Last week I went a little overboard on the purchases when I was shopping at one of my favorite cheap health food stores, Dietetica Tony. Thankfully the place is so cheap that the damge was minimal; double thankfully, I was inspired by the 600 grams of unsalted, untoasted peanuts that I impulse-bought.
And that is how I decided for the first time in my life to make my own peanut butter.
At university in Burlington, Vermont freshly ground peanut butter was a mainstay in my fridge due to the local Co-Op, Citymarket’s nut-butter grinder (almonds included !!). I never once had to think about the possibility of a) expensive and b) uncommon peanut butter supplies. And even if I couldn’t get the fresh stuff, Jiff was at every gas station in the country.
Argentina has a completely different relationship with peanuts. They don’t come with bananas and sliced bread, in milkshakes, on pancakes or covered in chocolate and wrapped in orange plastic –they come salted and with beer, cheese, and chorizo.
And that is 100%+ ok.
I swear I am not complaining. Its just that sometimes I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, hold the meat. You know?
But I didn’t stop there. I decided to try my hand at making nutella too. I could have probably found it in some specialty shop surrounded by 50 peso bags of dried italian pasta (I think I’ll buy the 8-15 peso variety instead, thanks), but I was inspired by the prospect of making peanut butter. So I decided that my Oscars night snacks didn’t have to be quite so expensive (banana nutella emapandas 4lyfe).
So I bought some hazelnuts, powdered sugar and cocoa powder too.
And you know what? It was shamefully easy.
That being said, you need a food processor. So find a friend who has one and take full advantage. Don’t forget to reward them with a little bit of nut butter too!
Homemade Peanut Butter
400 grams ra, un-salted peanuts
3-5 Tbsp. oil (not olive oil)
Salt, sugar, or honey to taste
Pre-heat oven to around 350F/180C
Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and bake until golden. Watch them closely so they don’t burn.
Let the nuts cool completely (and display in a lovely jar until ready to use, for my fellow procrastinators).
Place nuts in a food processor and process continuously.
First it will look just like chunky nuts. Then it will look a little less chunky, but still dry…
And thats where you add in the first 3 Tbsp. of oil in a continuous stream. It will start to get creamy…
Keep processing until you get your favorite texture. I doubt it will every be 100% smooth, but there is definitely some variation possible. This is also a good time to add in salt and/or sugar or honey !!
This is very similiar to the peanut butter. The only difference really is that the ingredients are added in sooner.
1 cup (around 150 grams) peeled hazelnuts; if unpeeled, see below
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa power
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp oil (again, not olive oil)
Pre-heat oven to around 350F/180C
Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and bake until golden. Watch them closely so they don’t burn (which is what happened to me). If you could only find hazelnuts with the skins on them, place them in a dish towel and roll around vigourously. The skins should start to come off on their own. Its a pain though, so try to get them without skins in the first place.
Let the nuts cool completely.
Place the nuts in the food processor and process until they are as smooth as possible, around 3 minutes. They will be dry, so don’t worry if its still pretty chunky.
Add the dry ingredients remaining ingredients and blend until combined.
Add half of the first 2 Tbsp of the oil in, poured in a continuous stream. Process until smooth. If the nutella is too dry, add in another Tbsp and continue to process.
Note: I added too much oil in at once and the result was a very liquid-y nutella. Delicious–but not quite the right consistency. It does firm up in the fridge a tiny bit, though, so don’t worry too much.
Then enjoy the hell out of your homemade and cheap versions of these nut butters. I have been eating my peanut butter with bananas and made some banana-nutella empanadas for the oscar festivities.
I still have a lot left! Any ideas?