When I was little, my Grandad used to tell me all sorts of tales about how all things came to be. Everything from how meat gets on our plate, to why some grass patches grow faster than others; I used to lap up all this information, certain it would make me one of the smartest kids around. After a holiday with my grandparents, I would rush back to school, eager to share his wisdom during story-time on the mat.
One tidbit that stuck with me was his insistence around the breakfast table that peanut butter came from monkey poo. Perhaps that coloured my impressions of the spread, because for the years to follow, I was never the biggest fan; opting instead for vegemite (a.k.a road grease). Last year, however, peanut butter was redeemed; I discovered the joy of making my own nut butters. Seriously good. It’s taken the humble spread from something that sits in the back of my cupboard – seeing the light of day only occasionally, to something I want to use. In everything.
This version is incredibly moreish and goes extremely well with the Triple Layer Slice recipe I posted a few weeks ago and even in a satay sauce for a savoury meal.
You can use honey in place of the maple syrup if you would rather – the results will be just as satisfying! Monkeys are on to something.
Maple Roasted Peanut or Almond Butter
500g (17oz) natural blanched peanuts or natural almonds
2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup (no sugar added)
1 tsp himalayan rock salt/sea salt
Preheat oven to 160’c (320’F). In a bowl mix together all three ingredients. Turn out onto a roasting tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15-20 mins or until you can see the nuts turning a gold brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for around 15mins. Transfer to a food processor and blitz until the consistency is a smooth, peanut-buttery texture – this will take about 10 mins of processing, it turns to crumb first, but don’t loose heart, the longer you process, the more the natural oils form the nuts will release and the crumbs will come together.
Enjoy on fresh toast or use it to enhance other baking such as the Triple Layer Slice!