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|EVERY FEW MINUTES|
|HOME MADE PEANUT BUTTER|
In these times, it pays many dividends to prepare your own fresh and wholesome peanut butter at home.
Spread raw in-shell peanuts evenly on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring often. When the peanuts are done, the shell will become brittle, and the peanuts skin will slip off easily. They will be light brown and have a roasted flavor.
Peanut butter made at home does not keep for as long a time as commercially prepared peanut butter because there are no preservatives. On the plus side, it is far less likely to be tainted by foreign matter and/or Salmonella when you make it yourself.
Prepare it in small batches and store under refrigeration. Peanut butter made at home may not be as heavy as what you're accustomed to but it also doesn't contain hydrogenated shortening and trans-fats. When prepared using pure peanut oil, it can sometimes separate as the oil rises to the top of the jar in storage. Simply turn the jar upside down in the refrigerator, or stir the extra peanut oil back down. Vegetable oil may also be used, but we prefer to use peanut oil.
Shell the peanuts and rub the inner skins off the outside after they've been roasted. A clean cotton terry towel may be used to rub off the papery film.
Place 1 cup of freshly roasted and shelled peanuts (with the skins removed) into a blender or food processor container. Turn the blender on and while running, drizzle 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in through the small opening in the cover. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, if desired, and process until smooth. If you prefer a slightly sweet version, add a tablespoon of honey or Karo syrup. Molasses is a healthy sweetener if you like the flavor. If your favorite sandwich spread is crunchy peanut butter, stir in some extra crushed peanuts.
If a food processor is used, larger batches may be prepared than when a blender is used. Use a ratio of 2 tablespoons of peanut oil for each cup of peanuts. Spanish peanuts have a large quantity of oil (you may be able to reduce the amount of oil used), and make a creamy peanut butter, while Virginia peanuts provide a full flavor and texture. Try combinations of the two; 1 cup Spanish peanuts and 2 cups Virginia peanuts is a good combination which usually requires no added oil in the preparation. Store under refrigeration.
Once you become a peanut butter aficionado and are comfortable with the technique of making peanut butter at home, try making other nut butters, such as cashew butter, almond butter, or even Macadamia nut butter! Nut butters are highly nutritious and packed with valuable vitamins, minerals and proteins. When made with peanut oil at home, these staples of the lunchbox are a safe and superior product to what may be found on the supermarket shelves.
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