Here’s a very quick side-track because I’ve been super busy & haven’t had a whole lot of time to write about what I’ve been up to.
So what have I been up to?
Trying, failing, trying again, failing again, trying desperately again, and finally succeeding to make a healthy peanut butter. (Oh, and about a thousand other things too.)
But about the pb. I have a confession: I absolutely love pb&j’s. I really, really do. I have, in fact, been known to eat them every day for two solid weeks– and I would have been perfectly content to continue the dietary habit if it weren’t for my mother’s gentle persuasion to pursue something more nutritionally sound.
Well, as I’ve matured and noticed the unnecessary additives and bothersome anti-nutrients in the humble ingredients of my beloved sandwich, I’ve felt the need to make a healthy alternative. Having acquired such an alternative, I would be able to enjoy my childhood favorite in peace.
And so the adventure began.
After four or five trials (with some almost-hits, some definite misses, and much prayer and supplication), I finally produced a characteristically sticky, creamy, all-around splendid peanut butter.
16 oz (1 lb) of unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts (make sure the only ingredient is peanuts)
1 Tbl unrefined sea salt
Enough filtered water to cover peanuts
2 Tbl warm melted organic, extra virgin coconut oil (it’s important that the oil is melted but not super hot)
2 Tbl local raw honey
*Special equipment needed: food processor, dehydrator (optional)
1.) The day before you plan on finishing the peanut butter, pour the peanuts into a container (I just used a Tupperware container) large enough to hold the peanuts approx. 3-5 inches of space to the top. Add salt.
2.) Cover the peanuts with about 2 inches of filtered water; stir the mixture so the salt dissolves in the water. Tightly cover the container and place it somewhere out of the way (the bottom shelf of our pantry does the trick for me). Let the nuts soak for 12-24 hours.
3.) After the nuts have finished soaking, begin the dehydrating process: if you have a dehydrator, you probably already know the drill. If you don’t (like me), preheat your oven to its lowest setting (should be about 170 F).
4.) While the oven is heating up, pour the nuts into a colander to drain them. Once the water has been mostly drained, pour the peanuts (which should feel somewhat like a bean at this point) onto a cookie sheet/jellyroll pan. If you have to, divide them up between two pans so that the peanuts are evenly and very thinly distributed over the pans. (I usually do this latter method.)
5.) Put the peanut pans into the preheated oven, and allow them to dehydrate for 10-12 hours (until they’re crunchy again [note: they won’t be quite as crunchy warm as they are at room temperature– they continue to get harder as they cool, so keep that in mind]).
6.) Once the dehydrating time is up, pour the nuts into the processor and let them go until the nuts are a very crumbly mixture (I would guess about 1-2 minutes). (Note: Yes, the peanuts will still be warm at this point; that’s good. Just go with it.)
7.) While the nuts are a-whirling, melt the coconut oil over med-low heat. Add coconut oil without turning the food processor off— you want to have the nuts in motion when you add the oil.
8.) Process nuts for another minute or two. Add honey.
9.) Process nuts for another minute or two. Taste, and add more honey or melted oil to taste.
Picture of the final product and picture tutorials to come soon… happy peanut butter making!