Big news! Peanut butter is now outselling jam for the first time. Poor jam, we still love the sugary stuff piled upon toast, squeezed into pillowy doughnuts and spread between bouncy layers of Victoria sponge, but the preserve’s popularity looks like it’s coming to a sticking end in thanks to the millennial-loved peanut butter.
In the ’90s peanut butter (and jelly) felt terribly American but thanks to the wellness revolution exploding in the last 10 years and the UK Asian food scene, in which the ingredient is used in far better ways than spread on a slice of brown, we’ve become obsessed with the stuff.
In fact, supermarket sales for the stuff came to a total £98.9m in the past year in the UK alone and practically every store now stocks a wide selection of brands, from the gooey, smooth delights of Pip & Nut (our favourite) to the gloriously crunchy Whole Earth.
Crammed full of nutritional benefits and packed with versatility, we can’t get enough of it, from morning smoothies to weekend pancakes, sticky curry sauces to salad dressings and marinades that pack a punch.
Sorry, jam but you just feel terribly old fashion in comparison. Here are five reasons why you need to add it to your next Ocado shop, plus some tasty recipes that prove peanut butter is more than just your average spread.
5 Reasons We Love The Stuff
- It fills you up. With its natural fat and higher calorie content than some spreads you might think it’s best to steer clear if you’re watching your weight, but peanut butter’s unique combination of fiber (2.6 g per serving) and protein (7-8 g per serving) will actually keep you fuller for longer. With this in mind, it’s the perfect addition to your morning smoothie (and makes greens taste a hell of a lot better). Try dipping it in apple slices for a healthy mid morning snack or dolloping into porridge, too.
- It will aid your workouts. Not only will the fat, carb and protein content give you a boost of energy pre-gym (try it in energy balls before working out) or even an afternoon office slump (keep a jar at work and tuck into a teaspoon if you need a quick energy hit), but it also contains all the nutritional benefits you need to gain muscle mass when working out – fiber, potassium, iron, folate and more.
- It’s wonderfully versatile. Peanut butter shouldn’t taste overly sweet – if it does swap brands as it’s likely it’s being filled up with pointless, unhealthy refined sugar. Rather it sits somewhere between sweet, savoury and salty meaning it works beautifully in a whole host of dishes, from fluffy pancakes to malted milkshakes, katsu curries to nutty salad dressings.
- It could help a wealth of health issues. According to a study published in the Journal of The American Medical Association, “Eating about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter at least five days a week can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by almost 30%, particularly Type 2 Diabetes”. It’s also been attributed to reducing the rate of gallstones by 25%, lower the risk of stomach, colon, lung and liver cancer due to its vitamin E content and promote a healthy heart thanks to p-coumaric acid content which helps the damage done to cells associated with cardiovascular diseases. If that’s not a superfood we don’t know what is.
- It’s a great source of fibre. A tablespoon of the stuff is packed full of fibre – essential for keeping the digestive system healthy and you regular!
3 Peanut Butter Recipes To Try This Week
Peanut & Lentil Curry
Time: 10 minutes
- 2 tbsp coconut/olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
- Approx 2.5cm piece of ginger, cut in small pieces
- 1 cup red or green lentils
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp of ManiLife Deep Roast Smooth peanut butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- In a large pan, heat the oil and add the garlic, ginger and all the spices together.
- Cook for about 4 minutes, until the garlic scents the room.
- At this point add the lentils, the tomatoes and the vegetable stock – mix everything together and let the it simmer for about 20 minutes. Remember to do this a low heat for teh lentils to get soft and avoid anything burning.
- Once the lentils are cooked, add in the coconut milk, peanut butter and the salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir everything together and let it simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
- Serve with jasmine rice and Naan bread.
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Serves: 8 – 10
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 100g of melted butter, slightly cooled, plus extra for greasing
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 160g of soft light brown sugar
- 120g of Pip & Nut Smooth Peanut Butter
- 250g of ripe bananas (peeled weight), mashed with a fork
- 180g of plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 1⁄2 tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp of salt
- 100g of dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Butter a 450g loaf tin, then line with baking parchment.
- Put the melted butter in a bowl and add the eggs and sugar. Mix together to a smooth paste, then beat in the almond butter and mashed bananas.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl, then gradually fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture. Stir in the chopped chocolate and spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
- Bake in the oven for 55 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then turn out of the tin onto the wire rack and leave to cool some more.
Peanut Butter Stir-Fry
Time: 20 minutes
- 165g buckwheat noodles
- ½ cabbage, shredded
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 2 eggs, fried
- Olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- Crushed peanuts for topping
For the peanut butter sauce:
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tablespoons of ManiLife peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon apple cider
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cook the noodles based on the instructions on the pack. As we will be cooking them in the pan later on, please undercook them by 2 mins.
- Once cooked, drain them and rinse on cold water. In order to avoid the noodles sticking to each other (which is very frustrating…) add some olive oil!
- Mix together: 2 garlic cloves, the peanut butter, chilli flakes, apple cider, maple syrup, toasted sesame oil, tamari and hot water to make the peanutty sauce. Add salt and pepper depending on what you like!
- Cook the cabbage with some olive oil on high heat – do it for 1 min only as you want to cabbage to maintain a nice crunch.
- Fry the eggs and add salt and pepper.
- Then in a separate pan, heat the peanutty sauce – do this for 30 seconds. Finally add the noodles to the sauce, drench them well, add the cabbage, fried eggs. For the final touch sprinkle chilli flakes, crushed peanuts and spring onions.