Spicy Peanut Butter

I don’t know if any other families out there are the same, but we. Love. Peanut butter! Well, anything peanut, really. We are fortunate to have no nut allergies which makes those not-wanting-to-eat-anything phases so much easier. Raw, roasted, as butter, as sauce, you name it, we enjoy it!

We also love to make our own peanut butter. It is one of Moose’s favourite things to create in the kitchen. It is easy and he’s able to be as creative as he wants to make his flavours. 

Moose getting creative in the kitchen with peanuts!

I have a super yummy recipe for peanut sauce that I love LOVE with so many meal ideas and my favourite part is the creeping heat of chile flakes that are in it.  I decided to take the delicious heat of those pepper flakes and make a spicy peanut butter! Not so much for the kiddos, but for the grown-ups to indulge in after bedtime!

Never made peanut butter? It’s seriously one of the easiest things we’ve ever made around here. I honestly wonder why we hadn’t made it sooner when I realized how simple it actually was! You only need a food processor and a couple ingredients. It’s so versatile that you can add any extra fun flavours you want! We’ve tried a few things but never chiles. Today was the day!

First: the peanuts. We always have peanuts in the house and I’ve experimented with salted and unsalted. They both turn out well but for this time, I used salted, roasted peanuts! I didn’t want to make a huge batch so I only used 1 cup in my food processor.

In they go!

Turn the processor on low for 3-5 minutes and let it grind those peanuts up. There’s an interesting series of events which unfold:

Step 1: the chopped up but phase.

Step 2: the weird play clay phase

Step 3: the almost-there phase!

Once the peanuts have been pulverized to look like this, it’s time to taste and add fun stuff! Since I used salted peanuts, I didn’t have to add any salt. If you use unsalted then you can add salt to taste. I DID, on the other hand, add some sweetness to the mix in the form of Manuka honey. This strong honey packs a healthy punch and makes the butter sweet too! I only used 1 1/2 tsp and it made this batch super sweet.

Mmmm, love that dark caramel colour that Manuka honey has!

Now for the spicy feature! I had no idea how much/little chile flakes to add so I just gave my container a couple decent shakes. I’m guessing I added a good 1 Tbsp. 

Turn up the heat!

Now blend it again for a good minute or so and check your consistency.

I’ve found that salted peanuts grind into a thicker, pastier butter than their unsalted counterparts, as seen below:

A little to dry for my liking!

This is a super easy fix though. Just add a tsp of oil at a time and mix for a good minute, then check the consistency. I don’t have any peanut oil in the house right now so I used a couple small spoons of coconut oil. 

This stuff adds to the overall depth of flavour in my opinion!

After mixing it for another 2 or so minutes, the oils really started releasing from the peanuts to add to the silkiness and creaminess of our peanut butter.

Much. Better. See those pretty little chile flakes??

I’m not certain I’d slap this on a sandwich (however if the bread was right…), but I was aiming for something to dip apples, celery, and delightful artisan crackers into. 

Boy howdy, that mess is delicious

A batch will keep in the fridge up to 2 weeks. We’ve never had it last that long though! (Again, peanut butter fanatics over here!)

I will for sure be making this one again. The amount of chiles is entirely variable to accommodate to your taste so, much is the honey and the salt. I really do not want to write down amounts since you can be the one to judge!  Let me know if you try this or even just regular peanut butter. What add-ins do you like? I’m tinkering with the idea of crumbled bacon…mmmmmmm. But for now, I’m off to cut up an apple and dig in! 




Cranberry Grilled Cheese!

So, it was martial arts night for Moose tonight meaning, the grand race immediately after school to get three little bodies fed and cleaned up before zipping out the door. Often this means kids eat and Momma waits until the kids are in bed. Not ideal, but hey, I can actually revel in the quiet after they are all asleep and seriously enjoy my dinner, so sometimes, yep! 

I know there are delicious (like seriously) ground turkey and peanut sauce leftovers for lettuce wraps sitting in the fridge but I also noticed the bag of cranberries from our bi-weekly fruit and veg delivery service still mocking me from the crisper.  

Cranberries are beautiful and deliciously tart!

Boy howdy do I also love grilled cheese made with cranberry sauce and roasted Brussels sprouts. We have no sprouts in the house tonight so I decided to shake it up a bit and make an egg-and cinnamon soaked cranberry-grilled-cheese sammy. 

First, the cranberry sauce. When I make any fruit sauce, I don’t measure anything (sorry), but typically I toss the fresh fruit with some white sugar, cinnamon (I use lots because I love cinnamon) and a teensy bit of water. 

It’s a beautiful thing…

Turn the burner on low-medium heat and stir fairly constantly until the berries split and get mushy. Mash as much or little as you want (apparently today I wanted to mash the life outta these bad boys).

Lookin’ good!

Then, I noticed that we had no more bread from the local bakery that I LOVE. We had a narsty loaf of white bread, so I was stuck using that (seriously I need to look into these things BEFORE starting to prepare something!).

Put together that sandwich with extra old cheddar (or Brie or goat cheese would be delightful too) and some of the cranberry sauce, then dip the whole delicious mess into a slurry of egg/milk/cinnamon. 

All the bits before they are mixed.

Toss that messy glob of yum into a frying pan and cook until browned on both sides. I added a bit of lightly salted butter to the pan to give some more oomph to the whole shabang.

Lookin’ brown and crispy. Don’t be shy about browning it well! 

It’s pretty good, even without the crispy roasted sprouts (although if you have a love of them, and you have them, use them! You won’t be disappointed). 

Late-night dinner is served! (Ha! I just called 8:40pm ‘late night’! I think I’ve just stepped into a new phase of life or something!)

Enjoy! Let me know if you try it and how you’ve changed it for the better!