Homemade Peanut Butter
Once you make peanut butter at home, it will be very difficult to get excited about storebought peanut butter ever again.
Not that eating peanut butter of any kind would ever be a chore because I love it so, but homemade peanut butter is a delicacy. And a nearly effortless delicacy at that.
It’s akin to savoring a piece of high-end dark chocolate that’s rich and pure, uncomplicated by fillers, additives, or ingredients that have no place being in chocolate; and then grabbing a milk chocolate bar in the checkout line at the grocery store, which is likely a combination of tasteless, grainy, and waxy.
Apples and oranges. Store-bought peanut butter versus homemade.
Once you have something amazing, it’s hard to get excited about any less than.
That’s this peanut butter.
Sure, all peanut butter is good, and some is better than others, but this is in its own league.
It’s similar in taste to store-bought varieties of “natural” peanut butter. It tastes like real peanuts and nothing else.
At room temperature, it’s similar in consistency to a stir-free natural peanut butter, thicker than almond butter, but thinner than conventional Jif or Skippy.
I store my homemade peanut butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator and although I could keep it at room temperature, I’m sure it will keep longer being refrigerated and I prefer my peanut butter on the thicker side. Storing it in the fridge helps it to stay thicker and less runny, especially since my house is warmer now during the summer.
Honestly, there’s not that much to store. Every time I open the fridge, I see the jar staring at me.
And it calls my name.
Interestingly, my peanut butter has turned out to be “stir-free”.
It has not separated into oil and a solid mass, which is something I detest about natural peanut butters; the oil slick on top and that stubborn dry blob on the bottom that never really wants to re-accept the oil.
Find a food processor and a spoon.
This is crazy good.
The whole process takes less than 5 minutes.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown (a literal breakdown)
16 ounce bag or jar of peanuts (use honey roasted, plain, salted, unsalted, or try a jar of mixed nuts)
Add peanuts to the canister of the food processor
No oil, no salt, just peanuts
Turn it on and watch it go
There peanuts go through various stages in the approximately five minutes it takes to go from peanuts to peanut butter:
crushed into a fine powder
a thicker paste
and a big peanut butter “dough ball” will form
And then the big ball will magically break down
And turn into a gritty peanut butter
Keep processing and the peanut butter will get smoother, creamier, and thin out
No oil was ever added at any point during processing – just the natural oils from the peanuts are being released
Keep processing until you’re certain the peanut butter is smooth enough for your liking, another minute or so
I like my peanut butter very smooth, like buttah
The peanut butter is a little on the thinner and runnier side immediately post-processing because it’s warmed from the motor – similar in thickness to store-bought almond butter
After refrigeration, it thickens up a bit
As suggested in the recipe section, flavor your peanut butter with anything you want from vanilla or coffee extract
To cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice or cocoa powder
To spicy or savory, which is great for 2-minute peanut sauce (vegan, GF)
Or add some adult-version flavorings
This is your peanut butter. Get creative.
No, wait, this is my peanut butter.
And I’m not sharing.
Homemade Peanut Butter
Once you try homemade peanut butter, you’ll never want store-bought again. It comes together in mere minutes in a food processor and is better than any peanut butter you’ve ever tried before. Try it and you’ll be hooked! Recipe is naturally gluten-free. Swap honey roasted peanuts for plain roasted peanuts to keep vegan.
16 ounces honey roasted peanuts
Add peanuts to the canister of a food processor, process on high power until creamy and smooth, about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the canister if necessary.
The peanuts will go through stages of: crushed, crushed into a fine powder, a paste, a thicker paste, a big “dough ball”, and then the ball will break down into runnier peanut butter. At the point the peanut butter is runny, continue processing for about 1 more minute, making sure the peanut butter is as smooth as desired.
If it wasn’t for taking pictures, in my food processor, it takes about 4 minutes and I did not need to scrape down the sides; there was very little splatter.
Store the peanut butter at room temperature where it will keep for at least 2 weeks, or store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator, where it keeps for many weeks, and I’ve stored it for months. As with any food that has no preservatives, use common sense.
Substitutions and Flavoring Suggestions
Substitute dry roasted, salted, or unsalted peanuts, mixed nuts, seasoned, or spicy nuts; I do not suggest raw nuts because they don’t have enough flavor depth for me but theoretically they will “work”, just a matter of taste preference.
Salt, to taste (I added none)
Peanut oil, canola oil, and I have also seen olive oil suggested, optional and only if necessary (I added none and although the paste is thick in the early to mid stages of blending causing one to ponder if oil is necessary, once you get past that stage, you’ll be glad to have not added oil because the finished peanut butter is already on the thinner side and the robust peanut flavor is not diluted by oil)
Seasonings or flavorings to try and add in the final moments of processing and process until incorporated: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cardamom, brown sugar, vanilla extract, coffee extract, specialty oils and extracts from LorAnn, a pinch of cayenne or chili powder or savory spices, cocoa powder, chocolate/white chocolate/butterscotch/peanut butter chips and just pulse to incorporate; a handful of peanuts just pulsed to incorporate at the very end of processing to create a chunky-textured peanut butter. Add egg-less cookie dough chunks, dried fruits like raisins or dates; a splash of Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlua, Frangelico, Chambord, Godiva Liqueur; have fun with it.
If you’re unsure how a flavoring will turn out, I suggest removing half the peanut butter or two-thirds of it, placing it in another container, and flavor a smaller portion, to taste, before flavoring the entire batch with one particular seasoning or flavor. Or get two or three flavors from one recipe based on how inspired you are.
Make sure to also check out
Homemade Cookie Butter Peanut Butter (vegan, GF)
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter (vegan, GF)
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Here are 35 Recipes for National Peanut Day that all use peanut butter
Here are approximately 50 Peanut Butter recipes I’ve made and posted about over the years
Here’s an Peanut Butter Brand Comparison
I wrote a cookbook about peanut butter, 100 recipes that all contain peanut butter – My Cookbook: Peanut Butter Comfort
Included are 25+ recipes for homemade peanut butter variations
Thanks to everyone who’s told me you’ve preordeded the book!
Have you ever made your own nut butter?
Recipe links welcome and I would love to hear your method and results.
Do you have a favorite peanut butter?
For bars or other desserts that call for peanut butter with a recipe, sure, homemade would be lovely but honestly, the taste is going to be masked from a combination of butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and then it’s baked, which is the main reason I bake with whatever peanut butter is on sale. I save the fancy peanut butters for when I can really focus on every pure, unadulterated, peanut butter bite and not “waste” a high end peanut butter inside a recipe.