Here’s a Frugal Idea!

For information about our plans for adapting our “urban homestead” to meet the looming challenges of peak oil, climate instability, and economic irrationality, see Gatewood Urban Homestead, the permaculture design for our home.

Peanuts can often be bought at harvest time at farmer’s markets in 40 and 50 pound bags for as little as 50 cents/pound. To maintain best eating quality, store peanuts in a cool dry place and below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Protect from rodents. Peanuts keep fresh indefinitely stored in a tightly closed container in the freezer.

Note regarding all methods of roasting peanuts: Remove from heat just short of doneness desired, as peanuts continue to cook as they cool. Cooking times can vary based on oven characteristics. Seasonings to complement roasted shelled peanuts include salt, seasoned salt, popcorn salt, onion salt or powder, garlic salt or powder, paprika, chili powder & parmesan cheese. Recipes:

Conventional Oven Roasting (“Parching”): Place raw peanuts, in-shell or shelled, one layer deep in a shallow baking pan. Roast in a 350 degrees F. oven – 15 to 20 minutes for shelled and 20 to 25 minutes for in-shell peanuts.

Microwave Oven Roasting – Shelled Peanuts: Place 2 cups raw shelled peanuts in a 10X6 inch glass or similar microwave container. Dot with butter. Microwave on high for two minutes. Stop. Stir peanuts. Continue to microwave two minutes at a time – followed by stirring until peanuts have been microwaved10 minutes for light roast; 12 minutes for regular roast. Remove from microwave. Season to taste.

Oil Roasting (French Frying): For 2 cups peanuts, heat one and two-thirds cup oil in an electric skillet, deep fryer or heavy saucepan to 350 degrees F. Add peanuts and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until just under doneness desired . (they continue to cook as they cool). Drain on paper. Season to taste.

SKIN REMOVAL: The skins on raw peanuts may be removed by either of the following methods: 

(1) Dry Methods: Freeze shelled raw peanuts several hours or overnight: remove a few at a time from the freezer; slip skins off with fingers. Roast shelled raw peanuts in a 350E F. oven for 3 to 5 minutes; remove from oven and cool slightly, rub between fingers to remove skins. 

(2) Moist Method: Water blanch by placing shelled raw peanuts, a few at a time, into boiling water. Allow to stand for about 3 minutes, drain. Remove skins with fingers. Spread on paper to dry.


Homemade peanut butter is easily made with an electric blender or a food processor. The longer you blend or process, the softer the peanut butter will be. Storage: Store in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. Oil may rise to the top, if this occurs, stir before using. Homemade peanut butter can be kept up to six months in the refrigerator, but is best used within 2 weeks, so only make what you need for a short period of time (don’t make a six month supply and stick it in the fridge).

Directions for Using an Electric Blender Place 1 cup roasted shelled peanuts (with or without the red skins), 1-1/2 teaspoons peanut oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in blender. With the lid secured, blend until mixture becomes paste-like or spreadable (3 to 4 minutes). If necessary, stop the machine and use a rubber spatula to scrape mixture from the sides of the container and back into contact with the blades. Continue blending until desired consistency is reached. For crunchy style peanut butter stir in 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts after the blending is completed.

Directions for Using a Food Processor: Put 2 cups roasted shelled peanuts* (with or without red skins) and ½ teaspoon salt (omit if salted peanuts are used) in a food processor. Using the metal blade, process ingredients continuously for 1 to 3 minutes. The ground peanuts will form a ball. Continue to process until the desired consistency is obtained. If necessary, stop machine and scrape sides of container with a rubber spatula. For crunchy style peanut butter stir in ½ cup chopped roasted peanuts after the processing is completed.

Robert Waldrop