A whole new peanutty level of peanut butter
Making your own peanut butter will take your family’s peanut butter to a whole new level of peanuttiness. Your tastebuds will instantly know that you made a great decision when you decided to try your hand at making your own peanut butter! You can rest assured that your favorite spread is nothing but nuts, peanut oil, and salt. Ok. You can add sugar if you wish, but you may find out that this peanut butter doesn’t need it.
This is a step-by-step tutorial about how to make your own homemade peanut butter by an old organic gardener.
Raw peanuts from the grocery store will work great in this tutorial. The results may inspire you to grow your own peanuts!
Roots in the Garden
My first peanut butter experiment has roots in my organic garden (pun intended). I made peanut butter from my homegrown peanuts two years ago. It was a lot of work for so little peanut butter! The peanuts got slightly scorched when I roasted them. So, not perfect. When things aren’t perfect, I want to give up. But, the beauty of experiments is that we can learn from it and avoid the same mistakes again.
Lesson: Move through the disappointment and be surprised
Can you imagine having to throw away slightly scorched peanuts after going through all the trouble of shelling them? No way! I processed them into peanut butter anyway and wow! Am I glad I did! I became a hoarder of a quart of the nuttiest, yummiest peanut butter I ever had, scorch and all!
But. It was still a lot of work. This year, with the harvest of volunteer peanuts, I really didn’t know what I would do with my peanuts.
Wait. What? Volunteer peanuts? Yes, they came up all over the garden! Yep. Two years ago, I planted one row on purpose. That was the beginning of peanuts loving the garden and popping up all over the place.
Once you grow peanuts, some of the peanuts in the roots will escape your notice and if you use the plants to enrich your soil, turn the plants under, then the missed peanuts will sprout new plants. Sometimes, peanuts get left in the soil when you pull the plant and they sprout into new plants too.
The easiest solution to preserve all those peanuts was to simply pressure cook them for boiled peanuts. But, I had several quarts of frozen, boiled peanuts in the freezer, so I didn’t want to boil anymore.
The thought of scorched peanut butter was not motivating enough to really want to do it again. But, what was I going to do with all those volunteers? I don’t waste anything! So, I decided to dig them up and pick them anyway. They were the last thing I harvested this season, early summer in central Florida. I ended up with about two gallons.
A few days later, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I shelled them all.
As I was shelling and thinking about the last batch of slightly scorched peanuts, a lightbulb went off. (Lightbulbs happen when you are able to sit and “do nothing”!) I decided to try an experiment in order to make the roasting stage of making peanut butter successful.
It was a game-changer.
If homemade peanut butter requires extra peanut oil at the processing stage, why not just fry them? That way, I could stand there and watch for the perfect time to stop cooking them. I figured if I knew how to make peanut brittle, I would know the smell that peanuts have when they are “just right”. When you make enough peanut brittle, you learn to remove the peanut candy off the heat at just the right “smell”. It had to be the same for fried peanuts.
Fried peanut butter?
It was a beautiful success. Wow! Again.
It is the peanutiest peanut butter you can imagine.
Here’s how to make your own peanuttiest peanut butter
You will need the right equipment:
- Heavy duty frying pan
- Food Processor
- Large, Slotted Spoon
- Extra bowl for hot peanuts
- your shelled peanuts
- peanut oil
Please do not substitute another kind of oil for the peanut oil because it will affect the final taste. Any kind of salt is fine. I use pink salt but I bet sea salt would be great.
Each gallon of raw, unshelled peanuts will give you about one and a half cups of peanuts, which in turn, yields about one cup of peanut butter. You may choose to buy raw peanuts usually found in the produce section of the grocery store. NOTE: This recipe uses RAW peanuts.
These are peanuts that have just been pulled up. Simply pluck them off the roots.
After you glean as many peanuts off the roots as possible, spread them out to dry. You will want to prevent mold from growing on them. Delaying the shelling process makes it a bit easier to shell. When you decide it’s time to shell them, it will take a while, so why not sit outside under a shade tree one lazy afternoon and enjoy your downtime.
Keep them safe and dry
Once the peanuts are shelled, spread them out on a cookie sheet to keep them dry and aired out. You can fry them right away or wait for a few days. The caution is to check them daily. A few damp days can cause them to mold and spoil. Any sign of mold starting means you need to pick through them NOW and fry them right away.
Fried Peanut Butter
Add oil to your frying pan to a depth of one and a half to two inches deep. Heat on medium heat. Wait until the oil is hot before adding the peanuts. Test the heat by throwing one peanut in. If it starts to fry, the oil is hot enough. Be careful to not overheat but do maintain the heat to keep the nuts actively frying.
This medium frying pan has about one cup of peanuts in it. Watch carefully. You will notice them becoming darker. Take one out, give it a short time to cool and taste it. You will know if it’s ready. It will definitely taste roasted.
Once you determine that the peanut is fried to perfection, work quickly and get the rest of the peanuts out with a large slotted spoon. Quick! Peanuts can go from “done” to “scorched” in about 30 seconds. There is no need to drain them. Simply place them in a bowl and move onto the next batch.
Repeat until all peanuts are fried. Leave the oil in the frying pan because you will need some of it to add to the processor later.
Cool to room temperature.
You can try to process while hot, but for safety reasons, it’s best to wait.
This processor takes about 4 cups of peanuts at a time. Process for 30 seconds to break them up.
Remove the lid and add ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt. Try starting with a little, remembering that salt is meant to only enhance the food. Add three tablespoons of oil and process for three minutes, stopping the processor often to scrape down the sides.
Your total time of processing can take as long as five minutes. Be patient!
At this point, start tasting it so you can get super excited about sharing the yumminess with your family.
After three minutes, if the mixture is not smooth enough, add oil, one tablespoon at a time, continuing to stop so you can scrape down the sides. I bet you sneak another taste or two!
Stop adding the oil before the butter is at the smoothness that you want.
Continued processing will break out more oil from the peanuts. My experience is that I used about 6 tablespoons of oil for 2 cups of peanut butter. Different varieties of peanuts require different amounts of oil, so start out slow with adding oil.
Store your fresh peanut butter in a clean jar and refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator for months.
Your friends will say, what? You did what?
And you’ll reply. Yeah. And I have a new word in my vocabulary. Peanuttiest. Oh yeah. And, “fried peanut butter” too!
And you’ll want to brag about the fact that your peanut butter has only nuts, salt, and peanut oil in it.
You will also like my tutorial on how to preserve green beans. See it here.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. – Mat 6:33 CSB