From a young age we are taught that life will be full of trial and errors. Sometimes those trials will lead to success while others will lead to failure. Failure is not something to be ashamed of but the emphasis is rather put on how we handle those failures. Do we try again or do we give up. In education we are suppose to watch out for self-efficacy in students. If a person fails enough times to feel like they can’t do it, they give up.
I’ve failed at peanut butter more times that I can tell you and frankly, I was about to give up. (Which, I don’t take failure as an answer so that’s saying a lot.)
I couldn’t understand how something that should be so easy was causing me so much grief. All I needed to do was whiz some peanuts in a food processor until it magically turned into peanut butter.
And yet, I continued to fail. I end up with this strange peanut paste that while tasted good, would smear on toast and just seemed to crumble. I never could get something creamy and delicious.
But, I had forgotten an important factor of failure: there are often outside influences. Just as a kid that may have the wrong prescription in class, I had the wrong peanuts (and the wrong food processor.)
I invested in a good food processor (not a $30 one you get a walmart) and then I went on the hunt for peanuts. I found these non-roasted, unsalted peanuts in the bulk bin and I knew that I’d need to roast them. (next time, I’ll be looking for dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts.) There’s also different kinds of peanuts that have higher oil contents than others. These peanuts ( like Spanish and Valencia Peanuts) make for better peanut butter.
So, I corrected the outside influences, turned on my food processor, and crossed my fingers. Failure wasn’t an option this time. I watched the peanuts slowly turn from this hard object into this delicious creamy spread. I’d succeeded and now I have homemade peanut butter as a reward for not giving up.
- 3-4 cups of non-roasted, unsalted peanuts or roasted, unsalted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- If using non-roasted peanuts, place peanuts on a baking tray covered in parchment paper. Roast at 275˚ for 45 minutes. Peanuts should have a nice roasted flavor to them. If using roasted peanuts, skip this step.
- Place peanuts in a food processor and turn on. Peanuts will go through different stages but you will want to let your food processor run until the oil has released from peanuts. Turn off food processor and transfer to a mason jar.
- Stir in a pinch of salt and desired sweetener. Cover with an air tight lid and keep in the refrigerator.
by Erin Alderson