Sunday, 22 July 2012

Guest Host Trustworthy: Warning! This May Contain Nuts!

Trustworthy's Kitchen Play List:
The Prodigy - Run With The Wolves
Led Zep - Fool In The Rain
Barclay James Harvest - Dark Now My Sky
PJ Harvey - This Is Love
Trustworthy and Us - Amorphi
Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34: III
PJ Harvey - The Glorious Land
Ladytron - Ghosts
Bobby Womack - Across 110th Street
Underworld - Spoonman
Steven Wilson - Deform To Form A Star
Tool - Intolerance
Marilyn Manson - Tainted Love
Mogwai - Drunk and Crazy
Kinobe - Slip Into Something More Comfortable

Hi very good friend R is a little occupied this weekend so I offered to fill in...and R very kindly allowed me to :-)
I'm pretty frugal and ever since I moved into this little cottage by the water here in sunny Brighton (the one in Queensland, not Sussex lol!) I started making all my own household stuff...soaps (easier than you think), laundry powders (even easier...grated soap and bicarb lol), and very recently nut milks. But today, I had it in my mind to make some peanut butter.

I already had a 500g bag of raw peanuts in their shells in the cupboard, and my eldest daughter was very keen today to have some roasted peanuts. So, as a reward for her excellent first-ever two-wheeled bike ride, on her brand new bike no less, I bunged the oven on and we got shelling.

Shell mountain
I decided to do half of them roasted and half of them raw, and make a PB from each, with a few roasties left over for H to salt as she pleased (with Himalayan rock salt) and munch on whilst watching a movie.

Raw Peanuts waiting
to be roasted
So, whilst the other half were roasting, I cleaned as well as I could the raw ones, trying to remove as much of the purple skin as possible (quite a task...which I thought halfway through was actually futile lol). I then threw these into a two-litre plastic jug I have very recently modified to accommodate my hand blender to prevent splashback and missiles! I zuzzed them for a few minutes until they began to squish, and take on that creamy consistency. It of course sticks to the bottom of the blender so I naturally had to use a teaspoon to remove it...and it's all lovely and warm and hard to resist temptation to scoff lol! Of course you have to taste it anyway...and I would recommend adding a pinch or two of your favourite salt to your own preference. You can also add canola or sunflower oil to make it a bit less dry, depending on how many kernels you've used and on their oil content.
Raw Peanuts in
the jug...
Once I'd cleaned out the jug and spooned it all into a little glass jar I had handy, the roasties were just about done (the smell is a dead giveaway lol) so it was time to remove them from the oven and let them settle for ten minutes.

Trustworthy's Raw
Peanut Butter
I had a bit of time so tidied up a bit and tried to keep track of H who was flitting in and out all day (can't keep a chick away from a new bike, ay?!) and kept A (my youngest) amused by reheating some gone-soft biscuits and spreading some hazlenut choc spread on them ;-)

Now to shelling the roasties...this was and is very time consuming! Making your own peanut butter may be cheap but it sure is labour intensive lol. However removing the purple husks is much easier when they are roasted, and it's great fun squishing the brittle shells between your fingers and popping out the little kernels. I got orange fingers from the soil!

As promised I kept back a large handful and put them in a little dish for H for when she returned from her adventures. The rest (just over a cup) I zuzzed in the jug and the aroma rising from it was pretty awesome. This time I added a dollop of oil and a large pinch of my pink salt and the result was pretty much perfect.

Trustworthy's Roasted
Peanut Butter
The handful you keep back you could crush up roughly in a pestle and add to the jar and stir round, making probably the best crunchy peanut butter you'd ever taste.

I spread some on some soft almond bites I'd made last night (recipe to be perfected - watch this space!) and a couple of rice cakes with Nuttelex (vegan margarine) and yep, definitely pretty satisfied.

Next time I get a batch of raw, unshelled peanuts, I shall make some cool variations like curry paste and satay sauce. Use your imagination, don't be bound within the box...go for it and experiment :)

Till soon :-)