This blog post was written by Illinois State University graduate student and dietetic intern, Emily Kearney.
Peanut butter is a staple in many American households. According to the Peanut Institute, the average American eats 3 pounds of peanut butter a year! Peanut butter is very nutrient-dense and provides 7 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. Peanuts are a source of monounsaturated fat, which is considered a healthy fat that may aid in heart health. Peanut butter is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, vitamin B6, Niacin, magnesium, and manganese (USDA).
Peanut butter goes well with a variety of foods and can be used in an assortment of cooking and baking recipes. Besides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter makes a great spread for toast, waffles, or bagels. Try mixing it into oatmeal or yogurt to keep you feeling full for longer. Peanut butter can be also be blended into smoothies or used as a dip for fruits such as bananas or apples.
Making peanut butter at home only takes a few minutes! Homemade peanut butter can be made to your liking. You can control the amount of salt, sugar, and oil that goes into it. If you want a little more sweetness add honey, cinnamon, salt, cocoa, or vanilla extract. Unlike store-bought peanut butter, homemade peanut butter does not need additional oil because it utilizes the natural oil in the peanuts. Homemade peanut butter can be cost-effective. Most store-bought natural peanut butters are expensive, while a 16 oz jar of dry roasted peanuts costs about $2.00. This recipe will work with other nuts including cashews, pecans, almonds, or pumpkin seeds.
Make your own peanut butter
16 oz. dry roasted peanuts (no salt added)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
Add the peanuts to a food processor or high-power blender. Add the salt, cinnamon, and honey. Process the peanuts on high for 1-minute. Stop the food processor and scrape the sides. Continue to process at high speed, stopping the food processor to scrape the sides until the mixture has become glossy and thick. This may take several minutes. Initially, the peanut mixture will start out as crushed peanuts. The mixture will start to clump into a ball. Next, the mixture will look gritty. Finally, the mixture will become creamy and glossy. Taste the peanut butter. Add any additional ingredients to your liking. Scoop the peanut butter into a glass jar or container with a tight lid. 16 oz of peanuts should produce about 2 cups of peanut butter. Store the peanut butter in the refrigerator for up to six months. Oil separation will occur, so simply stir the peanut butter prior to eating.
Yield: 16 servings (2 Tablespoons each)
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 160 calories, 14 grams fat, 73 milligrams sodium, 8 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 7 grams protein