Ditch your fiscally irresponsible artisan peanut butter habit and whip up a batch of your own (Photo: Getty Images)

How to make your own peanut butter

Three easy-as PB recipes for the toast lover in your life.

Peanut butter is one of the greatest foods in existence. It’s varied, versatile and deliciously simple. And it’s also one of the easiest things to actually make yourself. Why would you fund someone else’s career crisis at $8.50 a jar when you can supplement your disappointment in your own job by becoming an artisan peanut butter maker at home for a quarter of the price?

Stop trying to make sourdough, or homebrew, or kimchi – it’s way too hard. Put some peanuts in a blender and you’ve got a year’s worth of birthday presents and Christmas gifts ready to go. Put a bow on a tiny jar and you could even use it as one of those weird wedding favours.

The oily savouriness of the single ingredient is perfect on its own, but also a blank canvas for experimentation in all directions. Here are my three favourite recipes. All are great on toast, or just spooned straight into your mouth.

Before

NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER

2 cups roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons peanut oil
salt and sugar

Put the peanuts and the oil in your blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Add more oil and push the peanuts from the sides into the centre if required. For crunchy, I pulse on a low speed, and will even add a secondary batch of peanuts for a denser consistency if required. For smooth, blend on high for a long time.

While many large commercial operations advertise their peanut butter as having no added salt or sugar (why you would celebrate blandness, I don’t know), I recommend adding large amounts of both until your peanut butter has a well-balanced saltiness and sweetness.

After

PEANUT SLAB PEANUT BUTTER

125g (half a block) Whittaker’s 72% Dark Ghana Block
3 cups roasted peanuts
125g (half a block) Whittaker’s Peanut Block
salt

Melt the dark chocolate, bain-marie style, in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Put the peanuts and the melted chocolate in your blender or food processor and blend to the desired consistency.

Smash the peanut block with a rolling pin inside the packet, then fold it through the peanut butter with a spatula to give it delicious chunks of chocolate. Add salt to taste.

Clockwise from left: natural peanut butter, peanut slab butter, chilli & lime peanut butter

CHILLI & LIME PEANUT BUTTER

2 cups roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
zest and juice of 1 juicy lime
1 tablespoon peanut oil
salt, pepper and sugar

Put the peanuts, cayenne pepper, lime zest and juice and oil in your blender or food processor and blend to the desired consistency. I added a second tablespoon of cayenne pepper for extra heat and it was pretty fucking hot. Season to taste and add sugar to balance the sourness of the lime.


The Spinoff’s food content is brought to you by Freedom Farms. They believe talking about food is nearly as much fun as eating it, and they’re excited to facilitate some good conversations around food provenance in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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