Homemade Peanut Butter [Recipe]
Homemade peanut butter is so simple to make and far superior to anything you’ll find in the supermarket. There are just two ingredients – peanuts and a pinch of salt. Once you’ve tried this recipe you’ll never buy processed peanut butter again.
I’m never without a large jar of peanut butter in my cupboard. It’s so versatile – use it for school lunches, to thicken and flavour soups, sauces and curries or simply as a nutritious snack, spread generously on a slice of toasted sourdough bread.
When you make it yourself you can control how toasted the peanuts are, how crunchy or smooth you want your peanut butter to be and how much salt you want to add.
I generally make a large batch at a time. If you sterilise the jars before you use them, the peanut butter will keep for months in a cool, dark place. (To sterilise the jars, either immerse the open jars and lids in a large pot of simmering water for a few minutes, or pour freshly boiled water from a kettle into each jar and lid, right to the top. Use a tongs to remove the jars from the pot or to tip out the water, then drain for a few minutes to dry.)
I really recommend buying ready-skinned peanuts for this. Skinning them yourself is very laborious and would put you off making the peanut butter, which is otherwise a very quick and simple process. I buy my peanuts ready-skinned in my local Asian market. They’re about €6 per kilo and, as they generally come vac-packed, they keep for ages, so stock up when you find them.
Roasted nuts are not quite as nutritious as raw nuts, but they really do taste better. Peanuts are not true nuts (they’re a member of the legume family, like peas) and have quite a strong vegetable taste when raw. As such, I don’t recommend using fully raw peanuts for this recipe. However, you can reduce the roasting time to your own taste – the shorter the roasting time, the more nutritious the nuts will be.
This quantity of peanuts yields about 2 medium jars of peanut butter. If you don’t think you’d use that amount, just reduce the quantity of peanuts.
Homemade Peanut Butter
500 g | 1 lb shelled & skinned peanuts
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 160˚ C (320˚ F).
- Spread a single layer of peanuts over a baking sheet. (Use two sheets if required so that you just keep to a single layer of peanuts.)
- Roast the peanuts for 12-15 minutes. About half-way though cooking take them out and give them stir so that they brown evenly. Keep an eye on them for the last few minutes as they can catch and burn very quickly. (Roasted peanuts are delicious, burnt peanuts are not.) They should be a nice, pale golden colour when they are ready. (NB: Don’t be tempted to pop a nice roasted nut into your mouth when you take them out of the oven – they’re extremely hot!)
- Allow the nuts to cool, then transfer to a blender. If you want a crunchy peanut butter, hold back a handful of peanuts and add them at the end, blending for about 10-20 seconds to chop them into the paste. For a smooth peanut butter (best for soups), use all the peanuts together.
- Add the salt and switch on the blender.
- After about 1 minute, the peanuts will have a biscuit-crumb consistency.
- After about 2 minutes, the peanuts will start to form a thick paste.
- After about 3 minutes, the paste will become stickier.
- After about 4 minutes, the mixture should move smoothly around the bowl.
- After about 5 minutes, the mixture should become very smooth and runny.
- Blend the peanuts to your desired consistency. Bear in mind that it firms up a bit once it’s cooled (it heats up as it’s blending).
- If you have held back some peanuts to make the peanut butter crunchy, add them now and pulse for 10-20 seconds until the peanuts reach your desired chunk size.
- Pour the mixture into your pre-prepared jars. Tighten the lids fully while the peanut butter is still warm to seal the jar. Once cooled, keep in a cool location (fridge or cupboard).
- Once open, the peanut butter will keep well in the fridge for a number of weeks.