Ever since I have been on my healthy lifestyle journey I’ve noticed a big trend in growing/making your own food. Typically items that you grow or make at home are better for you. Take peanut butter, for example. Sure, you can pay upwards of $6-$7 to get less than a pound of the tasty unprocessed spread at a health food store or your local grocer, or buy the processed stuff that usually contains added oils, sugars, etc. for around $2.50, OR, for less than both of those options you can make your own at home and get more while knowing exactly what the ingredients are.
This is what The Hubs and I did this weekend. I bought two 10oz bags of peanuts (shells on) from Dierberg's for $1 per bag. I’ll say up front that it was more “work” to make peanut butter at home, but saving the extra dollars and getting to make it on our own was well worth the extra time spent.
Below is a series of pictures of what we did to make homemade peanut butter. You can find a variety of recipes out there, but they’re all pretty basic and easy. Here is what you need:
• Two bags of peanuts
• A big bowl with hot water
• Something to put the discarded shells
• A strainer
• A towel
• A food processor
• A spatula
First, soak your peanuts in a bowl of hot water for about ten minutes. This helps make the shells easier to open. Start cracking them open with your hands and just go to town. The peanuts will sink to the bottom of the bowl and you can simply discard the shells into another bowl (which you can them dump into your compost pile later!)
Once you’ve shucked all of the peanuts and discarded the shells, simply strain and rinse the peanuts, just to double-check that you don’t have any shell pieces left over.
Next, allow the peanuts to dry on a towel. Basically you just don’t want watery peanut butter.
Add your peanuts to a food processor and get ready for the fun to begin! At this point you could add a little salt if you wanted to.
Blend the peanuts! For some folks, the blending process doesn’t take long at all. We blended ours for quite a while, taking breaks here and there to let the processor cool down.
Use a spatula to scrape down any clumps that aren’t moving on top. If you want to add any additional ingredients now would be the time to do so. For example, we wanted to sweeten the peanut butter up a bit, so we added some local honey (we just eyeballed the amount).
When the peanut butter reaches the consistency and taste you want, you’re good to go! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and ENJOY!
Our peanut butter wasn’t the exact consistency as processed peanut butter, or as oily as natural peanut butter (which actually we would have preferred it a little creamier). But it tastes absolutely delightful and we know exactly what went into making it. Plus at $2 for the peanuts, it’s more bang for our buck than buying it at the store. Have you ever made your own peanut butter, or any nut butter for that matter? How did you do it and what are your favorite recipes?
Here are a few things to chew on this week:
Food: Last week my friend Kara and I traveled to Chicago for a concert (Of Monsters and Men – and they were amazing, ps!). We wanted to make sure we ate as healthy as we could while traveling, which always seems to be tricky. We did some research ahead of time and made sure to ask locals where they eat healthy. If you’re into Thai food, I highly recommend Urban Vegan. Two locations serving up huge, healthy portions at a super cheap price, you can’t go wrong. I mean, check out the size of these spring rolls with vegan chicken – they’re as big as your hand!
Health: Last week I celebrated my birthday, which is always fun! But, that also means there is usually a bunch of food and multiple occasions to make bad decisions. In four days I gained just about four pounds, which is ridiculous. It also came right off once I put down the booze and sweets and got right back on track. If you add on a couple of pounds around the holidays or special occasions, the best thing to do is to try not to beat yourself up over it. We’re often our own worst critics and that can be very damaging. So if you fall down, get right back up and keep on moving. Besides, the most recent weight is the easiest to get back off, so have your celebrations and enjoy, then pick up where you left off.
Homestead: The chickens are getting HUGE. In this pic you can see that they’re just about the height of their food and water containers. Plus, Patsy physically jumped OUT of the tank the other day. She jumped up and perched on the tank, and then jumped down. So now the tank is covered for the most part to keep the jumpy little thing inside. She must be anxious to get outside – just a few more weeks!
Remember our green cherries from a couple of weeks back? It’s a little blurry, but here was our first red cherry that we spotted the other night. We went ahead and ate it just to see where it was at, and oh boy was it delicious. A little tart with a hint of sweetness, I expect we’ll be picking cherries to eat in about two weeks!