Homemade Peanut Butter

by Ann Marie Michaels on May 19, 2011

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peanut butter

We Americans love our peanut butter. It’s a staple. Everyone remembers that delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich from childhood, or those addictive peanut butter cookies.

However, most commercial peanut butters are loaded with garbage ingredients we want to avoid. For example: high-fructose corn syrup and modern vegetable oils such as soybean oil and cottonseed oil.

Even if you’re buying “natural peanut butter,” that’s not good enough. Why? Because peanuts are very high in phytic acid.

Phytic acid blocks mineral absorption, so we really need to soak peanuts before they are roasted. Read more about how phytic acid causes tooth decay and osteoporosis.

When you soak and then roast peanuts, they are pretty nutritious. Peanuts are a relatively good source for the B-vitamin, niacin (86% of DV for 3.5 oz serving). They are also a good source of magnesium (50%), phosphorus (48%), zinc (33%), and folate (62%).

This is why I never buy peanut butter at the store, even the “healthy” and organic brands. I only make it homemade.

Recipe Notes:

This recipe is legal on the GAPS diet, SCD diet, and in moderation, on the 4 Hour Body Diet. Try it on coconut flour bread.

If you want to, you substitute other types of nuts to make nut butter, including almonds or cashews.

Homemade Peanut Butter

Ingredients

Peanuts, raw — Spanish peanuts are best (2 lbs) — where to buy nuts
Sea salt — where to buy sea salt
Red palm oil or expeller-pressed coconut oil — where to buy red palm oil or coconut oil
Filtered water

Equipment

Food processor
Baking pan (cookie sheet)

Directions

1. Remove shells from peanuts (if they have shells).
2. Place peanuts. In a large glass bowl, or in a couple of mason jars, with 1 tablespoon of sea salt and cover with filtered water. Leave in a warm place for at least 12-14 hours.
3. Transfer to a colander; drain and rinse.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Pat dry and place the peanuts in a large bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of palm oil and sea salt until well coated.
6. Spread the peanuts out on cookie sheets, in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring the peanuts halfway during cooking.
7. Remove the peanuts from the oven and let cool.
8. Remove the skins (if they have skins) by rubbing the peanuts together in your hands over a bowl, allowing the peanuts and skins to fall into the bowl. Discard the skins.
9. Place the peanuts into the bowl of the food processor. Process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to process the peanuts while slowly drizzling in the palm oil, 1 tablespoon at a time.
10. Process until smooth, using as much palm oil as you need. Blend in sea salt to taste.
11. Place the peanut butter in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or cupboard (I prefer to put it in the cupboard so it does not harden too much) for up to 2 months.

Photo credit: Cristaface on Flickr
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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly the Kitchen Kop May 19, 2011 at 3:49 AM

I tried this once & it ended up with a funky ‘off’ taste, which I later found out it was from something in the peanut, did you ever have this?

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cheeseslave May 19, 2011 at 7:25 AM

I had it when I did not roast the peanuts. DId you roast yours?

Also could be the palm oil. I’ve only found one brand of palm oil I like that does not taste rancid — from Wilderness Family Naturals

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Kelly the Kitchen Kop May 19, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Yes, I roasted them, and I don’t think I used palm oil…I used something else, can’t remember now. Might have been the unflavored coconut oil.

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:07 AM

It may depend where you buy your nuts. I bought Ppeanuts from Wilderness Family Naturals and I really liked the flavor.

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AnnMarie Deis May 19, 2011 at 4:55 AM

Would this be the same method for almond butter? Are almonds also high in phytic acid?

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AnnMarie Deis May 19, 2011 at 4:58 AM

Sorry. I didn’t read the entire intro. Just disregard my query. :(

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adeis1210 July 18, 2011 at 10:44 AM

I am just getting around to getting some raw peanuts and trying my hand at homemade peanut butter. I soaked my peanuts in a big glass bowl full of filtered water with some sea salt from Saturday evening (around 10 p.m. ish) until this morning. I actually forgot about them just a bit. :) However, when I poured off the water and rinsed them, I noticed a foul odor. Could the odor just be the acids that are accumulated when soaking or have my peanuts gone bad? I would hate to think of them going bad because these suckers weren’t cheap. LOL!

Thanks to anyone who has any insight into this!
AnnMarie

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Sarah Smith May 19, 2011 at 5:35 AM

I really need to try this sometime. I don’t have a good source for peanuts locally, so I’ve been augmenting storebought peanut butter by mixing in some homemade pecan and cashew butter. It works well and at least means that we’re getting less phytic acid. But I still need to get around to making 100% peanut butter. Thanks for the reminder.

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Kim in Phx May 19, 2011 at 9:41 AM

I just bought walnuts and was planning to make walnut butter with flax seeds and walnut oil to thin. Do you have an opinion on this?

Thanks so much!

Kim

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:10 AM

Yes you can use any kind of nuts. That said i would probably not use flax seeds because they go rancid easily and you would need to store in the fridge.

Why use walnut oil? Coconut oil and palm oil are more nutritious I think.

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kim May 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM

This is only slightly off topic, but is palm shortening O.K. to use? My daughter appears to be allergic to dairy (butter), coconut and soy; so I’ve been using Spectrum brand shortening (made with palm oil). Thanks for such an informative blog!

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Sandi Rivers May 19, 2011 at 10:10 AM

I also liked you on Facebook!

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Sandi Rivers May 19, 2011 at 10:11 AM

I’m checking out your sources… thanks for the research! I knew about Wilderness Family Naturals and have bought from them several times, but oshEWEa’s Garden, LLC is a new one. Thank you!

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:11 AM

I love the granola and nut butters from JoshEweas Garden!

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Sarah Z November 3, 2013 at 6:25 PM

That’s so cool! He’s a local guy in a very small town near my very small town. I’m surprised you’ve heard of him. I thought he just sold locally!

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Kaylin May 19, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Thanks for this recipe! When the kiddos and I were on GAPS I made Walnut butter (after soaking and dehydrating) and my kids devoured it. It was sooo good! @Kim in Phx, I used coconut oil in my walnut butter. I also added a little honey (as well as the salt). It has a different texture than peanut butter. Not so stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth.

I tried soaking and dehydrating peanuts and ended up tossing the whole batch because they tasted awful. It must have been because I didn’t roast them. Thanks so much! My kids love peanut butter!

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:12 AM

Yes I tried it without roasting (only soaking) before and it did taste funny

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Meagan May 19, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I’ve made my own homemade peanut butter before too. I’ve been avoiding peanuts lately since they are hard to digest in pbutter form (even organic) and they are not Primal.

I soaked my raw blanched jumbo peanuts for 12 hours, boiled them until soft, roasted them until crispy and then threw them into the food processor with some coconut cream concentrate and blended them until they were a spreadable consistency. It was so incredibly delicious, I think my mom and I ate half the jar in like a week and then tried to savor the rest and it lasted longer.

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:13 AM

I had not considered boiling. Why do you boil? Is the consistency better?

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Kaylin May 26, 2011 at 8:10 AM

I read that boiling peanuts makes them more nutritious. Sadly, I can’t find the article to repost. It removes more toxins while making more nutrients available for the body.

I boiled mine before roasting and skimmed LOTS of purplish-gray foam off the top. It’s quite possible that the peanuts just reacted to the cast iron kettle I used, so next time I’ll try it in stainless steel. Did you get that foam, Meagan?

Also, I read that if you freeze the peanuts overnight the skins pop off quite easily. The skins wouldn’t come off of my peanuts after I roasted them. I’ll try freezing next time.

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cheeseslave May 27, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Interesting — and yes, I did read that about freezing but I forgot. Great tip!

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jeanmarie September 19, 2011 at 8:57 PM

This sounds fantastic, I will try it!

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amy May 19, 2011 at 12:06 PM

I recently soaked some raw, organic peanuts for 7 hours (per the NT book) in salt water then dehydrated them at 140-150 degrees for 24 hours and they taste pretty bad . . . like they are still raw. I dehydrated them for 6 more hours but they are still raw tasting. With the price of these nuts I sure don’t want to waste the 4 cups of nuts that I’ve been working with. What would you do next to try and correct this problem? I thought about dehydrating them longer or even sticking them in the oven at 350 to see if that would help . . . I was trying the dehydrator because I thought that would be better than roasting at the higher temps. I just don’t know what to do . . . your suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Amy B. May 19, 2011 at 2:19 PM

My oven only goes as low as 170. I’ve done raw peanuts soaked in salted water overnight. Then I baked at 170 “to taste” — go for several hours, and then start tasting them to see how they’re coming along. I think you still have the not-so-yummy raw peanut taste because you’re just dehydrating them, as opposed to roasting them. Yes, you’ll maybe lose the enzymes at that temperature, but the difference in TASTE will be huge. And unless you’re eating a TON of peanuts/peanut butter, I wouldn’t stress too much about the loss of live enzymes. The more important issue when soaking/dehydrating nuts is to neutralize the phytates and make them more easily digestible.

So, in short, you don’t have to roast at 350. (In fact, they’d probably burn pretty quickly.) You can keep it low, around 170–200, and go for a longer amount of time.

I made them this way, and they were INCREDIBLE.

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Tami Lewis May 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM

this is how i make mine too. i use palm oil too but i am out of it so maybe coconut oil next time.

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Barry May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

I read somewhere that roasting at temps above 160-170 degrees can harm the fat in nuts and lead to the production of damaging free radicals. Is there anything to that?

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:16 AM

Not sure where you read that. I have never read that. You do lose the enzymes when you roast nuts but otherwise they are still good for you. Peanuts also have a lot of phytic acid so roasting after soaking helps to further reduce the phytic acid

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Maria May 19, 2011 at 1:00 PM

When any nuts are baked at 350 degrees, they lose most of the nutrients.
After soaking and patting with a towel, putting nuts in the over at 150-200 degrees for 8 or more hours [like crispy nuts] is a wiser choice to preserve the nutritional content. I have added ghee and raw honey. Yummmmmm!

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:18 AM

I do dehydrate most of my nuts and for other nut butters that is what I do but I like the flavor of roasted peanuts

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Billie May 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM

I had the same question about the roasting of the nuts…I thought #1 that roasting them at high temps like that did away with nutrition and #2 I thought I read somewhere that roasting at high temps also does away with a good portion of the phytic acid. If #2 is so why soak first?

I have tried to make pb before and it didn’t taste all that great. It sounds like it might be because the nuts were soaked and dehydrated only.

Thank you!

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:20 AM

Yes by roasting them the flavor is a LOT better. I have tried both ways.

Roasting only partially reduces the physic acid. Soaking helps to further reduce it — I think doing both is best for peanuts but not necessary for other nuts

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Jennifer May 19, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Big fan of PB and just learned about the physic acid issue. My daughter and I thank you for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it.

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Monica May 19, 2011 at 8:15 PM

Do all food processors make nut butter or Is there one brand that is better than the others?

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:22 AM

Should work on any blender or food processor– unless you have a very cheap quality blender. I have a Cuisinart food processor but also use a basic blender

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Rachael May 19, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Has anyone tried making PB in a blender specifically a Kitchen aide blender ?

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Tami Lewis May 20, 2011 at 10:17 AM

i used my blender but it’s not a kitchenaid. i figured if it could do ice then it could do peanuts lol

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Sue May 19, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Great! Seems a little hard, but I will try it. But we still do not supposed to eat too much peanut butte for keep weight, right?

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cheeseslave May 23, 2011 at 3:24 AM

It’s actually very easy to make. I do not eat a lot of peanut butter especially when trying to lose weight.

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Adam May 19, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Excellent post, it looks so professional. I love the peanut butter and mixing it with semi sweet pieces is a good way to cut the sweetness factor! Thanks!

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Jennifer May 20, 2011 at 8:32 AM

It never occured to me to make homemade peanut butter but it sure does now. I will be trying this out soon as we just ran out of the jarred stuff I usually buy…thanks for sharing it with us!!

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mommymommymommy May 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

I have made peanut butter with my kids, but not this way. I am exploring your blog and enjoying it!

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Kara Sorensen May 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I just made this and it’s delicious! I used the dry blade of my vitamix to mix it as I don’t have a food processor right now. Has anyone else tried this with a vitamixer? I’m trying to not add another kitchen appliance if I can help it, but I’m hooked on making our own peanut butter.

Thanks for the idea Ann Marie!

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Kris Johnson May 26, 2011 at 4:38 PM

My trick to making a healthier nice tasting peanut butter, besides soaking and roasting, is to mix with extra virgin coconut oil, and tahini – about equal quantities. Then add a bit of raw honey and a generous portion of turmeric. Also may add some raw butter.

It’s well to be aware that peanuts are high in omega-6 fats. If you eat a lot of peanut butter you may overwhelm you intake of omega-3 essential fats. I have an internet acquaintance who has made it his mission to write letters warning about the problems with too many omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. He made this comment: “I’ve been eating peanut butter sandwiches for lunch 4 to 6 times a week since my discharge from the military in 1972. When I realized how much omega-6 peanuts contain I stopped eating peanut butter altogether. That was about three months ago. About a month ago I noticed an increase in muscular strength in my limbs and a lessening of muscle pain everywhere.”

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cheeseslave May 31, 2011 at 8:50 PM

@Kris

I agree – Peanut butter and peanuts should be consumed sparingly

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monique June 2, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Newsletter subscriber

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monique June 2, 2011 at 5:21 PM

twitter follower

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Kara Sorensen June 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM

We made the peanut butter and it was delicious. I’m so glad you suggested it, as I never though of soaking peanuts like other nuts. Yum! We’ll be making our own from now on. Thank you!

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Izzy June 15, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Hi, can I use any other oil?

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Kris Johnson June 15, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Most oils are too high in omega-6 fats to be recommended. Tahini is high in omega-6 fats but has important antioxidant properties. Otherwise it’s good to combine the peanuts that are high in omega-6 fats with saturated fats like coconut or palm oils -or butter.

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Izzy June 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM

It’s just that I made walnut butter and used coconut oil but the consistency was off. And You know how coconut oil solidifies. I keep my nut butters in the fridge and I don’t like them to be hard. I thought of buying peanut oil just for the pb.

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cheeseslave June 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM

I don’t keep my nut butters in the fridge – I keep them in the cupboard. I don’t think there is any reason to put them in the fridge.

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cheeseslave June 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM

PS Coconut oil will always harden in cold temps

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cheeseslave June 16, 2011 at 10:20 PM

You might try red palm oil. See the link above in the ingredients list for sources – I buy it at Wilderness Family Naturals

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Izzy June 18, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Oh I know, I’ve been using coconut oil for years, they do harden but I want to keep the nut butters in the fridge for the same reason that Kris Johnson mentioned, especially peanuts are very perishable.

I made it the other day so we’ll see. So far so good but yes it’s a little hard.

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Kris Johnson June 17, 2011 at 10:05 AM

There is reason to keep nut butters in the frig. Peanuts are especially perishable, and will start to go off if kept out too long. When I make my peanut butter with tahini and coconut oil, it become too soft at room temp. I just try to remember to take it out at the beginning of meal prep, so it has a little chance to soften.

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Izzy June 18, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Won’t the tahini change the taste of the peanut butter?

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Kris Johnson June 18, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Actually the tahini doesn’t have a strong flavor. The good peanut flavor predominates nicely. Even adding some turmeric seems to enhance the peanut flavor. The tahini and turmeric add valuable phytonutrients.

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riceinmay July 4, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Ok- you may think I’m crazy- but we add butter to the finished peanut butter. Equal parts finished peanut butter, and softened butter. It’s sooo good together. Plus it makes the peanut butter go further, and gets some extra butter in their diet. I also find you can get away with WAY less sweetner (honey or jelly) when you add butter to the sandwich

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FarmerKimberly July 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM

That is an interesting idea. Riceinmay, as I have been exploring Cheeseslave’s blog, I have found your comments very interesting and useful. I am so glad that I found this blog as I progress on this healthy food journey.

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Bethany July 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

What about the fungal content of peanuts? I have not eaten peanuts/peanut butter for a number of years due to my understanding that they are too fungus filled…. does that just depend on your source?

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FarmerKimberly July 7, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Another recipe I will have to try. I love peanut butter. I have a recipe to make a better version of my favorite childhood candy: Peanut butter cups. And now I have the healthier peanut butter to go with it.

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kandemom July 11, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Mmmmm…peanut butter cups are a favorite treat around here!

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FarmerKimberly July 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM

What is the shelf life on a bag of raw peanuts? Someone gave me a bag of raw peanuts about a year ago and because I wasn’t sure how to proceed with them, I just stuck them in my pantry . . . and they are still there. Is it safe to use them now, or will they probably be rancid?

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Kris Johnson July 10, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Peanuts are quite perishable, esp. once they are roasted. I always keep peanuts and walnuts in the frig. I suspect your raw peanuts are not good. Your nose should give you a clue.

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FarmerKimberly July 10, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Thanks for the reply, Kris. They were not roasted . . . . still raw in the bag. And surprisingly no smell. Weird, huh?

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kandemom July 11, 2011 at 7:05 PM

I bought some raw peanuts and thought they were bad because they tasted so bad! I guess I’ll have to roast them and make peanut butter. My favorite is cashew butter!

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Kris Johnson July 18, 2011 at 11:48 AM

To AnnMarie on her concern about her soaked peanuts. I’d roast them and see if they taste any good. Raw peanuts aren’t too inviting. If they have turned rancid, I think you can easily tell by the flavor/smell of the roasted peanuts.

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Karen A. July 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I love homemade peanut butter. It really isn’t hard to make at all!

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rvolkov July 21, 2011 at 5:00 PM

For various reasons I have continued to buy store bought raw nut butter. Do you know if I can reduce/break down the phytates by lacto fermenting the nut butter before eating?

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Briana September 27, 2011 at 10:28 PM

My husband and I just made this. We followed the recipe to the T. But, we did not get peanut butter. We got some kind of ground peanut concoction =( We were very very sad about it. What did we do wrong? I looked on the internet and it seems everyone who makes homemade peanut butter makes it this way…but with better results. I just can’t figure out what we did wrong and I really would like to be able to make my own, but what we got was just plain gross.

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Faith Stromback October 5, 2011 at 8:42 AM

I just made this and for some reason the skins didn’t want to come off after I cooked the peanuts. Did I not put enough oil on them? Or didn’t cook them long enough. I put them back in and burned some of them pretty bad. I ended up just leaving the skins on in the peanut butter. I was also wondering if there are adverse effects of leaving the skins on. Thanks so much for your blog!

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matea October 10, 2011 at 4:53 AM

pretty good :)

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Deana October 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Okay, I made this today and had to roast WAY longer than 30 min to get them even a little toasty looking and used a bananaboat load of Palm oil. And now it doesn’t really taste peanutty to me. Sigh. I’m going to try jazzing it up somehow, maybe add some honey, I don’t want to have wasted that much palm oil (and I used Wilderness Family naturals brand). Only half of the peanuts processed easily in my KitchenAid, so I’m going to take the other half and try it in the Vitamix with coconut oil instead and see how I like it. But I suspect it’ll be REALLY coconutty, given how much oil I needed.

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Jolene March 9, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Do you roast your peanuts vs dehydrating due to the flavor? Will the peanuts go rancid by roasting them? I just took the peanuts out of the oven and the color is off so I am not sure if it is due to the soaking and then roasting or if they went bad. Thanks!

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Jolene March 9, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Do you roast your peanuts vs dehydrating due to the flavor? Will the peanuts go rancid by roasting them? I just took the peanuts out of the oven and the color and flavor is off so I am not sure if it is due to the soaking and then roasting or if they went bad. Thanks!

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Jolene March 9, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Sorry, didn’t mean to post twice. My computer was acting crazy!

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absie May 6, 2012 at 9:42 PM

I’d say go for coconut oil – palm oil consumption is fueling Sumatran orangutan habitat destruction… otherwise this looks amazing!!!

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cheeseslave June 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

It depends on the BRAND of palm oil you buy

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Gerri June 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Hello, I like your recipe but I am confused about one thing. Most recipes I see require you to store the PB in fridge for 2 to 4 wks. Yours is fridge or cabinet for 2 months. Do you care to explain the difference.

Much obliged,
Gerri

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cheeseslave June 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Peanuts will keep in the cupboard, and so will palm oil or coconut oil.

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Kara January 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Can I just dehydrate them instead of putting them in the oven? Does it kill the enzymes in the nuts when you roast them at so high a temp?

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huria April 8, 2013 at 5:18 AM

i just found out that the allergens in the nuts are more than likely eliminated when the nuts are soaked. amazing because my daughter can finally enjoy nuts with her siblings.
thanks

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Steven May 12, 2013 at 7:16 AM

I purchased already roasted unsalted peanuts, can I or should I still soak overnight ?

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Paula March 5, 2014 at 1:21 PM

What about the problem of aflatoxin in peanuts?

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Julie March 5, 2014 at 1:34 PM

I enjoy your blog but I am confused as to why you would post this, since your daughter is allergic to peanuts. We don’t allow peanuts in the house. It just isn’t worth the risk for us. Otherwise I would love to try this.

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