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For many kids, peanut butter is a favourite food.  It has a great taste, 11_l_135850624aa84e2e503fbinteresting texture, and it can be spread on many foods, most notably peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, peanut butter & banana sandwiches, and peanut butter on toast.  Some parents argue that spreading peanut butter on celery or carrots is the only way their kids will eat veggies.  Additionally, peanut butter provides a great flavor to many desserts like cookies, chocolates and ice cream.

As a parent, we want the best nutrition possible for our children.  How nutritious is peanut butter? Here are the facts. On average, a 100 gram serving of peanut butter contains 25 grams of protein, 50 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates with 9 grams of that being sugars and 6 grams being fiber.

At the grocery store I’ve noticed an increased consumer demand and a cultural shift to “healthier” foods.  Several commercial food manufacturers have even started producing “all-natural” peanut butter containing only peanuts & oil, with some brands only adding a fraction of the amount of sugar found in their regular product.  Health food & nutrition stores have been selling “all-natural” peanut butter for decades; however, these stores are usually found in more urban centers and they often sell their high quality products and an understandably high price.  For families going through a jar or more a week, that is a heavy cost.

As a concerned parent I know that my kids eat a lot of peanut butter, and I wanted to find a way to make all their foods as healthy as possible, while at the same time trying to save money. Here’s what I came up with: make my own peanut butter.

Peanut butter is basically two ingredients: peanuts & oil, with an optional sweetener.  Making homemade peanut butter is very simple, and it only requires a food processor.  For me, the cost of homemade peanut butter came to about one-third the price of commercially available all-natural peanut butter and it took under 5 minutes to make.  The added benefit of homemade is that I included my kids in making it, and I know all the ingredients I put into it.  After making homemade peanut butter, I suggest having your kids make their own sandwich, then get outdoors and play!

Recipe: Homemade Peanut Butter

2 cups Virginia Roasted (non-salted) peanuts with skins removed

6 tablespoons Peanut Oil (Grapeseed oil is an excellent alternative)

1 tablespoon Local Honey (optional, but makes it taste great!)

Place above ingredients into food processor. Mix on high speed with chopping blades for 20 seconds. Stir mixture. Mix & stir three times to ensure even blending of peanuts and oil.  To get a very smooth consistency, mix at high speed for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Using a spatula or spoon, scoop the peanut butter into a sealable, reusable container (glass or plastic), and store in fridge.  Having no preservatives, the peanut butter will last for about 2 weeks if stored in the fridge.  Try to minimize contamination by removing peanut butter with only clean utensils.

Don’t hesitate to try the recipe using almonds or cashews as well!