I used to think that peanut butter was, literally, butter blended with peanuts. Of course, this was a time when you couldn’t Google recipe ingredients. Soon enough (thank you Google) I figured out that peanut butter was actually peanut paste with sugar and a little oil. It is the simplest thing to make. Now, you’d say if there was a jar of peanut butter sitting in the fridge, you’d want to eat it all the time. Apparently, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
True, peanut butter has high fat content, but it is also rich in both – monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. The fat content in Peanut Butter also gives it great satiety value and keeps you from feeling hungry quickly. With nearly 8g plant protein for every 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, it is one of the richest sources of protein for a vegetarian diet. What’s more? Peanuts are packed with fiber, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and folic acid. A small serving of peanut butter is actually good for you.
The catch is that peanut butter isn’t available locally. Yes, the imported variety is available, but that costs about Rs.220/- for a 500g jar! If you’ve got 10 minutes, here’s how you could make peanut butter for a fraction of that price.
500g Peanuts (roasted and peeled)
2-3 tablespoons of groundnut oil
Salt to taste
4 tbsp icing sugar
In a blender, blitz the peanuts until they’re finely ground. Stir a little and add the oil, half a tablespoon at a time and continue blitzing until a smooth paste is formed. Add in the icing sugar and blitz again. Voila! Your peanut butter’s ready!
Chocolate Peanut butter: Add 1.5 tsp cocoa powder along with the icing sugar. (I like a hint of chocolate. If you want a stronger chocolate flavour, I suggest melting a 100g bar of cooking chocolate on a double boiler and mixing it in).
Spiced Peanut Butter: Add ¼ tsp of your favourite spice into the icing sugar. I usually mix cinnamon, that way I don’t mind eliminating the jelly from my PBJ sandwich
Crunchy Peanut Butter: Before you start, blend 100g peanuts on pulse to form a coarse powder. Mix this into the peanut butter paste later.
Peanut Butter doesn’t necessarily have to go into a sandwich to taste great! They add an interesting flavour to sauces, soups and stir-fries. I like to mix peanut butter with a bit of oyster sauce. It makes for a great stir fry. Want a bit of a smooth salad dressing that doesn’t pile on calories? Add some chili oil, juice of a lime, herbs and a teaspoon of peanut butter. Go ahead, get creative. Just make sure that you don’t exceed the serving size of 2 tbsp per day! Too much of a good thing is always bad!
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