Friday, March 20, 2020

Raw Healthy Peanut Butter

March 20, 2020


Years ago I had a wee issue with high blood pressure. 
Well, maybe not so wee... 

I was put on medication. Problem was it made me feel like I was walking through mud. I could barely think straight. As the owner operator of a restaurant at the time, working a minimum of 70, sometimes up to 90 hours a week, being fuzzy headed and mud-slow was not feasibly functional. My doctor tried lesser doses, different brands, etc., with the same result. The doctor said I was just going to have to figure out how to deal with the “slow feeling.” 

Instead, I decided to get in control my BP starting with food and healthy habits. If you’ve ever read labels in canned or processed “healthy” foods you’ll see two distinct things: 
high sodium and/or high sugar. 
If they reduce the fat then they increase sodium and/or sugar (fructose/sucrose/dextrose/syrup). Neither salt nor sugar are good for heart health or BP. Because of this I started eating only lean proteins and steamed vegetables. I have personally been successful in lowering my BP this way. (This is NOT a medical opinion or diagnosis, always check with your own doctor regarding medications.)

It has not been easy but rather a focused effort on a daily basis. It is also what started my own journey to start making more things from scratch. At the restaurant, I started to create our own season-all instead of buying the over-the-counter expensive varieties. I discovered through research, trial and error, how to reduce salt through utilizing other spices and techniques to enhance flavors.

However, one thing I missed was taking a spoonful of peanut butter or spreading some on a celery stick. Store bought natural or organic peanut butters still had 90mg of sodium per serving and added sugar. Plus they're twice as expensive as the others.

I had seen these posts of how easy it is to make your own nut butters. I tried it with standard food processors (all I had at the time) and they always turned out gritty. Even when I had soaked the nuts overnight like some recipes suggest. I’m a creamy not chunky fan. Then I bought a new high-speed blender (FYI - mine is a Ninja-Chef, cost me about $100 at Walmart, and I do NOT receive any kickback or payment from them). You can get whatever brand you want. What I really liked about this one is the fact that it has an automatic setting for things like nut butters.

This means you don’t have to pause after a 30 seconds and scrape the sides. You don’t have to reduce the speed, then increase the speed. This machine takes all those steps and does it for you automatically. BRILLIANT !

I took pictures of the different stages so you can see
(some are blurry because its through the plastic pitcher
of the blender).

I oven roasted 16oz bag of spanish peanuts, unsalted of course, with the skins on.

350F for 10 minutes

Oven roasting helps to release the natural oils and also add a toasted flavor which helps off-set the lack of sodium :)

SECOND: I placed the cooled roasted nuts onto clean lint-free dish towel and began rubbing together with the towel and my clean hands to remove a good portion of the skins.  Honestly, this was the most time consuming aspect.

I didn't remove all of them, but as you can see, quite a few came off.

(Too many skins will dry out your nut butter and you may have to add oil to loosen it up.)

I then placed the reduced skinned peanuts inside my high speed blender. Turned the dial to Nut Butter and pressed Start. 

Half-way through the automatic 2 minute nut butter cycle. . .

I used the tamper that came with the blender to knock down the sides a little. It wasn't really necessary as the machine was cycling from high to medium speeds and really doing all the work for me.
But it made me feel like I was doing something important :)


Three quarters done. . .

After 2 minutes, just look at this beautiful creamy texture.

I added 1/2 tsp of sea salt in last 15 seconds of blending. 
No oil. 
No sugar.

After, trying a teaspoon full, licking every delectible speck off, I declared SUCCESS! 


I love my high speed blender.


I then used my new raw peanut butter to make some Oatmeal Peanut Butter Snack Balls with a little toasted unsweetened coconut flakes.

I added just enough honey to these to make them stick together and for some natural sweetness*. 

Next time I’m going to try them using Medjool Date paste which is another way to get a little sweetness. I’ve made this paste from scratch before too. 

Its easy... but that’s for another post.

Cheers !
Chef Shelly
Montana Flavor
instagram:  @ChefShellyMeyer

*NOTE: Naturally derived sweetness from fruit or maple syrup and honey are easier for your body to digest; hence it doesn’t have as bad of side effects as refined sugar. Still, moderation in all things; especially sweet and salty, that’s the best for all around health.

Raw Healthy Peanut Butter

March 20, 2020 Hiya!  Years ago I had a wee issue with high blood pressure.  Well, maybe not so wee...  I was put on med...