Thursday, August 2, 2012

Natural Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter

Some of my greatest childhood memories involve peanut butter.  I remember when my dad was in the navy and on deployment or as we called it then on "cruise" we were always baking stuff for him to go in his care packages.  One of my most favorite baked goods that we would send to my dad were peanut butter cookies.  They are soooo amazing especially when they are still hot and are just cool enough to handle.  Of course I remember that it was still during the time before we found out that it isn't good to eat raw cookie dough or cake mix.  I think those were some of my favorite memories.  Helping my mom make a cake or cookies and getting to lick the spoon or beaters.

I remember throughout most of my school career and even into college lunch was usually a banana, peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a juice box.  I still indulge in that wonderful treat even today.  It is something wonderful that I have passed onto MJ.  She loves, or should I say adore, peanut butter and jelly on a slice of toast.  I love peanut butter so much that I can eat it right out of the jar and be really really happy.

Jif is my favorite but I also love organic peanut butter but the only thing that I don't like is that the good stuff has to be kept in the fridge after opening and that makes it so hard to spread and it is sooo expensive.  I came across a recipe for nut butters and it didn't look hard so I figured I would try it.  I mixed some roasted peanuts and a little bit of raw sugar and it was amazing!!!  I only made about a cups worth and MJ loved it so much that it was gone within 3 or 4 days.  The below recipe is good for any type of nut that you wish to use.  Just make sure they are ROASTED otherwise they will turn to peanut dust and no amount of mixing in the food processor will turn it into peanut butter!

Makes enough for 1 half pint canning jar
2 cups roasted peanuts*
2 tsp raw sugar

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until desired consistency is reached.  When you first start to process the nuts you will need to stop every couple of minutes to scrape the sides of your food processor.  At this stage it won't look like peanut butter but like a thick powder.

After about processing it for about 10 minutes it will start to thicken and look like peanut butter.  Since my daughter likes her peanut butter smooth I usually have to process the nuts for about 15 minutes.  So if you like your peanut butter a little thicker then process for less time.

Once you have reached the desired thickness scrape into a half pint jar and refrigerate.

*If you aren't using roasted peanuts simply place your raw peanuts on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent burning.

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