It is time to go back to the basics since it is fun, healthy and because I need a cup of peanut butter for one of my favorite recipes. Making peanut butter is ABSOLUTELY the perfect place to start with when teaching children about cooking and nutrition because it is easy, fun, not messy, quick and most children love to eat it.
First, we have to start with a few fun facts about the peanut:
- The peanut plant originated in South America.
- The peanut is a legume which is related to beans and lentils.
- Peanuts flower above ground and then migrate underground to reach full maturity.
- A mature peanut plant produces about 40 pods that then grow into peanuts.
- Peanuts and peanut butter contain over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients.
- Peanuts are cholesterol-free.
- Peanuts have more protein, niacin, folate and phytosterols than any nut.
- Peanuts have a higher antioxidant capacity than grapes, carrots, spinach, green tea and many others.
- Peanuts are planted after the last frost in April or early May and heaviest harvesting months are September and October.
- Peanuts contribute more than $4 billion to the USA economy each year.
There are four types of peanuts grown in the USA:
- Runner Peanuts – Runner Peanuts are the dominant type because of the Florunner which increased yields substantially and have a uniform kernel size. Mainly grown in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas.
- Virginia Peanuts -Virginia Peanuts have the largest kernels and are the most delicious when roasted in the shell. Of course I would think that since I grew up on Virginia peanuts! Mainly grown in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
- Spanish Peanuts – Spanish Peanuts have smaller kernels and are covered with a reddish-brown skin. That skin sure can ruin a smile! Spanish peanuts have a higher oil content than the other types of peanuts which makes them the perfect choice for making peanut butter. Mainly grown in Oklahoma and Texas.
- Valencia Peanuts – Valencia Peanuts usually have three or more small kernels to a pod and are also covered in a bright-red skin. Valencia Peanuts are the sweetest type of peanut and are most often found roasted and sold in the shell. Mainly grown in New Mexico.
Where would we all be without peanut butter?! Here are a few fun facts about peanut butter, the delicious, messy mixture that tastes so yummy alone or in exotic recipes:
- In 1884, peanut butter was patented by Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec.
- A physician named Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented his procedure for making peanut butter in 1895 as a means of helping patients eat more plant-based protein.
- Peanut butter was first introduced to the United States of America in 1904 by C.H. Sumner at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis. He called it the “new treat” at his concession stand and sold a whopping $705.11 on this delicious concoction.
- It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
- By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
- One acre of peanuts will produce enough peanuts to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
- Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.
- Peanut butter is the leading use of peanuts in the United States.
- The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year.
- Sixty percent of consumers prefer creamy peanut butter over crunchy.
- Women and children prefer creamy, while most men opt for chunky.
- People living on the East Coast prefer creamy peanut butter, while those on the West Coast prefer the crunchy style.
With all those facts whirling in your head, let me teach you how to make peanut butter at home! It tastes so delicious and really enhances the flavor of any recipe that calls for peanut butter.
How To Make Peanut Butter
Yummy salted peanuts.
Place them into the food processor.
Put the lid on the food processor and turn it on.
Add the oil.
Turn the food processor on again.
It’s a miracle!
Fresh peanut butter!
Isn’t it beautiful?
Just the right creamy crunchy for my taste.
Not too gooey, so it won’t stick to the roof of my mouth.
Do you want a bite?
No, not yet.
Let’s make a sandwich.
Bananas go so well with peanut butter.
Looks pretty too.
The sandwich is so delicious with the sweetness of the banana
and the fresh, slightly chunky peanut butter.
Sheesh, my hands look dry!
How do you like my French Manicure?
Only one bite left.
I’ll share it with you.
Wasn’t that just the yummiest peanut butter you’ve ever tasted?
Homemade Peanut Butter
8 ounces salted party peanuts or shelled and skinned roasted peanuts (organic or not)
1/4 teaspoon very fine salt if not using salted party peanuts
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons honey
1 to 2 teaspoons peanut oil (extra virgin olive oil works fine if you don’t have peanut oil)
Put the peanuts, honey and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture is fine peanut pieces. Add oil through the opening at the top of the food processor or all at once – both ways work great. Place the lid back on and continue to process until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Less processing produces a chunkier peanut butter. Place the peanut butter in an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. It won’t last that long I’m sure..