Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Who knew that it could be so easy?

                                                                Peanut-Almond Butter
Since my dad began taking prednisone for his myasthenia gravis, neuromuscular disease, he has been hungry all the time. To satisfy his hunger between meals, he eats snacks like oranges, bananas, and yogurt. I still can't believe I got him liking yogurt but not just any yogurt. He will only eat Activia's blueberry and peach flavor.
His favorite snack though is peanut or almond butter on rye bread with a drizzle of honey and sometimes banana slices. Sounds familiar to Elvis peanut butter and banana sandwich. My dad was born and raised in Memphis after all.
One of the side effects with taking prednisone is that it can make you retain water.  Concentrating on keeping his sodium intake low is important. I have done this by making everything from scratch. Store bought nut butters, even the natural varities, almost all contain salt.
I decided that I was going to venture into making my own peanut and almond butters. My first batch of almond butter turned out surprisingly great. I simply processed sliced almonds in a food processor for several minutes and bam, you have smooth almond butter. The one thing I wanted to change was to roast the nuts in the oven for a few minutes to add a depth of flavor.

For my peanut-almond butter, I began with peanuts that I retrieved from their shell and removed their skin. Next time, I skip this process and buy raw skinned peanuts. It took me forever to crack the peanuts and then remove the skin.
Peanut-Almond Butter
1 cup peanuts
1 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place both nuts on a baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes. Transfer nuts to a food processor.
               Process for 2 minutes and then scrape down the sides of the food processor.
                                                The nuts will become a powder at this point.
Every few minutes, scrape down the sides of the food processor until the powder forms a paste.
                              At this point the nut mixture has been processed for 12 minutes.
               After about 15 minutes, the peanut-almond butter is smooth. Store in a glass jar.
Since my dad drizzles honey over his peanut-almond butter on toast, I don't add any sweetness to the nut butter but you can add honey.

The empowerment of knowing that I can make something from scratch like this is so rewarding. If a first time nut butter maker like myself can do it, then you can too! This is also a perfect crafty kitchen project that would be great for kids to do.

9 comments:

  1. I'm doing this!!! Thanks Whitney!

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  2. Hey Kevin thanks! It is cool to see how in just minutes of filling the jar with the peanut-almond butter, you can see the natural oil being released. It makes the nut butter have a smoother and looser consistency.

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  3. Wow! I had no idea that's all that went into making peanut butter. Makes me wonder why I'm paying $3 for it at the grocery store!

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  4. Thanks Whitney! I'm sure your Dad really appreciates all of the extra effort you put into your home made foods. I especially like the fact that this is easy and healthy (less sodium is better for everyone!) I'm gonna try and make it this week.

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  5. I have always wanted to make almond butter! Thank you for sharing this! I am new to your blog and I'm so glad I found it. I invite you to check mine out! I hope you have a great week! =)

    -Heidi

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  6. Almond butter has been my new favorite obsession! This sounds wonderful! :)

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  7. The oils go rancid very quickly so this MUST be refridgerated. That's why commercial butters all use hydrogenated oils (transfat) and why they are so bad for you.

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