Monday, January 31, 2011

Homemade Peanut Butter

Nothing like a little Sunday cooking for the week, right lovies?  And I was feeling crafty in the kitchen yesterday. While the Math Man was on a conference call (did I mention he's a smarty?  Not only does he work fulltime but he's getting his MBA too.  It makes for a busy busy Math Man and makes me so proud of him), I was poking around our kitchen thinking about dinner.

I'd had aspirations to roast a pork shoulder but after a delicious-but-too-large brunch with his parents that morning, I was hoping to find something a bit lighter.  So I turned to my tried-and-true spaghetti sauce over roast cauliflower. 

Once I got the post of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove, I was still having fun in the kitchen.  I have been thinking about the possibility of grinding my own peanut butter.  I was inspired by this recipe for something of a peanut version of nutella.  I love peanut butter and if it wasn't so bad for me, I think I'd eat it everyday.  It is just such a filling, satisfying snack.  It takes apple slices and makes them a meal.  It cuts through long afternoons at the office and quiets tummy grumbling like nothing else.  Of course, peanuts are still high calorie little nuts, but such a little bit of peanut butter goes such a long way, that I have been mostly trying to avoid peanut butter not because of the calories from the peanuts, but because of all the sugars and oils that commercial peanut butter has added to it. 

I added a half banana to the food processor as well and several handfuls of peanuts.  (I use these--they are the best!  And a great organization helping lots of people.)  And I'm quite happy to report that this came out deliciously.  I had a few doubts that my little off-brand food processor (which I bought during law school with westlaw points!  YES!!) could actually take peanuts and grind them until they were smooth and not just have them in little bits, but sure enough, Deb knows her stuff and she was right.  Peanuts have enough natural oil in them to make their own peanut butter without adding anything else.  I actually think I got to perfect consistency and then made the mistake of letting the food processor keep going for another three minutes, moving it beyond perfect consistency to a bit crumbly.  I don't know if that is even possible, that just seems to be what happened.  (I imagine kinda like cream.  You can whip it and whip it until it's whipped cream.  But if you keep going on from there, you miss that magic window and you'll end up with butter.)  Kitchen masters of the bloggyworld, does anyone think that makes any sense?

postedit: the next day my peanut butter was a bit more crumbly (perhaps from leaving it too long in the food processor?) and the exposed top in the tupperware had turned brown (perhaps from the banana?).  It was still delicious.  This might be kind of a turn off for some people though, and certainly it isn't the high sugar, super smooth peanut butter that Jiffy makes, but I thought it was still as delicious as the day before and I like it more because of knowing all the things that weren't in it!

Mr. Mason wants you to know just how much he LOOOOVES peanut butter!  (and why yes, telling you all about my peanut butter endeavor did turn into the perfect excuse to share this funny-yet-adorable picture of the famous Mr. Mason himself needing a groom and being a bit naughty having found an open jar of peanut butter, perhaps in 2009ish)

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