Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Will Work for Peanuts

Day 125.

I found a really good deal on roasted peanuts the other day at a produce market. I can buy 50 pounds (yes, 50 pounds) of peanuts for $44. That's a lot of nuts. That's not a decision to be made whimsically, either. I had to sit down and calculate the cost, weigh the benefits, determine the workload involved, and decide whether I felt it was worth it.

(Don't hyperventilate just yet--- I only bought a 2 pound bag to begin.)

What would I do with 50 pounds of roasted peanuts?

I could split it with another family or two. Would any other family I know be interested in such a large amount of peanuts? No.

Okay. So it would be just us. Just the four of us. So what's the shelf life of roasted peanuts in their shells?

In the fridge, they'd keep for nine months. Could we consume fifty pounds of peanuts in nine months?
Think, think, think. Well, we consume at least 52 jars of peanut butter a year.

So if I made those fifty pounds of peanuts into peanut butter, we could definitely consume it before the nuts went rancid. But I don't have to turn them all into butter. What else could I use them for?

Cookies, peanut brittle, straight out of the shell, Thai recipes.

Monetarily, they're worth it. What about the effort of making peanut butter? I realize that there are many options for choosing healthy peanut butter. But it would cost so much less for me to make it myself. I wondered how long it would take to make a jar of peanut butter. So, I brought home a two pound bag of peanuts and set about the task of making peanut butter. The results were as follows:
  1. My hands and fingers were very sore by the end of shelling the two pound bag. 
  2. It took me over an hour, with help from my 11 year-old, to finish two pounds. 
  3. The peanut butter we made was beyond delicious. 
  4. We will make it again. And again. And again.
  5. So should you. At least once.

Homemade Peanut Butter
Makes about 2 jars' worth

What You Need:
  • 2 lb roasted peanuts in their shells
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp honey (optional)
  • oil, added 1 Tbsp at a time, to reach desired consistency. We used 6 Tbsp oil. 

How it's Done:
  1. First, do all the hard work of taking the nuts out of their shells and skins. Removing the skins is easy on roasted peanuts. You just sort of pinch them and out they come. 
  2. Place peanuts, sea salt, and honey if using into your food processor. Turn on the processor. 
  3. Add oil, a tablespoon at a time, until the peanut butter is the right texture. It takes several minutes. 
  4. Store covered in the refrigerator. 
I served some for breakfast on homemade English muffins with slices of strawberries on top. Like a wholesome PB&J. :)


Jenn said...

Wow.. that is definitely a lot of nuts! But you are right.. you can get a lot for what you bought. I love homemade peanut butter and it's really simple to put together!

Anonymous said...

HHHmmmmmmm...I happen to have 2 lbs of unsalted, roasted peanuts in my cupboard.

Lisa said...

Sounds delicious. I can relate to being unsure about buying 50lbs of anything. We just bought a 50lb bag of popcorn from Sam's Club, can't beat the price, only $16. We eat it every weekend, and the little 2 lb bags from the grocery store are $2 and don't last us very long. We have a large chest freezer to store the popcorn, so it should last awhile.

Andrea said...

Your thought process on the 50 lbs of peanuts cracked me up, simply because your words could have been mine :) That's a great price. The peanut butter looks delicious, I'm sure is the best ever. I'm going to have to find a great deal on peanuts soon so I can make this too :)

Michelle J said...

So are you going to spring for the big one? ;)

Michelle said...

I think so! In June!

heather said...

sounds yummy! ive been wanting to make pb, just havent' yet!

Michelle said...

Hi Heather, you can't beat the taste. That's for sure! It would be easier to start with shelled peanuts... I'm just trying for as cheap as possible. ;)

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