I was once a member of the American Peanut Butter Lovers fan club. I was sent a badge and every few months or so, they’d post me a newsletter telling me to keep up the good work, and keep consuming the brown sludgy nectar so that I’d grow up big and strong. Or something like that. My choice/obsession was with Peter Pan, Jif and Skippy peanut butter. Anyone who was travelling to America would get a polite request to stock up on the good stuff for me. Who cares what the luggage weight allowance is- I have a need!
Some people, (friends, family members) would try to convince me to try other peanut butters. Wholenut/whole earth/sugar free/salt free/store own brand/OTHER NUTS (???). The mere thought of turning my back on my beautiful PB and trying one of these other imposters was just ludicrous.
And then I had a baby.
Suddenly I cared a bit more about what I was eating, particularly since I was breast feeding. I took a look at the way my fave peanut butters were made. The results? Slightly worrying and totally depressing. You can read the ingredients for yourself. In a jar of Skippy, there are a minimum of ten different ingredients. And at least a bazillion percent of sugar, in many different forms. So I had a little look online to see what everyone else does to satisfy their PB needs, in a more healthy and nourishing way. It soon became pretty apparent that in order to make a great, tasty, droolsome, addictive nut butter, you only need one thing. THE NUT.
Nut butters should be 100% nut.
And this applies to all types of nut. Peanut, almond, cashew, brazil etc.
I am now a convert. I’ll eat this all day every day. Out of the jar, on toast, on porridge, on fruit, on banana ‘nice cream’… ITS. THE. BEST.
So, without any further fuss, here is my ‘recipe’ for the nut butter I now love. And trust me, this comes from someone who is FUSSY and CURMUDGEONLY about nut butters.
- 2 cups almonds
- a pinch of good quality sea salt
Prep/equipment- Food processor , spatula, and patience.
- Tip almonds into the food processor. Blitz until ground. Switch off processor and scrape the sides with a spatula. Repeat. For about 15 minutes. You’ll need to scrape the sides every two minutes or so.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- When the almonds become a paste, keep going so that all of the natural oils are released and your butter becomes beautiful and glossy and creamy.
Once you have reached the final stages, you could add a teaspoon of coconut oil, which will make the butter even more gooey and indulgent. Other additions – maple syrup, smoked paprika, other nuts… Also, sometimes I roast the almonds lightly in the oven at 180c for 5-8 minutes, before blitzing them. This gives the nut butter a beautiful rich tan colour and slightly more roasted flavour.