There is one thing that will always and forever satisfy me right before I go to a bed — and that is a spoonful of peanut butter.
If you’ve never made homemade peanut butter, you should know three things.
- It’s incredibly, ridiculously easy. Just grab your blender or food processor and go.
- It’s much cheaper than spending $7 for an overpriced jar at Whole Foods.
- There is nothing that can quite compare to the true bliss that is the first, warm spoonful as you scrape it out of the blender.
While recipe testing, I made batches with both raw peanuts and dry roasted. I much prefer dry roasted, as they release their oil a bit easier, and the end result turns out naturally sweeter because the naturally present sugar in peanuts concentrate during roasting, just like other vegetables.
It’s not uncommon for me to have a couple of jars in my refrigerator, from plain to fun variations like this version with dried Montmorency tart cherries and sea salt. The tart cherries add a bit of texture, along with a fruity, sweet-tart punch. I think it tastes kind of like peanut butter and jelly, in one!
Montmorency tart cherries not only taste great, but they also help with sleep, as one of the few food sources that have an abundant source of melatonin. Melatonin has been shown to improve the quality and duration of sleep, reduce the severity of insomnia, and increase overall sleep efficiency. Especially important since we just rolled into daylight savings time and lost a bit of shut eye.
Which makes a spoonful of this peanut butter before bed even more appropriate, right?
note: To ensure optimal smoothness, I add one teaspoon of avocado oil (the neutral flavor is key, as well as the fact that quality sources are easier to come by, unlike some vegetable oils.) and use my Blendtec blender. I’ve spoken before about how much I love the smaller jar you can get for it, called the Twister jar, that works incredibly well for nut butters. You can certainly use a food processor as well.
Blender Peanut Butter with Dried Tart Cherries
Add peanuts and salt to a high speed blender (or powerful food processor). Pulse a few times to get started, then put on high speed for 20 seconds. Stop, stir all the way to the bottom, and return to high speed for 20 seconds. Add oil, then return to high speed. Add this point the peanuts should be breaking down and churning. Continue to blend until smooth and creamy.
Add tart cherries and pulse several times to incorporate, then mix on high speed for 10 seconds. Store in a jar, in the refrigerator.
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