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The Basics: Homemade Peanut Butter

Whether you use it for baking treats, making pills more enticing, making a cool frozen treat*, Kong snuffing, or simply letting your dog lick a dab off your finger—dogs love their peanut butter. What better way to ensure that this delicious food is safe and nutritious than to make it yourself? It couldn’t be simpler to do.

Small Batch PB
Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp. honey or molasses (optional)
  • 1 tsp. or more peanut or safflower oil (optional)

Directions:
Place peanuts into a food processor or high-speed blender.

Process until the PB is the desired consistency. It is important to note that PB goes through different stages: starting with a crushed “blob,” then to a paste with the consistency of a pie dough, and to a thicker paste before it finally becomes a creamy "butter." It can take around 3 minutes for the oils to be released so the "paste" can become a butter. When I first made PB I wasn’t aware of all the stages, so stopped at “thicker paste” which made it difficult to spread, even though the dogs didn't seem to mind! But only a minute or two more processing time results in a perfectly creamy peanut butter. Lesson here is to keep processing. If your blender or food processor gets too warm, turn it off, and let it cool, and continue processing. It seems like almost magic once you get to that buttery stage.

For crunchy style PB, chop up  ¼ cup or so of peanuts, then using a spatula, add to the finished processed PB.
Refrigerate in an airtight container. Makes around 1 cup of peanut butter.

Frozen Treat:

Use a cup of peanut butter, 1/2 mashed banana, mix with a little water. Put into ice cube trays (silicone ones work well). Freeze for a few hours. Dogs love these delicious lickings.

Facts:
- Roasted peanuts contain 22 percent more antioxidants than the uncooked kind.
- A 2 Tbsp serving has 188 calories, 8 g protein, 16 g total fat.
- PB packs vitamin E and cholesterol-regulating monounsaturated fats.
- PB is cholesterol-free.
- Vitamins such as H and K in PB give dogs a shiny coat.

History:
Although peanut butter was “invented” by South American Indians, it is believed its use as a food, for general consumption, happened about 1890 by a physician in St. Louis who used it as a health food for the elderly. Also during that period (1895), Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of breakfast cereal fame) patented the process of making peanut butter for the patients at his Battle Creek Sanitarium, a health food retreat in Michigan. Records show that in 1903 Ambrose W. Straub of St. Louis also patented a machine to make peanut butter. (from goodearthpeanuts.com)

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Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark's co-founder and editor in chief. thebark.com
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