Homemade Peanut Butter: Recipe and Cost Comparison
Ever since 4th grade when a fellow classmate dressed up as George Washington Carver and made (and shared) peanut butter for a class project, I've always wanted to make my own homemade peanut butter. Many years later, as I've come to value homemade, natural items, I finally attempted making peanut butter.
In making it, I was particularly curious: is it cheaper to make my own natural peanut butter or to buy it?
The short answer is: it depends.
For this cost comparison I purchased a jar of Trader Joe's Natural Peanut Butter (16 ounces). The cost: $1.79
I also purchased a bag of Trader Joe's Dry Roasted and Salted Peanuts (1 pound). The cost: $2.19
So, at least if purchasing pre-salted peanuts at Trader Joe's, buying pre-made peanut butter is better.
However, for my second batch of peanut butter I purchased Planters peanuts at Costco for $7.29 for 4 pounds ($1.82/lb). And if you're buying natural peanut butter at a regular grocery store it's likely going to cost you upwards of $3.50/jar. (On Amazon they sell Skippy natural peanut butter for $18.60/ 6 jars or $3.10/jar.)
Even if homemade peanut butter is slightly more expensive to make it, it's well worth it. First, it's incredibly easy. Second, you can modify the flavor. And finally, it tastes absolutely delicious. Here's the recipe I used:
Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe
Salt (optional and to taste)
Peanut or Canola Oil (optional and probably not needed)
Step 1: Place peanuts in a food processor and chop until desired consistency. Usually this will take up to 5-7 minutes for creamy peanut butter. (Note that at first the peanuts will chop finely, but it takes several minutes for them to chop into a creamy, oily consistency. Some recipes call for adding oil, I didn't find it necessary.)
Step 2: Mix in salt if you use unsalted peanuts. Or add additional flavors like chocolate or honey.
That's it. The peanut butter fresh out of the food processor tastes delicious because it's warm from all of the blending.
I divided my peanut butter into half and added 2 tablespoons of honey — delicious. Another idea is to blend in chocolate chips at the very end (once the peanut butter is smooth). A gourmet peanut butter company, PB Loco, is a good source of ideas for recipe modification — such as raspberry white chocolate. (Or, if you don't want to try to make your own Asian Curry Spice peanut butter you can just buy some. I've had a number of their flavors and love them.)
Homemade peanut butter is a great gift idea for the Holiday season. Buy a case of canning jars, some bulk peanuts, and you've got a great (tasty) gift idea.
What products do you make homemade instead of buying at the store? Do you make because it's cheaper, tastes better, or both?