I admit, I wasn’t a big fan of peanut butter until I moved to London. And even then the beginnings weren’t too smooth until, step by step, I just fell in love with peanut butter…


Perhaps it’s like with olives – they say you need to eat enough of them in one go to start loving them. That’s how I got my husband into the olives affection – he was quite adamant about his dislike of olives, until one night when I convinced him to try some with a promise of no complaints from his side for one night only. I admit I was well prepared with a bottle of red wine (our favourite Tempranillo from Rioja) and a selection of best quality olives, probably with some other bits like bread with olive oil and cheese. Hearing him ask the next evening, ‘so have we still got some of these olives left’ was the best proof that the trick has worked. And ever since then he just likes olives, full stop.


Anyway, back to the peanut butter… I don’t remember how and when exactly my love to the peanut butter started, all I know it’s here for good.


Even though I do like it a lot, I don’t consume too much of it, and so I always go for quality over quantity. Having tried plenty of varieties, I do have my favourite jars that offer the taste and texture I like most and, most importantly, reassure me with a very short ingredients list on the label.


Recently however, I thought: ‘why don’t I make my own peanut butter?’ And that was certainly a good question to ask! With actions that followed. The list of ingredients shrunk even further, there’s actually just one of them: peanuts! Although admittedly, I use raw peanuts as well as salted peanuts so the latter ones do come with addition of oil and salt. Plus, preparation instructions are limited to just one word: grinding. Although on that point, it’s worth noting this process does take some time… Having done just a bit of research, I wasn’t quite sure how long it would take for the peanuts to turn into peanut butter… When I switched on the food processor, within seconds peanuts turned into ground peanuts, as you could expect, going through different stages of their coarseness. And then, nothing happened. I actually stopped the machine a few times throughout the process, as it seemed it was getting warm, plus I admit I actually had enough of the noise too (not to mention others at home). And then, once I started thinking: ‘this is never going to work, surely I must be missing the trick here’ (that’s after some 10-12 minutes of grinding) crushed peanuts mixture almost magically transformed into a creamy peanut butter. Success! Clearly patience pays off also in the kitchen.


So, the kitchen went quiet again, for just a few moments before my husband, visibly intrigued, came over to see the result, and just a few moments later there he was with a spoonful of peanut butter in his mouth. Delicious!


Now that I had a good amount of peanut butter, time came to think how to turn it into even more healthy recipes. Let me think, what goes well peanut butter? Bananas? Chocolate? Glass of milk? Well, what else do you need? Put all the ingredients in a blender (I used cocoa powder for the chocolate flavour, and also added Greek yogurt and just a touch of honey), mix it all, and voila! A nutritious, high in protein smoothie that will keep you going all the morning (or indeed mid-afternoon). Takes seconds to prepare. So here they are – two quick and easy recipes in one blog post today. Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the peanut butter
Makes 1 jar

250 unsalted peanuts
100g salted peanuts


For the peanut butter smoothie
Serves 2

1 banana, cut into chunks
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
200ml Greek yogurt
200ml almond or hazelnut milk

Preparation

To make the peanut butter


Place the peanuts on a large frying pan and toast them for 3-5 minutes until they start to brown.



Place all the peanuts in a food processor.
Mix on a high power.



If you prefer crunchy peanut butter, after a minute of processing the nuts, take out a few spoonfuls of the peanuts mixture from the processor and set aside.



Keep mixing the rest of the peanuts, until you get the consistency of a peanut butter. This will take a good while (10-15 minutes of mixing – read the blog post for more).



Stir the mixture with a spoon, add the crunchy peanuts (if using) and transfer to a jar.



Keep refrigerated and eat within 4 weeks.

To make the peanut butter smoothie


Place all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.


Bon appétit!
Lena x

Homemade peanut butter and peanut butter smoothie
Homemade peanut butter and peanut butter smoothie




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