How To Make Your Own Flavored Peanut Butter

Add a little zest to your favorite staple.

November 15, 2016
peanut butter

Take a stroll down your peanut butter aisle the next time you're at the grocery store, and you're likely to be overwhelmed by all the varieties of flavored peanut butters that have cropped up in recent years—cinnamon raisin, cocoa-tinged, raspberry-flavored...the options seem endless. Before you buy a big jar only to find out it's too sweet, full of weird preservatives or "natural" flavorings, or you get sick of the flavor before you reach the bottom of the jar, give your own flavors a try. If you have a food processor or a blender, it's amazingly simple to make your own fresh, healthy peanut butter. And don't just stick with peanuts—you can also do this with almonds or any type of nut or seed you like, and the whole process takes less than 10 minutes, including clean up.

(Find seasonal recipes, inspiring imagery, and gardening tips every day inside the Rodale’s Organic Life 2017 Calendar!)

peanut butter
1/4 inewsfoto/Shutterstock
Simple Nothing-But-Peanuts Peanut Butter

Makes 1 cup

1½ cups organic peanuts
Pinch salt (optional)

1. Place peanuts in your food processor or blender and blend on high for 3 to 5 minutes. It will make an awful racket for a few seconds and then progress through chopped peanuts to a fine meal to a ball that eventually subsides into a grainy butter and, if you blend it long enough, a smooth one. A couple of times during blending, use a rubber spatula to push down what gets stuck to the sides of the bowl.

2. When it's as smooth as you like, taste and add salt if desired, pulsing to blend in the salt. Scoop into a glass jar with a lid, and store covered for 2 to 3 months at room temperature or twice that long in the fridge.

If you prefer crunchy peanut butter, only put 1¼ cups of the peanuts in the processor or blender to start with. When the peanut butter is about as smooth as you want, add the reserved peanuts and pulse a few times to the break them into crunchy pieces.

Related: 4 Things You Need To Know About Nut Butter Before Buying Your Next Jar

cinnamon, raisins, and nuts
2/4 Kakca22/Shutterstock
Cinnamon-Raisin Peanut Butter

Makes 1 cup

Make a batch of Nothing-But-Peanuts Peanut Butter. When it's finished but still in the processor bowl or blender, add one tablespoon of ground cinnamon and ¼ cup organic raisins. Pulse until the cinnamon is thoroughly mixed in and the raisins are chopped. You can also mix in the cinnamon first and then stir the raisins in by hand to keep them whole.

Related: 21 Ways To Feed Your Brain

peanut butter cups
3/4 Sara Winter/Shutterstock
Peanut Butter Cup Spread

Makes 1 cup

1 cup organic peanuts
½ cup organic chocolate (chips or broken bits of bar chocolate)
½-1 tablespoon organic peanut oil or other mild vegetable oil
½ teaspoon vanilla or other extract (optional)

If you like peanut butter cups, this spread will rock your morning! Start with good quality chocolate—milk, dark, semi-sweet—it’s your choice. Put the peanuts and chocolate in the processor or blender, and blend until it starts to form peanut butter. Add the oil—less if you're using milk chocolate, more with dark chocolate—and extract if using. Continue to blend until it's as smooth as you want it. The results initially will be runny, but your butter will firm up after a few hours.

hazelnut chocolate
4/4 kobeza/Shutterstock
Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Makes 1 cup

1 cup organic hazelnuts
½ cup organic chocolate chips (milk chocolate will give a Nutella-like flavor)
½-1 tablespoon organic hazelnut oil or other mild vegetable oil
½ teaspoon vanilla or other extract (optional)

1. Toast hazelnuts in a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 2 to 4 minutes until they just start to turn light brown to bring out their flavor.

2. Process the hazelnuts in your blender or food processor. After a few minutes, the mixture will still be mealy. Go ahead and add the extract, if you're using it, and the oil—less if you're using milk chocolate, more with dark chocolate—and continue to process until the meal pulls together into a ball. If it doesn’t, add a little more oil and continue.

3. Continue blending until the spread is smooth. It might seem gloppy at first, but it will firm up after a few hours. It may not get quite as smooth and glossy as commercial Nutella, but the flavor is truly awesome.