For Kids

How To Make Peanut Butter at Home

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*** For 3 Persons ***

  • Peanuts: half a kilo (roasted/unsalted)
  • Olive oil: half a cup (extra-virgin)
  • Honey: 3 tablespoons


  1. Put two cups of roasted, unsalted peanuts in the grinder.
  2. Run the grinder until the peanuts are ground into a powder.
  3. Add extra virgin olive oil and honey to ground peanuts.
  4. Run the grinder again until the consistency is uniform, and collect the bits on the sides from time to time.
  5. Bonne Appétit!

History Of Peanut Butter

It is one of the country’s favorite things to spread on bread. We dip celery cakes in it. It is often baked in cookies and endless desserts. I’m talking about peanut butter and Americans as a whole consume a ton of crushed peas – about £ 1 billion every year. That’s roughly $ 800 spent annually and a booming increase from about 2 million pounds produced at the turn of the twentieth century.

Peanuts were first cultivated as food in South America and the indigenous people of the region began turning them into ground pulp about 3,000 years ago. The type of peanut butter that the Inca and Aztecs made of course was very different from the manufactured things sold in grocery stores today. The more modern story of peanut butter began at the end of the nineteenth century, and it wasn’t long after farmers began commercializing crops that were suddenly in demand after the Civil War.

Dirty debate
So who invented peanut butter? It’s hard to say. In fact, there appears to be some disagreement among food historians about who deserves the honor. One historian, Eleanor Rosacrans, says that a New York woman named Rose Davis started making peanut butter as early as 1840 after her son reported seeing women in Cuba crush peanuts into pulp and dye them onto bread.

Then there are some who believe that the credit should go to Marcellus Gilmore Edson, the Canadian chemist who in 1884 filed the first patent in the United States for what he called “peanut candy”. Considered a type of flavored paste, the process described peanuts roasted through a hot mill to produce a liquid or semi-liquid product that was cooled to “a consistency like butter, lard, or ointment.” However, there was no indication that Edson made or sold peanut butter as a commercial product.

There could also be the case of a St. Louis businessman named George A. Pyle, who started packing and selling peanut butter through his food processing company. It is believed that the idea was born from a collaboration with a doctor who was looking for a way for his patients who were unable to chew meat to swallow protein.

Bale also ran advertisements in the early 1920s declaring his company the “original manufacturer of peanut butter”. Peanut butter packages from Pyle have labels claiming as well.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg
It’s not hard to find those to dispute this claim, as many have argued that this honor should go to something other than the Seventh Day Adventist Viper, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. In fact, the National Peanut Council states that Kellogg received a patent in 1896 for a technology he developed for making peanut butter. There is also an 1897 advertisement for Kittogg’s Sanitas Nut Butters preceding all other competitors.

Most importantly, though, Kellogg was a tireless promoter of peanut butter. He has traveled extensively across the country and given lectures on its benefits to health. Kellogg even served peanut butter to his patients at Battle Creek Sanitarium, a spa with treatment programs supported by the Adventist Church today. The big bang on Kellogg’s claim as the father of modern-day peanut butter is that his disastrous decision to switch from roasted nuts to steaming nuts resulted in a product that hardly resembles the ubiquitous goodness found on store shelves today.

Kellogg also indirectly played a role in the production of peanut butter to reach a large scale. John Lambert, a Kellogg employee who was in the nut butter trade, eventually left in 1896 and founded a company to develop and manufacture industrial-strength peanut grinders. It would soon have a competition, as another machine maker, Ambrose Straub, was granted a patent for one of the oldest peanut butter machines in 1903. The machines made the process easier, as the peanut butter was so boring. The peanuts were first ground with a mortar and pestle before being placed in a meat grinder. Until then, it was difficult to achieve the desired consistency.

Peanut Butter Goes Global
In 1904, peanut butter was introduced to the wider public at the World’s Fair at St.Lewis. According to the book, Creamy and Crunchy: An Unofficial History of Peanut Butter and All-American Food, the franchise owner named CH Sumner was the only vendor selling peanut butter. Using one of the Ambrose Straub peanut butter machines, Sumner sold $ 705.11 worth of peanut butter. In the same year, Beech-Nut Packing became the first nationwide brand to market peanut butter and continued to distribute the product until 1956.

Other notable brands that followed suit were Heinz, which entered the market in 1909, and Crema Knot, an Ohio-based company, which to this day remains the largest peanut butter company in the world. Soon more and more companies are starting to sell peanut butter as the massive disastrous invasions of sticky shrubs devastate the south, destroying much of the yields of the cotton crops that have long been a staple of farmers in the area. Thus the growing interest in the food industry in peanuts was partly driven by many farmers who have switched to peanuts as an alternative.

Even as the demand for peanut butter grew, it was primarily sold as a regional product. In fact, Crema’s founder, Benton Black, once boasted that “I refuse to sell outside of Ohio.” Today it might sound like a bad way to do business, but it made sense at the time because peanut butter was unstable and better distributed locally. The problem is that when the oil separates from the peanut butter solids, it rises up and spoils rapidly with exposure to light and oxygen.

That all changed in the 1920s when a businessman named Joseph Roosfield recommended a process called “peanut butter and the process of manufacturing itself,” which describes how peanut oil hydrogen can be used to keep peanut butter from disintegrating. Rosefield started licensing a patent to food companies before deciding to go it alone and launch its own brand. Skippy peanut butter, along with Peter Pan and Jeff, will continue to be the industry’s most successful names.


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