Making peanut butter has been on my single use plastic free to do list for a while. I usually buy large tubs of it, which is good because there is less packaging than if I bought lots of small ones, but not great because the tubs are plastic and are not recyclable in my local area.
They sell raw peanuts loose in their shells in my local grocery shop, so I decided to buy a load and give it a go. I discovered peanut butter is so simple to make, if a little time consuming the way I did it.
Sugar Free and Plastic Free Peanut Butter Recipe
1kg raw peanuts in shells
- Take the peanuts out of their shells (leave the skins on) and put them to one side
- Roast the peanuts in a hot oven (set at around 180 degrees C) on a non-stick baking tray (e.g. stoneware or glassware) for a 3- 10 minutes on each side (glass and stoneware take longer to heat up and you can’t pre-heat the oven with stoneware, so they will take longer to roast if you use them). Be careful to turn the peanuts every few minutes to be sure they don’t burn.
- Once roasted leave to cool
- Put the peanuts into a food processor and blend. They will go crumbly at first but keep going and they will become more liquid.
- Store the peanut butter in sterilised glass jars.
- Put the peanut shells to work – they make a good addition to a compost heap, could be used for crafting with or apparently can be used in place or charcoal or pet litter (see more here)!
NOTE: If you want to make the process quicker, you can buy unsalted, shelled peanuts already roasted. Then you can skip steps one to three and start at step four.
There are loads of things you can do with your peanut butter once you have made it and you don’t have to stick with plain peanut butter. You could add cocoa, chilli or any herbs or spice that appeals to you. You could even add your peanut butter to houmous (see my recipe for houmous here
). Once it is ready you could spread it on crackers, turn it into a satay sauce or use it as a dip like I have in the picture above – peanut butter and sliced apples is surprisingly good!
What would you add to your peanut butter and how would you eat it???
As far as cost goes, I worked out the way I did it was more expensive than if I had bought it in a tub, but I have found a shop which sells peanuts already shelled and unpackaged which is a bit cheaper, so it will work out cheaper than buying it in a tub. Buying peanuts in their shells though, means that they have been entirely unprocessed and there has been less opportunity for tampering with them before they arrive in my home. Plus I can make sure the peanut shells are put to good use or composted, whereas it may be harder to find out what has happened to the peanut shells when you buy shelled ones…
I am currently undertaking a Year of Eco Challenges
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