Today, supermarkets and online grocery stores are stocked with innumerable peanut butter options. Sure, they are delicious, but we can’t ignore the fact that they aren’t budget-friendly or healthy.
But here’s a little secret no one told you: you can make home-made peanut butter in the comfort of your own kitchen in 30 minutes! All you need is a food processor or blender. We asked Chef Liton Bhakta, head chef at The Daily Bar & Kitchen in Mumbai, to share with us his peanut butter recipe and hacks to master it at home.
1 cup peanuts
Jaggery to taste
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp oil
1. Place a skillet on the gas stove and add peanuts to it. Toast the peanuts on low to medium flame. To ensure they are toasted evenly from all sides, keep shaking the skillet gently. Another reason for shaking the skillet is to ensure the peanuts don’t get burnt.
2. Once roasted, grind the peanuts in a food processor for a few minutes or until it turns into a smooth paste. During this time, you will see the roasted peanuts go through various stages—from powder to a dry ball and finally a smooth, creamy paste. This process may take up to 20-25 minutes.
3. At the dry ball stage, add jaggery and salt and let the mixture blend until it turns into a smooth paste. This step is necessary to combine the flavours of peanuts, jaggery, and salt.
4. When it’s almost done, add the oil. Grind it for a couple of more minutes. Your peanut butter is ready!
Peanut Butter Hacks
“If you wish, you can add more flavour to the peanut butter by adding ingredients such as chocolate and vanilla extract,” says the chef Bhakta. And, just in case, you want to make it healthier, you can add chia seeds or flax seeds. These will also add texture to the peanut butter. Make sure to lightly toast the seeds, just as you did with the peanuts, before adding it to the blender.
“Although many skip the toasting step, I feel that toasting is a very important process in making nut butter. Grinding the nut while it’s still warm helps them release more oils, which ensures easier grinding. Not just that, it also gives the butter a creamier texture,” says chef Bhakta.
Adding little oil to the peanut butter mixture also helps improve its texture. You can use your regular oil for this or go for the same oil as the nut you are turning into butter.
If you’re not using it right away, transfer it in a sterilised glass jar. Homemade peanut butter, without additives, can last several days at room temperature. But chef Bhakta suggests you keep it in a refrigerator. “This way it will last longer and not go rancid. Another important thing to remember, to ensure it doesn’t get spoiled, is to use a dry butter knife or spoon.”
How to Use
There’s a sublime pleasure in spreading a generous amount of nut butter on a slice of toasted bread – and let us suggest some fruits to top it all – but that’s not the only way to use nut butter. How about adding it to a smoothie or soup? It will not just add more protein to the dish, but also help thicken it. If not that, you can whisk it with some warm water and serve it as a dip for vegetables and fruits – hello, movie-time snacks?
Nut butter can also be used to flavour cookies and desserts. Here’s chef Gautam Mehrishi’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Yogurt Pots to begin with.
Images used for representational purposes only
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