To say I’m a peanut butter fanatic would be a drastic understatement. For me, it has an element of unspoken luxury which few tend to acknowledge. The creaminess, the crunch and the fact that is goes together with almost anything means that I tend to consume the stuff by the kilogram each month. I’ll happily spread it on toast, oatcakes, pancakes, you name it. I’ll even mix it into vegetable stews, have it with hot porridge or (if the occasion calls for it) just grab a spoon eat it straight from the jar.
In fact, if anyone tells me I put too much peanut butter on my bread, I will stop talking to them. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.
I think by now you’re beginning to get the picture.
Peanut butter is a great ingredient to have in the kitchen for several reasons: like making peanut butter biscuits, energy bars and peanut sauces (Satay, for instance). Peanut butter ice cream? Definitely fair game.
PB brands are extremely ubiquitous nowadays and come with varying nutritional profiles. The majority are manufactured using groundnuts, hydrogenated vegetable oils and high quantities of added salt and sugar. There are other brands on the market, however, with no added sugar or salt which use peanut oil or sustainable palm oil and with no additives. Overall, peanut butter contains a good source of healthy fats, protein and fibre making it one of the best energy sources around.
You can read more about the health giving benefits of peanut butter in this Huffintgon Post article.
It’s been around a while too: peanut ‘paste’ was first discovered as a culinary ingredient among American Aztec societies (hat tip to Wikipedia), although its unclear whether this would bear much resemblance to what we call peanut butter today.
But this blog post is all about the recipe below. But before we dig into that, there is one final dilemma: do you prefer your peanut butter to be crunchy or smooth?
As long as it’s spread on thick, either one works for me.
For another great peanut butter recipe, please refer to my post on Indonesian Peanut Satay sauce,
Peanut butter and date flapjacks
Rich, moreish and packed with flavour. Honestly, the amount of fun you’ll have making these flapjacks should be illegal … I’ll see you in jail!
- 450g porridge oats
- 100g self-raising flour
- 200g dried dates, chopped
- 25g seeds e.g. sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, carraway
- 170g Crunchy Peanut Butter
- 150g butter
- 150g honey
- pinch of salt
- Heat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with greaseproof paper.
- Heat the peanut butter, butter and honey in a saucepan. Stir well as it melts together. Once it’s melted and loose, remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, heat the seeds on a medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan continuously to prevent the seeds from burning.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, seeds and dates. Combine together with a wooden spoon.
- Tip the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Tip into the baking tin and press out to the edges and corners. Use the back of a spoon to compact the mixture.
- Cook for 20-25mins until it turns golden on top. Let it cool in the tin then cut into 25 small bars (roughly, as shown below) and enjoy.