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?