Peanut Butter

Or any nut butter really

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I happened to come across a video of someone making peanut butter today and I thought to myself, "It can't be that easy" so I looked into it a bit more and then decided to get some peanuts to see that it really was that easy. I also discovered some frustrating things about the peanut butter industry, I'll save that rant for after the recipe.

What You'll Need

  • raw peanuts, literally just peanuts
  • Cooking Instructions*

    The first thing you need to do is roast your peanuts to help extract the oil from them, so throw them onto a baking sheet and leave them in the oven for 12 or 15 minutes. Once those are done you'll need to get the skins off of them (you should have bought peanuts that weren't in a shell) a good way to do this is to place a handful or two into a dish towel and then roll them around with the dish towel for several seconds, you can then separate the nuts from the skins since most of the skins should have come off.

    Once you've skinned them you just have to throw them in a food processor and have it go brrrrrrrrr until your peanuts have turned into peanut butter and your hands are somehow coated in peanut oil. You can also put whatever else you want in with them, salt is not a bad idea, a bit of sugar could also be fun, and I guess if you wanted to go against the advice of any good nutritionist you could do what the big companies do and put a bit of vegetable oil in it (this will prevent the peanut oil from rising to the top of the jar when stored). In fact I'd like to experiment, Filipino peanut butter is really good I think I'm going to figure out how to make that, but there could also be other great peanut butter flavors that we haven't thought of, would sirracha be good in peanut butter, maybe? Curry, who knows? I'd like to invite you to experiment with making different peanut butter flavors and if you manage to come up with something good email me at to share.

    The lies of the peanut butter industry

    The price of "natural" peanut butter

    So here's some food for thought:

    Price of 1lb raw peanuts (which makes just under 1lb of peanut butter) like $2
    Price of 1lb regular preservative/high-fructose corn filled syrup peanut butter like $2
    Price of 1lb "natural" peanut butter (whose only ingredient is peanuts) like $5
    Price of 1lb "organic" peanut butter (whose only ingredient is peanuts) like $12

    Does anyone else see what is wrong with this? The type of peanut butter which has the most ingredients is the cheapest. How does this make any sense? It is understandable for the price of one to be around the same as the price the average consumer can get the raw ingredients since factories can get a better deal, but the idea that something with more ingredients, a higher shelf life, and more popularity can be less expensive than the same product with less of all that is ridiculous. Yes natural and organic peanut butters are much better for you than everything else on the shelf but it makes no sense for you to have to pay a premium price for them if they have less stuff in them, you can easily make your own for less than half the price of these options. Most of the time the words natural and organic are synonymous with the word scam when they are found on the packaging of something you'd buy at a store.

    The trans fat issue

    So when I was probably in elementary school (maybe middle school) we learned a bit about nutrition. One thing that I remember from back then was that our teacher told us that back in the day the oil in peanut butter would often separate from the rest of the stuff and pool up at the top. I also remember my teacher telling me that peanut butter used to have trans fat in it (which is of course bad) but that modern peanut butter didn't. I can't remember if this was a connection that I made in my head or if my teacher explicitly said that the oil that would accumulate on top of old fashioned peanut butter contained trans fat but it was something that I have believed for many years and there are many more people who think that the oil on top of their peanut butter is very bad for you. Well that oil has no trans fat and is not really all that bad for you (compared to the alternative).

    The type of peanut butter that will have oil pool at the top is natural peanut butter that has peanuts as the only ingredient (or is over 90% peanut), so we must ask the question, do peanuts have trans fat? No they don't, so natural peanut butter, the kind that has oil pool at the top, doesn't either. So then what peanut butter does had trans fat? It was the kind that didn't have the oil pool up. When peanut butter was beginning to be mass produced, food scientists wanted to figure out how to prevent oil from pooling up at the top over time. They eventually learned that if they added another oil into the peanut butter while it was being made the peanut oil wouldn't be able to pool up to the top. Once this revelation was made everyone started doing it but the oil that almost every company added contained trans fat. This was true up until the 1980s when scientists learned how bad trans fat was, when this happened the food industry got rid of as much trans fat as they could. It has been 30 years since a common jar of peanut butter would be likely to have trans fat in it, you should not worry about it, especially when eating a peanut butter made with just peanuts.

    *This process is basically the same for all types of nut butters.