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Peanuts - Part One
At the grocery store a few months ago I was familiarizing myself with the ingredients that companies put into peanut butter. Why? Well, let me tell you! Initially, I was comparing prices to get the best deal, which inevitably led to comparing the quality of the peanut butter for the price it was going to cost me. If you’re confused and wondering why the price of peanut butter even matters, I’ll tell you that it’s a very simple concept: time is money, and I don’t have a lot of extra time to make a lot of extra money to haphazardly buy expensive peanut butter without doing some research! You know? When I looked at the ingredients on the back of the jar I had planned to buy, I couldn’t believe that there were six things listed!
I mean, seriously, if the vegetable oil, molasse, and salt are less than five percent of the total product, why are they there in the first place? What is wrong with peanut butter made with peanuts and peanuts only? Why have I lived such an peanut butter-ignorant existence for so long?
I know that everyone eats Jiff without a thought because choosy moms choose Jiff and who can argue with the moms, right? Well, what I decided to do was undertake the task of producing my very own peanut butter without all the added stuff. My plan was to simply get some peanuts and try to make them into peanut butter by whatever means made sense in my head. Sure I could have browsed Pinterest for a few hours to find out everything I needed to know, but I wanted to discover the secret to making it through my own mistakes, you know?
First, I needed peanuts. I began looking for unroasted, unsalted, whole peanuts still in their shell because if I was going to make peanut butter, I might as well go all in, right? I searched around for a few days and finally found a market that sold what I was looking for. Naturally I bought three pounds of peanuts. I figured that they were going to get all smashed up in the blender, so I would need to buy a lot in order to make a whole jar. (Spoiler alert) Shelling three pounds of peanuts takes a long time and smashed up peanuts take up the same amount of space as whole peanuts, so to fill a jar I only needed about two cups. It’s crazy, I know!
My first batch turned out less than amazing. In fact, the first batch was not tasty at all. I put the peanuts in the blender and blended them for a few moments which resulted in a dry and nasty wanna-be paste stuff. I added a little coconut oil to maybe make it smoother, but it just made a weird textured peanut mash with an even weirder coconut flavor. The second batch was a slight improvement from the first, but substituting unsalted butter for coconut oil was still not the secret. I still had about two pounds of peanuts left and was beginning to think that the big companies supplemented in everything else because peanuts don’t actually make very good peanut butter by themselves. I could smell defeat on the horizon.
Even so, on the fourth batch I victoriously discovered the secret to smooth, creamy peanut butter made entirely from peanuts: it’s patience. Yes, patience! All you have to do is put peanuts (unshelled) in a blender, and then blend them for as long as it takes to become peanut butter! -- the time will vary depending on how many peanuts you use and what kind of blender you have -- I was amazed!
It’s so simple! Peanuts make peanut butter if you give them enough time. So simple in fact that if you search “peanut butter recipes” on your favorite online browser, you’ll find that people everywhere have already known this! The concept isn't new. So, what’s the point? Why does it matter?
- To be continued -
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