There are few foods as universally loved as peanut butter. Although the original is no more than peanuts pureed into a thick paste – something that can be done with any food processor – commercial varieties now have sugar and salt added to them, as well as more shelf-stable fats, such as shortening. Homemade peanut butter is easy, fresh-tasting, requires only a few minutes of prep time, and it’s clean – you control exactly what goes into it. Once you get the hang of it, try whirling in your own additions.
Because most palates have adapted to sweetened peanut butter – and because peanut butter and honey are such a great combo – I like to add a dab of honey for a hint of sweetness. Add more if you like, for a honey peanut butter spread that’s fantastic on your morning toast, or for instant peanut butter and honey sandwiches.
If you want to wing it, simply whiz roasted, shelled peanuts in the bowl of a food processor, adding about 1 tsp. vegetable oil for every cup of peanuts, for a few minutes, or until it turns into peanut butter. Add a pinch of salt and/or a drizzle of honey, if you like. Store it in a sealed container in the fridge. If you want a more precise formula, Alton Brown has a great one.
Homemade Peanut Butter
Adapted from Alton Brown
3 cups shelled, skinned roasted peanuts
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. honey or brown sugar
1 Tbsp. neutral vegetable or peanut oil
Place the peanuts, salt and honey into the bowl of a food processor and process for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Place the lid back on and continue to process while slowly drizzling in the oil. Continue to process until the mixture is smooth, which will take about 2 minutes.
Store your peanut butter in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.