Clearly, you must know about my family’s obsession with the cinnamon raisin combination, right?
Let’s see… in this blog you’ll find Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon Raisin Newtons, Cinnamon Raisin Fruit Roll-ups, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bites, Cinnamon Raisin White Chocolate brittle… the popular Better-than-Chick-fil-A Carrot Raisin Salad and a Raisin Vinaigrette! See? What did I tell you–obsessed.
While I put much of my focus on planning healthy school lunches for my kids (and thousands of others), breakfast is an important meal that mustn’t be ignored -for myself included.
I became addicted to peanut butter when I was pregnant with my my second child, Alex. For some reason, all I craved was peanut butter, fried chicken and beans. While I didn’t eat fried chicken every day, I did eat peanut butter on toast for breakfast daily. I think I purchased every peanut butter jar available in the market. I once tried a cinnamon swirl variety and it was love at first bite.
My favorite way of eating cinnamon peanut butter was in a grilled peanut butter maple banana raisin sandwich. Whoa! that’s a mouthful. Try reading it quick… one more time.
It’s been many years since I’ve purchased that cinnamon swirl peanut butter. I’ve moved on to almond butter, cashew butter and sunflower nutella. A couple of weeks ago, I borrowed my parent’s food processor and I knew I had to make my own beloved peanut butter… but better. Nearly everything that I would put in my sandwich… in a jar.
Oh, you caught the “borrowed”? Yes, I still down own a food processor!! So please, if you know anyone at Kitchen Aid, Cuisinart, are getting rid of yours, or want to gift me an early birthday present…
Alright, alright! I’ll get back to the recipe. This is super simple to make but the type of peanuts you use makes a big difference –trust me, I’ve had my share of flops.
Let’s talk peanuts 101 for this particular recipe:
- Dry roasted peanuts. Do not get the generic kind that look “dry” if you want a creamy peanut butter. You will have to add a ton of oil to get to that texture; because guess what, when they roast the peanuts much of the oil is dried out. So yes, “dry” roasted will yield out a “dry” peanut butter. Avoid: Target’s dry roasted peanuts. Ok: planters roasted peanuts.
- Raw peanuts. If you can find them raw and peeled you’ve scored the peanut lottery. This will yield the best peanut butter.
- Raw peanuts in the shell. These work really well (obviously) but are a little bit more work. Put on your favorite TV show, a pair of latex gloves and peel away. I use the latex gloves to peel off the peanut skin much easier than with hands. Get a 2lb bag and a big glass of water. It’s like going to the movies and eating popcorn… once you start eating what you are shelling is hard to stop! Consider yourself warned.
- Nut Free: I tried this recipe using raw sunflower seeds. While I didn’t measure the added oil and maple, I suggest you add it slowly 1 teaspoon at at time.
About the “oil” for this particular recipe:
- Coconut oil. This is my favorite oil to work with in my kitchen since it has many health benefits. Of course, quality also varies among brands but I use it nearly every day.
- Peanut oil. Some homemade peanut butter recipes call for peanut oil because it can stay true to the peanut taste. I am not a particular fan of peanut oil since it’s a refined oil. I only use it to deep fry our turkeys.
- Vegetable oil. It has a more neutral taste and what most of you have on hand in your kitchen. You only need a little bit so don’t be scared.
- Olive oil. It simply won’t work for this recipe. Olive oil has a strong flavor and no amount of cinnamon raisin goodness can mask it.
- Palm oil. It will work for this recipe but don’t go out and buy it. Go buy coconut oil.
So now that I’ve covered the peanut and oil basics, let’s talk texture. The best thing about making your own peanut butter is that you can make it to the texture of your choosing! No more creamy or chunky! It is now just the way I like it.
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment and let me know… I love to hear your stories. That said, let’s talk flops.
If your peanut butter is a “ball” your nuts were either too dry, not enough oil or most likely: you haven’t put your food processor to work long enough. Process for another 5 minutes, pausing a few times to scrape off the walls.
If your peanut butter doesn’t have an even texture, you probably didn’t pause to scrape down the walls. The other culprit, your blades aren’t sharp enough. To remedy the dull blades, pour two cups of ice cubes in your food processor (once it’s cleaned) and pulse until it becomes slush. Rinse and dry.
If it’s not cinnamon-y enough add more cinnamon 1/8 of a teaspoon at a time.
Too thick cinnamon raisin peanut butter means you might need more oil or if you want it sweeter more honey or maple syrup.
Ultra thick cinnamon raisin peanut butter? Make sure you read the directions correctly. The raisins are folded in after the peanut butter has the consistency you like.
Oh, don’t have a food processor? You can make your own peanut butter in a high end blender (like the Vitamix -that I also don’t own). I’ve heard of people using a coffee grinder (in smaller quantities and one of those magic bullets. BE WARNED: the motor might not be strong enough and you might need a new coffee grinder/bullet afterwards. Beg or borrow a food processor from your neighbor, friend or parents like I did.
- 2 cups shelled and skinned raw peanuts
- ½ teaspoon salt (only if using raw unsalted peanuts)
- 1-2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey (optional)
- 1½-2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup California raisins
- In a food processor, place the peanuts and salt and give it a few pulses to roughly chop your peanuts.
- Add ground cinnamon, give it a few more pulses to combine.
- Turn food processor on for 3-5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides from time to time.
- Add coconut oil and maple syrup and turn on for another 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the blade and fold in fresh raisins.
- Store in air-tight jar in the fridge for up to 2 months -if it lasts that long.