Most people don’t realize how simple and easy it is to make homemade peanut butter. If they did, and also realized the negative consequences that commercial peanut butter can have on their family’s health, there would be a lot more people making their own peanut butter.
In America, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is one of the great comfort foods for our children and we are accustomed to enjoying the convenience of commercially available peanut butter brands such as Jif and Peter Pan. But it is important to understand the unnecessary health risks that we are exposing our family to when we choose Jif and other commercial brands of peanut butter.
Avoid the trans fats and sugars in commercial peanut butter
Did you ever notice how the oils in commercial peanut butter never separate? And it even says right on the container that the peanut butter never needs to be refrigerated and has an exceptionally long shelf life. All of these features sure are convenient, but the ingredients added to the peanut butter to provide these features are not good for our health at all.
The hydrogenated oils are what give the peanut butter its long shelf life and unnatural consistency. Hydrogenated oils are added to the commercial peanut butters to give them these features. Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils that have been bombarded with hydrogen during the manufacturing process, making them hard and solid at room temperature.
The health danger lies in the trans fats that are produced during this process. Trans fats wreak havoc on your cardiovascular system as they will harden in the arteries and can cause long-term damage resulting in heart disease and stroke.
Trans fats should be avoided completely in the diet if possible. To know if a product is high in trans fats, simply look at the list of ingredients and if you see hydrogenated oils on the list combined with a relatively high fat content for the product, you can be assured that it probably has trans fats. These products often have a long shelf life as well, and include products such as potato chips, processed pastries, etc.
Another reason to avoid commercial peanut butter is because it is high in sugar. Start your children off young with eating homemade peanut butter with no sugar added. Once you get them used to reading it, they won’t want anything else.
Making homemade peanut butter is so easy!
If you’ve been to Whole Foods, you may have seen the homemade peanut butter machines they have. You can actually watch the whole peanuts being ground into peanut butter in a matter of seconds. That really is all there is to making peanut butter and you can do it right in your own home.
All you need is a food processor, peanuts, and if preferred a little peanut oil and salt. Simply grind the peanuts in the food processor for about 1 min., then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and recombine the mixture. Start the food processor up again and you can add a little peanut oil to get the desired consistency, and if you’d like you can add a pinch of salt to taste.
When the homemade peanut butter has reached desired consistency, simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. While in storage, the oils in the peanut butter will separate, but this is natural and to be expected. Simply stir it back together again.
The fresh taste of homemade peanut butter simply cannot be beat. It tastes so much better than commercial brands, and once you and your family have tried it I am betting that you will never go back.