Make It At Home Series - Peanut Butter (GF, V)
My daughter and I love peanut butter. My husband just likes it.
I still remember all those times, while still at school, I used to get hungry for a snack and peanut butter (no jam/ jelly) on thick slices of soft, crusty bread was my favorite. To be honest, I don't even need the bread. I could eat peanut butter by the spoonful, the way some people like to eat Nutella!
I used to find it very difficult to find peanut butter in India for a long time. Now it is available in plenty on the supermarket shelves, in both imported and locally made versions. But the manufacturers seem to think that peanut butter is some exotic or gourmet food item given the prices at which they sell it out here! This is a bit of a joke considering that India grows peanuts (or groundnuts as we call them here) in plenty.
I personally dislike the waxy feel store bought peanut butter leaves on my tongue.
So I like making my own peanut butter at home. It doesn't take much time to pick a par of peanut butter off the shelves and bring it home, but I can think of a couple of reasons to make it at home besides the fact that it costs less to do so.
The most compelling reason is that home-made stuff wins hands down, almost every time. Then again, its takes so little time to make your own peanut butter. Apart from being able to control the amount of salt, fat and sugar in home-made peanut butter, it is also free of all the stuff like "fully hydrogenated vegetable oil, natural peanut butter flavour, caramel colour. corn syrup"to mention a few.
I don't always get shelled peanuts where I live right now, so I do it from scratch. This means making peanut butter sometimes becomes more involved, but its still worth the effort in my opinion. There's no more "All Natural" Peanut Butter than the one made at home!
You can make this in a mixer/ grinder jar, too. Peanuts contain oil and the amount of oil in them differs depending on the peanut variety. So after the initial 2 tbsps of oil, adding the remaining 1 tbsp oil , ensures that you need to add only as much oil as necessary to get a spreading consistency. You may not need that last 1 tbsp oil at all!
- Run the peanuts in the food processor till the peanuts are broken into small bits. If you like chunky peanut butter, remove about 1/2 a cup and keep aside before going further. I prefer a smoother peanut butter without large bits of peanuts to bite into.
- Now add the sugar, salt and about 2 tbsps of the oil. Run the mixture in the food processor, adding the remaining 1 tbsp oil, until everything comes together in a buttery mass. Add the peanut bits which were kept aside and run the processor a couple of times till everything is uniformly mixed. Bottle and refrigerate.