Making food, this peanut butter for instance, from scratch has advantages that are numerous and varied compared with purchasing their commercially produced counterparts. Clearly, the advantage my blog is most keenly interested in is the fact that making one’s own food is cheaper 99 per cent of the time. However, there is one only slightly less obvious argument for doing so – it makes it far easier to control exactly what goes into your recipes and diet.
For instance, even the most expensive supermarket brands of peanut butter contain palm oil, an ingredient both unnecessary and environmentally immoral – it has caused the destruction of the natural habitat of thousands of species of animals worldwide. The less said about cheaper products the better, for their recipes also contain brown sugar and peanut oil, in addition to palm oil. All of this unnecessary, environmentally damaging and unhealthy produce in a spread that really only requires two ingredients; peanuts and just a smidge of salt.
The trick to employ when making peanut butter is to process the nuts so much that they give up their natural oil – where’s the sense in adding peanut oil to peanuts?! Remember, they may at first appear to possess the unappetising quality of sand, but after a good four minutes of vigorous encouragement you’ll be in possession of the finest damn spread on Earth, that is, excepting marmite – I love that stuff.
Flavour wise, I heartily encourage you to roast your own peanuts – salted peanuts tend to be of lower quality and, again, contain palm oil and sunflower oil. There’s something about home-roasted nuts that immediately trumps those that are pre-roasted – perhaps it’s the presence of the natural brown skin that lifts the flavour just that little bit? Either way, once you’ve tried this, you’ll never go back… it is seriously good, far healthier and exceedingly frugal.
Makes 1 jar
• 200g natural, uncooked peanuts
• ½ tsp salt
1. Pop the nuts in a roasting tin with the salt and roast at 180C for 5-10 minutes. When done they’ll be crunchy all the way through, but make sure they don’t burn – it doesn’t take much.
2. Leave your nuts to cool a little before popping them in the food processor and whizzing for 4-5 minutes until a smooth paste is left – you’ll know when to stop… if in doubt, carry on.
Cost: A two-ingredient recipe is almost always going to be cheap. Depending on where you get them from un-roasted peanuts may be a little more expensive than roasted peanuts (which doesn’t make sense), but it’s worth it since they don’t contain anything superfluous. You’ll soon be enjoying this peanut butter for the frugal price of £1.30, far less than the £3.10 asking price of the top-end stuff in supermarkets!