We’re all familiar with peanut butter; it is a paste or spread made from- you guessed it- peanuts! Roasted and dry peanuts, to be precise.
Peanut butter is an awesome and versatile spread packed with tons of protein! It’s considered a power food; meant for healthy morning breakfasts and healthy post workout snacks.
Peanuts are part of the legume family. In the plant kingdom, legumes make up the best source of concentrated protein. Legumes are plants which contain pods, seeds, or other edible parts. Other examples of legumes are beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, peas, and alfalfa.
What type of peanuts are used to make peanut butter? There are four main kinds of peanut plants that grow in the United States. These include: Spanish peanuts, Virginia peanuts, runner peanuts, and Valencia peanuts.
Spanish peanut variety comes from Brazil originally, however were later developed and improved in Spain. This type of peanut is also referred to as the “red-skin” peanut due to the hue of the adhering skin to the Spanish peanut.
Virginia peanuts are known to be pretty special and differ from all other peanut types. Virginia peanuts are extra crunchy and are much larger than any other kind of peanut. At baseball games, Virginia peanuts are sold hot and are often declared as the “ballpark peanut”. These peanuts are also known to be super flavorful.
Runner peanuts are the most popular peanut variety in America. These peanuts are popular as the plants produce a consistently high number of peanuts. These medium sized kernel plants are grown in Texas, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Georgia. Runner peanuts require full sun and dry sandy soil to thrive, making the southeast a perfect place for them to grow. Runner peanuts make up over half the peanut butter production in the United States.
Almost all Valencia peanuts are grown in the dry desert of eastern New Mexico. The Valencia peanut is long and typically yields two peanut kernels in its shell. The peanuts are smaller in size and have an extremely delicious sweet and natural flavor. Valencia peanuts are therefore an optimal choice for natural peanut butter, because these kernels produce natural sweetness without the added sugars typically found in store bought peanut butter.
Valencia peanuts are also special because of all the other peanuts, Valencia peanuts contain the least amount of aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a carcinogen and mutagen which is produced by mold. They grow in grains, hay, and soil. Valencia peanuts are grown in the dry soils of New Mexico, so they are not as susceptible to aflatoxin as other peanuts are.
How do you grow peanut plants? These plants naturally fix nitrogen, so they do not require any fertilizer. They do however need full sun, and sandy, rich soil to thrive. Peanut plants require about 140 days to fully mature, so they need to be grown somewhere they’ll miss the frost season.
Often store bought peanut butter contains hydrogenated vegetable (or other) oil, sweeteners, salt, and emulsifiers. What are emulsifiers? Emulsifiers increase kinetic stability. They may be used as thickeners. Some examples of food emulsifiers are egg yolks, soy lecithin, and mustard.
If you’re on a keto diet, or watching your sugar intake, store bought peanut butter can be off limits. There really shouldn’t be anything too unhealthy in store bought peanut butter, other than the added sugars. But these added sugars alone are enough to make us skip the peanut butter aisle.
You can make so many varieties of food with peanut butter! It’s used to make cookies and brownies, chocolate and used as a dip for crackers, pretzels, and even celery. Peanut butter is spread in crepes, pastries, and on sandwiches like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It goes great with toast, and is used frequently in Asian style cooking for sauces and dips. Did I mention it was versatile?
This is one of the easiest recipes I bring to you. You won’t believe how easy it is to make creamy, healthy, and natural peanut butter in only 5 minutes! That’s right, I said 5 minutes! And the best part is, only one ingredient is required, and only a couple are optional!
~Easy Homemade Keto. Peanut Butter~
What You Need:
3 cups shelled peanuts (dry, roasted)
1 tbsp stevia sweetener
1 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. For shelled peanuts (shell removed) assemble peanuts in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast peanuts for 15-20 minutes.
Place peanuts into a food processor and let it run for approximately 5 minutes. The peanut butter will transform before your eyes in different stages. First you’ll see crumbs, then it will form a dry ball, and finally you’ll witness creamy natural peanut butter. At this stage, you may opt to add a sweetener and salt, but it is not necessary.
I recommend storing this peanut butter in the refrigerator, though if you eat a lot of peanut butter and feel as though you’ll go through it rather quickly, it’s OK to store at room temperature for a short time (like a week).
If you want this peanut butter to be all natural and keto friendly, I suggest using Valencia peanuts to make your keto peanut butter. As stated above, Valencia peanuts are naturally sweet so you needn’t add additional sweeteners. The peanut butter will turn out amazing without additives.
Where can you buy Valencia peanuts? Large supermarkets such as Walmart and Trader Joe’s carry Valencia peanuts.
What are some keto meals I can enjoy with my new natural peanut butter? You can make peanut butter balls, consisting of coconut flour and peanut butter!
Three Easy Keto Dessert Recipes has an amazing keto peanut butter and chocolate fat bombs recipe you’ll love, along with two other keto dessert recipes to enjoy!
Learn more about the keto diet in Ketogenic Diet For Beginners and check out more awesome keto recipes in 3 Keto Recipes For Beginners . I hope you feel amazing knowing you can make homemade natural peanut butter by yourself! And I hope you enjoy this naturally sweet keto peanut butter in sandwiches, cookies, and all your favorite peanut butter snacks!