Chia Peanut Butter

I've been a peanut butter addict as long as I can remember. Peanut butter sandwiches dominated my school lunches (at a time when peanuts weren't a contraband item). Now it just dominates my breakfast, whether slathered on toast or added to smoothies for an added protein boost. 

My evolution of peanut butter consumption has gone from eating the more processed, sweetened, and probably trans fat laden (yikes!) peanut butter of my youth, to unsweetened, natural peanut butter when I grew into a more nutritionally savvy adult. Now, I've come to making my own peanut butter. This is not because I think commercially produced natural peanut butters are bad but because I now live in a place where eating peanut butter is not the norm and the ones available either have hydrogenated oils, sugar or both. So, rather than ditch my PB habit all together, I decided to start whipping up my own batches. And you know what? I was surprised how easy and delicious homemade peanut butter actually is. 

After making my own peanut butter for awhile, I thought I'd get a little creative. Why not try adding those little fiber-packed, omega-3 rich chia seeds into the mix. It turns out that adding chia seeds to peanut butter is quite delicious. Chia seeds add a slightly seedier taste to the peanut butter and if you prefer the chunkier PB varieties, you may particularly enjoy the texture of this Chia Peanut Butter. 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups peanuts, unshelled
  • 1/3 cup oil (I recommend lighter varieties such as grapeseed, canola or *flaxseed)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • salt, to taste (optional)

*if you plan on doing any cooking with your peanut butter, avoid making it with flaxseed oil. Use a heat stable oil such as canola or grapeseed instead. 

Method

Place peanuts on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roasting the peanuts beforehand not only gives the peanut butter a fuller, more robust taste but also makes the blending a little smoother.  

Once peanuts are roasted, put in food processor and add salt, if desired. 

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Add a small amount of oil and start the food processor. Add a small amount of oil at a time, only adding more when the peanut mixture appears dry. Depending on the peanuts you may need more or less than the 1/3 cup stated above.  Continue adding oil to the peanut mixture and blending until you achieve a smooth, creamy texture.  

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Add chia seeds to peanut butter and mix for another few minutes.  Once complete, pour into an airtight jar and store in fridge. Or slather some directly on freshly made toast and enjoy. 

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If the oil begins to separate, simply stir before use. That being said, my homemade peanut butter has never separated like the natural peanut butters I've purchased in the past. Perhaps this is due to the use of less oil in my version or the fact that a jar of homemade peanut butter doesn't last more than a week in my house. Who knows? 

What to learn more about chia seeds? Read the Nutritional Lowdown on Chia Seeds (and 30 Creative Ways to Use Them).

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