processing the peanuts

BASIC PEANUT BUTTER RECIPE

2 cups (300 grams) unsalted shelled peanuts

1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 to 2 teaspoons honey

1 to 3 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil, if needed

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350°F. Add the nuts to a round or square cake pan (or rimmed baking sheet). Roast nuts for 3 minutes, shake pan then roast another 3 to 5 minutes or until the nuts are lightly browned and smell nutty. Let cool until you can handle them.

If you are making crunchy peanut butter, add 1/3 cup of the roasted peanuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 6 to 8 times, or until the peanuts are chopped into very small pieces. Transfer chopped peanuts to a bowl and reserve for later.

Add the roasted peanuts to the bowl of a food processor. Process 1 minute then scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Process another 2 to 3 minutes until the peanut butter is shiny and smooth. Add your desired amount of salt and honey then process until combined. Check the consistency, if it seems too thick, add oil, a teaspoon at a time, until you are happy with it. For crunchy peanut butter, stir in the reserved peanuts1.

A Brief History of Peanuts & Peanut Allergies

A peanut dominant recipe, like this one, may sound appetizing and make your mouth water upon imaging the sweet, yet salty, smell of peanuts roasting in the oven. However, for many individuals, this smell is not only off-putting, but also deadly. In the US alone, 0.6-1.0% of the entire population has a peanut allergy. This means that at Colby College, a campus of around 2000 students, 12- 20 students would likely be allergic to peanuts, given this statistic. The interesting and complex history of both peanuts and peanut butter throughout recent years will be discussed in how it relates to current nutritional and dietary studies, especially in regards to peanut allergies2.

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