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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Homemade Peanut Butter

"This American staple can really eat up your budget. Surprisingly, peanut butter is not only cheaper to make at home, but healthier too." ~ All Things Homemade

I have journeyed down the road of "All Things Homemade" and you can read my introductory post here. I am excited to finally bring you the results of my attempt at Homemade Peanut Butter and have rated it on a scale from 1-5, according to five different categories: Difficulty, Taste, Texture, Benefits, and Price.

The Recipe: (I cut the recipe in half so I didn't have to use so many peanuts!)
4 cups shelled Dry Roasted Peanuts
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Safflower Oil (or any other mild vegetable oil)
Sugar or Honey (Optional - for a sweeter peanut butter)

1. Pour oil in a blender or food processor and slowly mix in peanuts until creamy. (This may take a while depending on whether you want creamy or chunky peanut butter.)
2. Keep mixing......you may need to shove things around to help it along.

3. After the peanut butter is completely blended, it should look something like this:(By the way, the recipe was supposed to yield 1 1/2 cups for the full amount and I ended up with 1 cup by halving it. Typo maybe?)
4. Pour the peanut butter into a mason jar, or any other jar you might have on hand, and make sure to label it and write out the expiration date. The peanut butter should last about 30 days, but you must keep it in the refrigerator because it does not have any preservatives that extend shelf life.

My thoughts on the whole process:

Difficulty Level: 1
Making your own peanut butter is not hard at all. There are only two ingredients and only a few steps to follow.

Taste: 3
The taste is a little different than your normal grocery store peanut butters. You really experience the peanut flavor coming through because you are not tasting all the preservatives and hydrogenated oils that are usually found in peanut butter. Not a bad taste......just different.

Texture: 3
Homemade peanut butter ends up being a little gritty because you can never process ALL the peanuts.

Benefits: 5
It is a shock to see all the different types of ingredients listed on the back of a peanut butter jar: Roasted Peanuts, sugar, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed and soybean) mono diglycerides, and salt. A couple of them we probably do not know what they do, but we consume them anyway.

All peanut butters contain fiber and are a rich source of protein, which are both very beneficial to your body. But if you get rid of some unnecessary ingredients and go with an organic or natural peanut butter (or homemade!), you will give a big boost to these benefits.

Price: 3
The book "All Things Homemade" claims that this pantry staple is much cheaper than grocery store brands. I disagree. After calculating all the costs of my ingredients, homemade peanut butter costs $.07 more an ounce. That may not seem like much, but if you make an 18oz. jar of peanut butter, that is $1.26 more than the 18oz. Jif brand at our local Weis.

Jif 18oz. = $2.19 or $.12 per oz.
Skippy 40 oz = $4.99 or $.12 per oz.
Weis brand 18oz. = $1.79 or $.10 per oz.

2 cups peanuts (9oz.) = $1.40
Safflower Oil = $.08
Total = $1.48 for 1 cup or $.19 per oz.

Conclusion: If you are focused on health benefits, and health benefits only, then homemade peanut butter is the way to go. But if you are like me, and price is extremely important to you, then you might as well keep grabbing jars off the shelf. You will save time and money, and you won't compromise on the taste.

I do suggest you try making your own peanut butter at least once in your life. It is a fun experience and there is a satisfaction to be had when you eat something you made completely from scratch.


Kristina Petrella said...

I have never made my own peanut butter, but your post has inspired me to try. Hmmmm. I'll let you know how it turns out if I ever get to it :-)
Question: How did your husband feel about the PB? Will he eat it?

Kalyn said...

He said it was "just ok". He will eat it, but prefers Jif or Peter Pan. :)

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