Food

Homemade Peanut Butter

As you may have noticed by now, we try to live a zero waste lifestyle. For example, we have slowly been substituting the items we would purchase and finding a zero waste alternative. This week our zero waste switch is peanut butter! I love peanut butter. It’s one of those items that if I were stranded on a desert island, it would be my food choice. Because of this, we go through a lot of peanut butter and many plastic tubs. So join me on this journey to make delicious and easy homemade peanut butter!

Peanuts

The first step in homemade peanut butter is finding peanuts. For this I headed to the bulk bin at my food co-op. This is a great option because you can get just the amount that you need. If you don’t have access to something like this, I know there are other stores that sell peanuts in bulk. Try these on Amazon if you can’t get them local.

There are two types of peanuts available. The first is the regular peanuts that are roasted and normally salted. The second are those that are meant for making peanut butter. My whole food co-op had one bin for each, making my choice really easy.

getting peanuts for bulk bin
Making the Peanut Butter

Homemade peanut butter is really easy to make…if you have the right tools. For this recipe, a food processor is a must. An interesting note: some co-ops have a machine that will make the peanut butter for you in the store!

Simply place the amount of peanuts you want into the food processor (I used about three cups). Blend until creamy. This can take a while but it will come together. It was really chunky when I first started and thought I had done something wrong. It took between 7-10 minutes to form a smooth consistency. I ended up adding a bit of olive oil and salt to my peanut butter mixture to enhance the flavor.

Peanuts in a food processor
finished peanut butter in food processor
Enjoy

That’s it! Easy, right? Now no more buying plastic jars of peanut butter that are full of other ingredients that you don’t need.

What do you think – can you make the switch to homemade peanut butter? Let me know in the comments below! I found this to be way easy and I am kicking myself for not making the switch sooner. Oh well, better late then never!

Next, see my last post about a zero waste switch to shampoo bar.

Smash Cake for Baby’s First Birthday

Banana Smash Cake for First Birthday

I can’t believe Little One is a year old! The time has gone by so fast and Little One has grown up so much in that time. I am constantly amazed at his development and seeing the world through his eyes. Every day he wakes up with a simile on his face and lights up the whole world. Check out the recipe below on how to make a smash cake for baby’s first birthday.

Little One’s birthday landed on a Thursday this year. My husband and I both took the day off work and had a fun day. It started with a special birthday shirt and a trip to the aquarium, but I wasn’t sure how Little One was going to do at the aquarium. However, he loved watching all the fish and playing in the water tables. After a nap we went swimming and then went for a walk. We ended the day with a smash cupcake. This was good practice for when he had a smash cake for the family birthday party!

We had our family birthday party two weekends after Little One’s birthday (it was how the timing worked out with everyone’s schedules.) Of course we had food, presents and a smash cake. This was a simple banana cake with whipped cream frosting, made with a 6 inch layer and berries for decoration.

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Smash Cake

I honestly didn’t think much about this cake because it was pretty simple, but then a friend messaged me and asked for the recipe. I had posted it on Facebook and she wanted to use it for her son’s first birthday, too. Normally I don’t post recipes on Little Family on the Big Lake, but this cake was so easy and turned out so cute I thought I would share it.

What makes this recipe unique is that I have modified the recipe so that it makes two 6-inch round cakes. (You can find 6-inch cake pans here.) This is the perfect size for a smash cake. It can easily fit on a high chair and isn’t too wasteful for the clean up. I will note here that your child shouldn’t eat the whole cake – that would result in a very upset belly! My son smashed it a bit, but before he did he gently removed all of the berries and ate them first.

The other unique thing about this recipe is that I tried to modify the sweetness. It still has sugar but not too much. Let get to making a smash cake for baby’s first birthday.

Smash Cake for 1st Birthday
Banana Smash Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting

Time needed: 50 minutes.

The Perfect Banana Smash Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting

  1. Ingredients for the cake
    *1/2 cup milk
    *2 teaspoons lemon juice
    * 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
    *2/3 cup sugar
    *1 egg
    *1 teaspoon vanilla
    *1/4 teaspoon salt
    *1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    *1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    *1 cup whole wheat flour
    *1 ripe banana

  2. Ingredients for the frosting

    *16 oz heavy whipping cream
    *3-5 tablespoons sugar
    *1 teaspoon vanilla

  3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare two 6-inch cake tins using cooking spray or butter along the bottoms or sides. (Note: for some reason I only have one 6-inch cake tin, so I baked it twice in the same pan.) Prepare parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan. Then grease the parchment paper.

  4. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until it’s together and creamy.

  5. Add the lemon juice, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix it until it’s together and smooth, scraping as necessary.

  6. Using the low setting on the mixer, add the flour and milk slowly and in alternating amounts. This will hopefully prevent the flour from getting everywhere.

  7. Smash a banana and mix it into the cake batter until it becomes smooth.

  8. Pour half of the batter into each of the pans and bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Check the cake at 25 minutes using a tooth pick. Once the tooth pick comes out clean the cakes are done. Allow them to cool on a drying rack before adding frosting.

Frosting
  1. To make the frosting, pour the heavy whipping cream into a mixer and start low to high. Add vanilla and sugar when medium peaks form. Add as much sugar as you would like for sweetness. I generally add 4 tablespoons. Then continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  2. Place the cake on a cake stand and peel off the parchment paper on the bottom. Place a generous amount of frosting on the top of the cake and spread it evenly. Next, flip the other cake upside down and place it on top of the first cake. Peel off the parchment paper. Add a good amount of frosting to the top and spread it evenly with a spatula. Then add frosting to the sides and make it smooth with a spatula
  3. It’s finally time to decorate! I used blueberries and strawberries because they are among my Little One’s favorite foods, but anything can be used. Store the cake in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be eaten. Take the cake out 10-15 minutes before use so it can warm up just a bit.

That’s it, that’s how you can make a wonderful little smash cake for baby’s first birthday . Have you tried this? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

Want to see what we made our Little One for his birthday, check it out here.