I wasn’t a peanut-butter junkie as a kid, but who can deny its goodness? When done right, it’s a good source of fat and protein. There’s not much to it. Or I should say, it doesn’t take much to make a batch of PB.
In most regular store-bought brands, you’ll see roasted peanuts, sugar, molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono and diglycerides and salt on the ingredient lists. The oils act as a preservative; and food additives mono and diglyrcerides blend ingredients that wouldn’t otherwise mesh well.Pick up a jar of reduced-fat peanut butter and the ingredient list more than doubles. In Reduced Fat Jif, along with the ingredients listed above, tack on corn syrup solids, soy protein, magnesium oxide, niacinamide, etc. The list goes on.
And despite the illusion that reduced-fat peanut butter is actually better for you, it has the same number of calories — 190 per 2 tablespoons — as regular. But it only contains 60 percent peanuts.
So maybe you go for an all-natural brand. Skippy Natural Creamy is made from roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil and salt. That’s better, but you can find certain brands that have one ingredient — peanuts.
Or in five minutes, you can make your own.
I started making my own peanut butter a few months ago. Almost every morning, I add a tablespoon to my oatmeal. I change up the combination — sometimes oatmeal, dried cherries, cinnamon and peanut butter; oatmeal, apple slices, cinnamon and peanut butter; or oatmeal, cocoa powder, banana and peanut butter. You can get creative.
In comparing all-natural, homemade peanut butter to mainstream store brands, I’ve found that I’m more satiated when eating homemade. I prefer the texture, which can be as as chunky or creamy as you like.
I’ve seen some recipes that call for oil, and sugar, honey or molasses. I’ve made batches with only peanuts and ones that included honey or molasses. Both taste great. After learning how easy it is to make my own, I doubt I’ll ever go back to buying a jar. Add the ingredients to a food processor, and the rest is peanuts.
Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter
1 cup honey-roasted peanuts
2 cups dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 tablespoon honey or molasses
A few dashes of pumpkin spice
1. Add peanuts, molasses and spice to a food processor, and blend.
2. When the mixture starts to gather on the sides of the food processor, stop the machine and push the mixture down with a spoon.
3. Continue blending, for about five minutes total, until mixture is creamy.
4. For chunky peanut butter, save a handful of the peanuts and add toward the end of processing.
5. This recipe fits in a 12.75 ounce jar. Pack tightly so the oil from the peanuts distributes evenly.
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons: 180 calories, 14 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrates and 6 grams protein
Want more peanut butter? Emileigh Clare blogs about her favorite, all-natural brand.