Posts tagged peanut butter

Pecan, Cinnamon & PB Energy Balls


alling all sports fanatics, runners, lycra glad cyclists and yogis. Energy balls. In the fast paced and immediate society we now live in (London specifically), time is something that we so regularly abuse…’I’m just so busy I didn’t have time’. Which has carved the way for the new found energy ball to eat on the go before that lunch time pilates class or to fill a void between your next avocado. The happy balance being convenience and keeping a healthy lifestyle.

The energy ball currently populates the nation from supermarket to sport shop and will in the oh so near future be a much bigger part of my life (cliff hanger). Many health bars/snacks on the market are unhealthily and sneakily filled with naughty ingredients and additives. But homemade energy balls really are pure and clean. And full of….energy!? And I’m more than pleased to add that these really are as quick to make as they are to gobble down before that spinning class.

Provided you have a food processor (I’m being presumptuous) then all you need to do is pulse it all together! I mean…if you want to squat at the same time then be my guest. And hey…who said they had to be balls? Make them triangles if you have the time.

Adapted from ‘Deliciously Ella’

Ingredients (makes about 20)

  • 400g dates (pitted). I also threw in a handful of prunes for good measure
  • 100g oats
  • 100g pecans
  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (feel free to use any other nut butter)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  1. Blend the oats and pecans until a fine mixture in a food processor.
  2. Add the other ingredients and pulse until you have a sticky mixture.
  3. Roll into balls (golf ball sized) and chill in the fridge (covered) until needed

Chicken Satay


 usually feel that people fall into a love or hate category when it comes to peanut butter, the later being of rarity these days what with all the dreamy varieties and versions available. I embrace all that can be combined with it favouring the blackcurrant jam toast. However if you’ve not tried celery sticks dipped in peanut butter yet then you can thank me later for the introduction. Having mentioned the vast choice we now have for this delicious American spread, sadly I hate to admit that a cheap jar works wonders here. Save your fancy and expensive cashew, pecan and peanut blend for your sourdough toast at brunch y’all.

With no need to continue my expressive love of peanut butter, chicken satay is like a warm hug when wrapped comfortingly in the soft hand of a loveable flatbread with a crunchy, fresh salad. And this recipe really can be served in many ways as mentioned below. I prefer whole thighs rather than diced breast as they have far more flavour and texture. Served with a spoonful of the rich, spicy sauce, a zesty salad and some pillowey flatbreads. Alternatively, chop, coat and wrap the chicken and salad in the mits of a floury flatbread or flat wrap and dive in hands or face only. Use any combination of salad you like but whatever you do, coat liberally with lemon! It cuts through the rich and creamy peanut sauce welcomingly and essentially.

NOTE: If you haven’t tried making peanut butter before its really really simple provided you have a food processor! See here 

Adapted from Nigel Slater.

Serves 4

Chicken Satay

  • 4-8 chicken thighs, de-bonded (allow for 1-2 each depending on starter/main serving size)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Thumb ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass paste
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped finely
  • 1-2 limes
  • 125ml crunchy peanut butter
  • 250ml water
  • Bunch coriander, chopped
  • Sunflower or light, flavourless oil.

Salad & Sides

  • 1 cucumber, chopped into batons
  • 4 little gems lettuce, leaves picked
  • Handful radishes, sliced finely
  • Bunch spring onions, sliced as preferred
  • 1 lemon
  • Handful coriander, chopped
  • Flatbreads (homemade, see here)
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C and begin with the chicken. Heat a hot frying pan with a tbsp of sunflower oil on a high heat. Fry the chicken skin side down until crispy and golden. Turn the thighs over and seal on the other side. Remove from the pan and place in a baking tray. Finish cooking in the oven for about 15-20 minutes while you make the sauce.
  2. Using the same pan, reduce the heat and soften the chopped onion for about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and lemongrass and fry for just a few minutes being careful not to burn it – the garlic in particular.
  3. Next add the peanut butter and stir well and continuously to combine with the aromats. Reduce the heat to a low and add half the water. Stir to combine.
  4. The sauce will bubble and thicken as you do this so add the rest of the water when needed, a whisk is useful here.
  5. Keep on a very low heat to warm through, adding a splash more water if you require a thinner consistency.
  6. Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl and squeeze over a generous squeeze of lemon and seasoning.
  7. By now the chicken should have finished cooking, remove from the oven and set aside to rest for a moment while you put the final touches to the sauce.
  8. Add the juice of 1 large lime. Taste – if it needs more to cut through the richness then add another squeeze. Add a handful of the coriander and stir to combine saving the remaining herbs for serving.
  9. Serving is up to you – I prefer to place the thighs gently in the sauce to ensure the skin you worked hard to crisp up remains crispy and then serve the whole dish on the table for people to help themselves from – thighs and sauce scattered with the leftover coriander. Alternatively, you can chop the chicken pieces into bite sized chucks and stir thoughout the sauce to coat entirely and serve in your flatbreads/lettuce leaves like a wrap.

Homemade Peanut Butter


I love the challenge, purity and righteousness of making the majority of the food I eat from scratch. I tackle my own breads and jams, ice creams and cereals. Homemade food is, without doubt, healthier for you as it avoids all the preservatives and additives that processed food contains. So many people are worried about too much fat or salt in their diet but in reality, we need fat and salts and it is only a concern if you have a large amount of processed foods. Its far better to have a small amount of full fat butter than a reduced fat, ‘diet’ alternative which are instead, filled with preservatives and stabilizers that- yes may reduce the calories- but are full of other ingredients. This brought me to thinking, as I made my peanut butter cookies…..why aren’t I making my own peanut butter?

Peanut butter is one of those essentials that should theoretically, just include………..peanuts?! However, if you look on the ingredients list of many jars there is often more to it? This recipe will prove to you that all you need is peanuts (and some salt and spices). The oil-packed, protein rich and creamy little nuts make a smooth and silky peanut butter with not a drop of dairy in sight!


  • 300g (roughly or 2 large handfuls) roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of fine salt
  1. Place the peanuts (reserving a handful if you are ultimately wanting a crunchy peanut butter) in a food processor. Process for 1 minute.
  2. Add the cinnamon and salt.
  3. Process for about 5 more minutes continually, until the oils are released and the peanut butter is smooth, shiny and tempting! Continue processing longer for a smoother texture, up to 10 minutes…..?



Meanwhile crush the reserved handful of peanuts is required. Add to the final peanut butter and place in a sterilized jar.image

This can also be done with a range of nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts or pistachios. It would also be lovely with pumpkin seeds!

The Best…….Peanut butter cookies


I have been making these moreish cookies since I was old enough to open my A4, 1cm thick copy of ‘My First Baking Book’! When there is no need to ever have to look anywhere else for a recipe you know its the best. After a recent trip to America I was craving these little morsals, made extra special by the addition of some American produce in the form of a squashed and tempting bag of Reese’s peanut butter chips!

  • 125g unsalted butter softened
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125g crunchy peanut butter
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 large handful of Reese’s peanut butter chips (optional)
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl
  2. Beat in the egg and peanut butter, then sift in the flour and combine well
  3. Add the peanut butter chips
  4. Roll the mixture into golf ball sized balls and place on a lined baking tray, leaving room for them to spread. Using the back of a spoon, gently flatten the top of the ball slightly
  5. Bake at 180° C for 15 minutes and leave to cool on the tray before removing and devouring