Why Roasting Your Peanuts Will Improve Homemade Peanut Butter

Peanut butter has amassed quite the fanbase as a sandwich staple, apple dip, and snack straight from the jar. While peanut butter is easy to consume, it's equally easy to make. All you need is a blender or food processor and, of course, some peanuts.

Making your own peanut butter may seem unnecessary, given the surplus and ease of grocery store jars and ready-to-eat butter. But creating your own nut butter from scratch isn't without its perks; with a homemade batch, you'll save money on often expensive brands of freshly-ground peanut butter and control what you're eating. By following a recipe, you can omit extra oils, ensuring the purest form of peanut butter possible. Not to mention: homemade always tastes better.

One component you shouldn't skimp on is roasting time. Roasting your peanuts before blending them is the key to perfecting an at-home butter — and guarantees it doesn't dry out before you can enjoy every last bite. Though with the right recipe, that shelf life is redundant; you'll finish the jar long before longevity becomes an issue.

Roasted peanuts deepen flavor and improve blending

Roasting peanuts enhances flavor and loosens oils for more effortless blending, according to The Kitchn. You can let the toasted nuts do all the work or add a neutral oil to help your nut butter. While pre-roasted nuts also do the trick, roasting them yourself will achieve a better toastiness — and therefore a better consistency.

To roast your peanuts, spread nuts over a baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven. The Food Network recommends adding salt and peanut oil before roasting and leaving the shells on until after baking. Other recipes, however, offer the option of deshelling the peanuts first and baking them without extra oils. If you're short on time, you can skip the oven and head to the microwave; Serious Eats promises it's a quick, effective, roasting hack.

It's worth noting that you can still make successful peanut butter without roasting your peanuts. If you prefer raw nut butter, only have access to pre-toasted nuts, or simply don't feel like roasting, you can throw your peanuts as they are in the food processor. The process may take longer or require added oils, but it will surely yield peanut butter, not to worry. This roasting rule pertains not only to peanut butter but to any nut butter.

So go ahead and pre-heat your oven. Once your nuts are ready, you can experiment with add-ins. Sea salt, hazelnuts, or peanut chunks will turn your homemade experiment into an artisanal venture.