stages: first chopped, then lumpy and finally smooth. Blend until the mixture is consistently creamy, adding a little more oil if the mixture is too dry.
Add the salt and honey, if desired, and process for a few seconds more. If you like crunchy peanut butter, add the extra half a cup of peanuts and pulse a few times to incorporate them.
Store peanut butter in an airtight container at room temperature or in thefridge for a couple of weeks. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.