Peanut Butter Sweet TreatsIf Vegemite didn’t have such a catchy jingle then I’m sure pea- nut butter would have claimed the prize for the most popular Aussie spread. Peanut butter has been around forever and has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity. It has a great nutritional profile, as demonstrated by the more boutique brands containing only Australian peanuts, salt and nothing more.
Peanuts, however, are not actually nuts – they are in fact legumes. They grow underground in a fashion not dissimilar to potatoes. Talk about confusing! Because of their status as a legume, they are off limits for the staunch paleo crew, and they are banned from just about every day-care centre and primary school in the country due to their allergy risk.
Talk about tough love! But maybe it’s this tough love treat- ment that has transformed this humble legume spread from an awkwardly common poor man’s staple to something of a near delicacy for occasions only outside the school yard.
Whatever the reason, to celebrate peanut butter’s longevity in a market fraught with competition and red tape, I’ve concocted a couple of deliciously simple recipes that I know you will come to love and savour…
SALTED PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE
200g coconut oil
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1⁄2 cup rice malt syrup
1⁄4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
1. In a small saucepan, gently warm the coconut oil, until soft;
2. Remove from the heat, then add the peanut butter, rice malt syrup and maple syrup, stirring briskly with a fork until perfectly smooth; 3. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the sea salt flakes;
4. Pour the mixture into a square cake tin, lined with non-stick paper;
5. Finally, sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of sea salt flakes on top of the mixture and transfer to the freezer to set;
6. Once set firm, slice into 16 portions. Only remove immediately prior to serving.
PEANUT BUTTER CARAMELS
12 Medjool dates
1⁄4 cup smooth peanut butter
10g dark chocolate
1. Gently open and remove the date seeds, moulding them care- fully into bowl-like vessels;
2. Spoon 1 teaspoon of peanut butter into each date;
3. Using a fine grater, grate the dark chocolate on top of the pea- nut butter-filled dates;
4. To set, transfer to the freezer for a couple of hours. Keep frozen and only remove immediately prior to serving. Once set you will find them irresistibly chewy, just like a healthy version of a peanut butter caramel.
Cath Noonan is a self-confessed health-foodie, recipe creator, and nutrition student, as well as the founder of healthy food blog, I Heart Scratch. Check out the delicious food pics on her Instagram account, @i_heart_scratch, and find more recipes by visiting www.iheartscratch.com.au.