09 February 2010
Homemade Peanut Butter, Take 1
Oy. Do I ever do something right the first time anymore? Well, OK, besides this.
Here's an account of my first attempt at making my own peanut butter.
Now, it should be stated right up front that:
1.) We eat A LOT of peanut butter. A lot.
2.) We love the store-bought variety that we've settled on. Skippy Natural (creamy, of course). Made with peanuts, non-hydrogenated palm oil, sugar, and salt. A little pricey, but worth it for the non-trans-fat nature of it, considering how much of it we eat.
However. Peanuts have phytic acid in them. We've talked about this before. Seeds have this stuff in them called phytic acid, which hinders you from absorbing nutrients from your food. But when you soak your seeds (nuts, beans, grains) before you eat them, they become more like a plant, less like a seed, reduce their phytic acid content, and are better for you.
So, peanuts being seeds, store-bought peanut butter has a lot of phytic acid. Which I wouldn't worry too much about except that we eat so much peanut butter.
The obvious solution to me is not to stop eating so much peanut butter (never!), but instead, to make my own peanut butter using soaked peanuts.
This is not nearly as time-consuming as it sounds, given the right equipment.
The recipe is in the cookbook/nutrition tome Nourishing Traditions. It basically involves the following:
1.) Soak raw peanuts in room-temperature salt water for at least 8 hours.
2.) Dehydrate said peanuts in a food dehydrator (or gas oven, turned off) until they're crispy.
[My newly-perfected method is to start soaking the nuts in the morning, and then dehydrate them overnight.]
3.) Grind said peanuts with sea salt in a food processor.
4.) Add raw honey and coconut oil.
5.) Blend until smooth.
Except that I don't have a food processor. (On that note, does anyone have any food processor brand recommendations? I'm in the market...)
So I ground my peanuts a little at a time in my coffee grinder. (Yes, I hear you: "That, you have??")
But they were only crumbly, not pasty.
Then I put them in a bowl with the salt, honey, and coconut oil. And mushed it all up with my hands.
So now my peanut butter is completely indistiguishable from my sourdough starter.
Which is why I gave it a happy little label!
It is very tasty. Very sweet and nutty (weird!). But it would be even better if it were smooth.