In most home kitchens there are the staple ingredients. The fail safes we can turn to for last minute adornments, or dish garnishes. For me the peanut is one of them. Round, shiny and golden like an acorn, it often makes its way into my recipes in some form or another.
Peanuts are a curious ingredient. It seems unfair that every bar in the country pays homage to them in their toasted salty form, whilst the more modest almond or walnut gets left by the wayside. That is unless you go in for a gastro-pub nut, which is a whole other level of smokey-chilli fanciness.
As I recently found out, they are not technically a nut, but a legume, and perhaps one of the most versatile at that. Although I can’t see pureed lentils working their way onto my morning toast with as much glee.
The rich buttery texture it takes on in its most luxurious form when blitzed into peanut butter is best slathered across hot toasted sourdough, with thickly sliced disks of banana and a lavish sprinkling of Maldon. This might be one of my favourite, instant, no-nonsense snacks.
Perhaps it is a food pairing that need little introduction. We all know about Elvis’s sandwich addiction and no doubt Nigella’s peanut chocolate cake has lined our grateful stomach, at least once…oh let’s be honest here, at least three times! I am astutely aware that these recipes have not given peanuts the best reputation. It certainly is not so common to find a recipe that does not require whipping out a pipe cleaner and scrubbing the lining of your arteries at the mere mention of it.
I’m thinking this low-fat “peanut better” (not butter) recipe might be a bit of a revelation. You can scoop it out of the tub whilst standing at the freezer door in your nightie, in full-on Nigella (midnight raid) style and feel great about it! It does not get much better....
Whether you opt for crunchy or smooth peanut butter it is completely down to personal preference. I tend to go for smooth to achieve a really creamy texture. I also think that with the added crunch of the roasted peanuts there is enough texture already.
My favorite Peanut Butter is undoubtedly Meridian. It’s natural, not overly salted and free from the dreaded palm oil that most nut butters, cereal, biscuits…. (you name it) are riddled with. It is definitely the one to use!
Their hazelnut butter is also a dream with chocolate and cherries, but you will have to wait for another post until then my foodie pals!