Monday, 9 July 2012

'Make It Yourself' Series: Peanut Butter!

Today marks week one of my new series that I like to call 'Make It Yourself'.  In the Adventures of Ella and Harry household, we've been re-evaluating some of our nutrition/spending habits.  I've discovered several items that I could/should be making  in order to save us some money and, more importantly, improve our nutrition habits.  

In this series, I plan to dedicate one post per week to something I am now making myself.  I'll include my recipes and cost comparisons as well as any other suggestions I may come across.  I plan to continue this series through the months of July and August, but that will depend on whether or not I run out of ideas!

Here we go!

This week I have decided to make peanut butter.  I decided a few weeks ago to start making this, but I've (clearly) been putting it'll see why in a minute.  I've been buying natural peanut butter for years - probably since I was in university.  It's slightly more expensive, but it doesn't have the sugar content of other (non-natural) peanut butter.  If you read the ingredients, it basically contains peanuts, peanut oil and, depending on the brand, salt.  

To find a proper peanut butter recipe, I googled 'homemade peanut butter recipe'.  Pretty easy - anyone can do that.   I used the first recipe that came up, however, there are definitely other recipes out there.  You can visit the page here, but I'm also going to put the recipe below.

OK, here's the recipe:

15 oz shelled and skinned roasted peanuts
1tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp peanut oil

The peanuts
The other ingredients 

The website has a recipe for roasting the peanuts, however, I bought peanuts that were already roasted (in the shell)

Directions (these are not the same directions listed on the website - these are the steps I did and they're slightly modified from the original recipe)

1.  Remove shells and skins from peanuts 

2.  Place peanuts, salt and honey in magic bullet and blend until it looks like bread crumbs (for the love of god, use a food processor like the recipe says...the magic bullet cups are too small to do the entire batch all at once - I had to do 3 small batches)

The blended peanuts before adding the oil...I had to keep the mixture in a separate container because there wasn't enough room in the magic bullet!

A closer look

3.  Drizzle with peanut oil and continue blending until it becomes the consistency you are looking for in a peanut butter.
Here's my finished peanut butter

4.  Scoop into a container and eat or put in the fridge

I made 500 mL of peanut butter from this recipe and it tastes IDENTICAL to the stuff I have been buying.  If you're not a natural peanut butter user, I need to stress how important it is to keep this stuff in the fridge!  If not refrigerated, the oil separates from the peanuts and you basically have peanut soup...not so nice to spread on your toast!

Here are two (potential) problems with making your own peanut butter:

-You need to have a food processor - using a magic bullet takes too long and can get messy (number one reason I put this off for so long)

-Removing shells and skin took me 1.5 you need a bit of time (number two reason)

Lastly, here's my cost analysis of making your own peanut butter:

A 750 mL jar of Kraft Natural Peanut Butter = $6.77 at the Superstore (according to my calculations, that's about $0.90 per 100 grams)

For this recipe, I purchased a 2 kg bag of in-shell roasted peanuts for $7.99.  I used about 1/6 of the bag for one batch.  I also purchased a 946 mL jug of peanut oil for $3.29.  I used 22.5 mL.  I had salt and honey already, so I haven't included these in my calculations.

To make 100 mL of homemade peanut butter, it cost me approximately $0.28.  There's a bit of a savings there (even if you add in the potential salt/honey costs).  

So there you go!  Homemade natural  peanut butter is more nutritious and slightly less expensive than the regular stuff.

Now we get to enjoy it!

Delicious graham cracker with PB

Harry scratches off the PB with his fingers...

...and licks them

Eventually he gets to eating the cracker

Ella and I enjoying our dessert

Refusing to look at the camera

Examining the cracker

Discovering the peanut butter with one bite left

Finally acknowledging the camera with a smile

If you decide to make this - enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

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