Peanut butter, one of nature’s greatest gifts and an American favorite since the 1900s. If you haven’t yet tried this creamy spread, we’re happy to open the doors to this versatile delight. You can make homemade peanut butter in under five minutes with only one ingredient: dry-roasted peanuts (and salt if you prefer.) This high-protein, healthy fat will win over and benefit your heart in one fell swoop. Peanut butter is a jack of many trades, making its way into sandwiches, smoothies, cookies, oatmeal and many savory Thai and Vietnamese dishes. Fancy learning how to make peanut butter from scratch so can you go nuts? (Yeah, we went there.)
The benefits of peanut butter
Peanuts are often thought of as nuts when they are technically a legume. About half of their weight is comprised of healthy fat, with protein and some carbs making up the rest.
Peanut butter in its original, homemade form, is relatively unprocessed. It’s an excellent source of plant-based protein yet not a complete protein. This is due to it containing low amounts of the essential amino acid methionine. Not to worry though, all this means is that you need to pair your peanuts or peanut butter with another plant-based protein. A good example is peanut butter with wholegrain crackers or toast!
Peanut butter is so delicious you may find yourself wanting to eat spoonfuls of it; trust us, we understand. But as with anything in life, it’s still important to exercise moderation. Peanuts may be rich in healthy fats but are also high in calories (about 190 calories in two tablespoons).
Eating nuts or natural nut butter in moderation (1.5 ounces daily) has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease. Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats which help lower the bad cholesterol while increasing the good. They’re also an excellent source of the polyunsaturated fat, omega-6. The jury is still out whether or not omega-6 increases inflammatory markers, with limited evidence proving this true for minimally processed foods.
Vitamins and minerals
Peanuts and peanut butter are high in various vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. They are a useful addition to a diet rich in disease-preventing components.
- Vitamin E: An important antioxidant that helps protect the heart and improves your skin
- B vitamins: Support a healthy metabolism and energy systems
- Copper: Helps produce red blood cells and enhances the immune system
- Magnesium: Maintains healthy blood pressure and strong bones
- Manganese: Plays a role in blood sugar regulation and has antioxidant properties
- Phytonutrient: Contains resveratrol (same phytonutrient that’s in wine) aiding in cancer prevention and heart health
Always read the label
Store-bought peanut butter is typically unhealthy as it tends to contain added sugar, hydrogenated oils, stabilizers, and even trans fat. If you don’t feel like making your own home-made peanut butter but would rather buy it from the store, follow these handy guidelines:
- Look for brands that have the oil separated at the top – most blended ones are hydrogenated
- Avoid partially hydrogenated which is another word for trans fats, as these increase the risk of heart disease
- Look for a product that boasts a minimal list of ingredients all of which you can identify
Aim for organic whenever possible, as peanuts tend to be genetically modified
Fat facts:Low-fat doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Many times food manufacturers will add sugar and salt to enhance the flavor when fat is removed.
How to make peanut butter from scratch
OK, so now for what you’ve been waiting for: let’s talk about how to make peanut butter. It’s absurdly easy, only has two ingredients, and you can add any special touches you like.
- 4 cups peanuts
- pinch of salt (optional)
- If roasting the peanuts yourself: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spread peanuts on a cookie sheet and roast for about 10 minutes.
- Using a high-power food processor, place peanuts and salt evenly around the blade. Blend for about 5 minutes until it develops a smooth texture.
- Enjoy some now or place in a jar and store in the fridge for later.
You can always add spices after blending to elevate and play with the flavor profile. We recommend cinnamon, cocoa powder, vanilla, or even dried mint.
8fit peanut butter-fied recipes
Peanut butter doesn’t only go well with jelly (“jam” for you non-US folk). Get creative and try these peanut butter inspired recipes. Sign up for the 8fit Pro app and you can incorporate your homemade peanut butter in a bunch of our scrumptious recipes.
Vanilla Peanut Butter Smoothie
This vanilla peanut butter smoothie is a great way to start your day right. Whether you’re late to wake or a breakfast skipper, this recipe gets you energized first thing. It’s full of wholesome and filling oats, protein-packed, milk, and banana — the perfect peanut butter companions.
Strawberry Peanut Butter Quesadillas
This vegan recipe takes the classic PB&J sandwich and elevates it to the next level with a tortilla wrap instead of bread and fresh strawberries instead of jam. Using fresh berries will save your sugar content and reduce the calories while delivering healthy nutrients — a healthy snack for the whole family.
Apple, Yogurt & Peanut Butter
This super simple recipe can be prepped the night before as a morning grab-and-go snack or quickly put together in five minutes or less. With only three ingredients, this creamy snack feeds your body with satisfying protein and energy-sustaining carbs to bypass that afternoon slump.
Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Chocolate, banana and peanut butter ice cream, be still my beating heart! This dream team comes together to make a healthy version of this classic ice cream. You won’t believe it’s not the real thing. Not a fan of banana or don’t one on hand? Swap the banana for your favorite frozen fruit.
Craving more peanut buttery recipes? We’ve got some delicious ones such as our mouthwatering Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad, satisfying Chunky Sesame Banana Smoothie, and moreish Peanut Butter Biscuits. Try them now when you sign up for 8fit Pro!