Wednesday, May 29, 2013

...butter bread...

I love taking care of my family. I love it even more when I feel like I'm feeding them something healthful, and saving money at the same time. With the building of this new home almost underway, I've been feeling the need to be a bit more discerning when it comes to purchases. Dollar signs are a harsh reality, and I am now, more than ever, trying to conserve what I can.

One way I have found to save money is to make things from scratch. This can be a daunting undertaking if what you are used to is cereal bars and potato chips. We have belonged to a CSA for almost 8 years, and I'm well-versed in the preparation of "from-scratch" dinners. Lately, however, I have been looking at the condiments that we keep around the house. Particularly peanut butter.

Why peanut butter? Probably because of the price tag associated with it. When I buy food, I am one of those who look carefully at the ingredients. I try to keep to a minimum the sugars, colorings, and other garbage that seem to make up many of our grocery choices these days. In doing so, my peanut butter options come at a much inflated price. So I dove into the idea of making my own.

The first time I tried making it, the results were less than perfect. It was a bit stiff, and not as smooth as the store bought. I decided to make peanut butter cookies out of it, since it seemed like the wisest way to use it up.

My second attempt was a smashing success, but I neglected to measure anything. I just knew that I added a bit more oil, which allowed the peanut butter to remain spreadable, even when stored in the fridge.

Peanuts ground

After mixing in oil, honey, and salt

My third attempt mirrored my second, with said measurements included so I could test it one last time. With the second and third attempts, no cookies had to be baked, as my children readily scarfed down the peanut butter...and a couple of these said children have never liked store-bought peanut butter. Warms a mother's heart even more.

scooped into the jar

Homemade Peanut Butter

*  2 cups roasted, not salted peanuts (shelled, of course)
*  2 T + 2 t of oil (I used sunflower, but another would be fine, I think)
*  2 T honey (I use raw)
*  2 t coarse salt

Put peanuts in food processor, grind until fine. Add oil, honey and salt slowly, until peanut butter is consistency that you prefer.
How do you like your "butter bread," Margot?
What I love is that there are no hard and fast rules. This is what we prefer. This recipe makes 2/3 of a regular peanut butter jar. Our family goes through that much in about 2 weeks, and it keeps just fine in the refrigerator.
Happy blending!

"Love it!"