Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Nutty Experiment

Emily asked me to buy peanuts in the shell at the grocery store yesterday, which led to a natural question -- how is peanut butter is made?  I told her you just put peanuts in the blender and turn it on!  She had to see that, and right now.  

It wasn't quite that simple, but almost! First, Emily had to shell a cup's worth of peanuts.  That kept her busy for a while. :)  I had bought the roasted and salted variety, so that's what we used.  We didn't bother to blow the skins away, so they got mixed in.

The online instructions for making peanut butter call for peanut oil or vegetable oil, but I had the wise idea to use coconut oil.  Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so maybe that would prevent the oils separating like they do with natural peanut butter?  And maybe I could store this in the cupboard, rather than in the fridge? And maybe the strong peanut flavor would mask the flavor of the coconut oil?  Let's find out.  I melted a tablespoon or so, and poured it into the blender, over the peanuts.

In my attempt at multi-tasking a camera and a small bowl, I didn't notice that the oil was dribbling down the underside of the bowl and onto the kitchen counter.  Fixed that with another blob of coconut oil.

Emily operated my dying blender.  Where's the Blendtec when you need one?  At my neighbor's.  Next time I'll use hers!

A taste test revealed to us that you should not make peanut butter with salted peanuts. Waaay too salty!  We decided to distract our taste buds from the saltiness by adding a little squeeze of honey.

Blend some more.

And now, peeeanut butter!

It's very tasty. It does NOT taste like coconut. And the oil is not separating too badly. I'd say our nutty experiment was a success!

Three of my girls are on a sugar fast this month, so if I discover that making your own peanut butter is more cost effective than buying natural, we'll do it again. (At my neighbor's!) Now. Who has a good, cheap source for unsalted peanuts in bulk?



9 comments:

  1. Nice job! It looks really good.

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  2. That was pretty neat! btw - Louana coconut has no coconut scent - can get it at Walmart. I use that a lot for cooking. I use the more fragrant one for my coffee and face cream :)

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  3. Great idea, Sally! My children eat alot of peanut butter, so this would be a fun project for them :)
    Many blessings!

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  4. Hi - you won't find the info on LoAna coconut oil on the jar. I found this on a thread somewhere - someone had written to the company to ask about it; and this was the company's response. Here is another site with good info on coconut oils: http://lifewithoutsweets.blogspot.com/p/coconut-101.html

    from the company:
    Our LouAna Coconut Oil is a refined oil. It is not cold pressed, nor a virgin oil. It is not hydrogenated, not contains any trans fatty acids or cholesterol. Attached is more information on our oil. Thank you for your inquiry and patience.

    LouAna Coconut Oil: Ideal for baking, sautéing, and stir-frying, due to its excellent flavor and aroma. Coconut oil contains no trans fat and no cholesterol.
    v Coconut Oil
    o Lou Ana Coconut Oil is
    o refined, bleached and deodorized.
    o Lou Ana Coconut Oil is not hydrogenated.
    o Lou Ana Coconut Oil does not contain any trans fatty acids nor cholesterol.
    o Lou Ana Coconut Oil is not cold pressed or a virgin oil.
    o Lou Ana Coconut Oil has a 15 month shelf life. Please store in a cool, dark place.
    o Lou Ana Coconut Oil us a great substitute for butter, margarine or cooking oils to sauté or pan fry foods
    o Yes, the same as any vegetable oil. However, even though coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it is not a shortening
    v All of Ventura’s coconut oil is imported as crude oil. It is fully processed and packaged in Louisiana. No pesticides or other residues are found due to deodorizing, bleaching and refining.

    v Coconut oil contains no trans fat. It is not hydrogenated. It does contain a much higher level of saturated fat, as compared to typical retail vegetable oils.

    v Coconut oil has been used for many years, in the popcorn industry, because of the excellent flavor and aroma. We are now seeing coconut uses branch out into other areas of home use such as baking, sautéing, stir frying, and margarine substitutes.

    NUTRITIONAL FACTS

    Serving Size 1 Tbsp (14g)
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 120 Calories from Fat 120
    %Daily Value*
    Total Fat 14g 22%
    Saturated Fat 12g 60%
    Trans Fat 0g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g
    Monounsaturated Fat 1g
    Cholesterol 0mg 0%
    Sodium 0mg 0%
    Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
    Protein 0g
    Not a significant source of dietary fiber, sugars, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron.
    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

    Coconut Oil and other LouAna oils:
    372 highest degrees to fry
    440 degrees smoke point
    550 degrees flash point

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  5. Okay - that answer above was probably more info than you needed.. lol!!

    To answer your other questions: my camera is a Nikon D70 it cost about $500? when we got it 7 years ago. I'm grateful that my husband insisted on it - I'm too cheap. I do some photoshopping - especially when there seems to be a cast on the photo.

    I can't get that malicious pop up to come up for me. So it's when you click on a link going to my blog? Not clicking on a link on my blog? Very odd -I'll ask a couple of my other blogger friends if this is happening for them.

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  6. We took the easy way out. We just watched the peanut butter maker at Whole Foods.

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  7. We used to make peanut butter when I was a child. We shelled the peanuts then put them through a mincer twice to get them fine enough. They had enough oil not to need additional oil, and we didn't bother with salt. That was the peanut butter made.

    However I like your ideas of using coconut oil and sweetening with honey. I like to experiment with my own recipes.

    I get through about ten tablespoons of refined coconut oil each day that I buy from http://pertholiveandcoconutwholesaleoil.ikmca.info
    so I would try that idea without thinking twice.

    As for the honey - you're not meant to eat more than 15 gms of fruit sugar per day, because it's a lot worse for you than ordinary sugar from cane or sugar-beet. Find out how much fructose is in honey. Of course, if you drink cool drinks sweetened with 100 gms of fructose, the little bit you get from the honey won't make things any worse.

    Ian McAllister

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