Hi-PRO Peanut Butter
£2.95 454g Jar
What's your favourite spread on a bit of toast? Back in the day, we loved a bit of sandwich spread. These days we are a sucker for honey soaked in a thick slice of a farmhouse loaf! But we have cut down on bread, left alone, we would devour a loaf in a day or two! So when we were approached by Hi-PRO to try some of their protein rich peanut butter, we were unsure how we could give it a fair trial? But they have a variety of simple to follow recipes where the peanut butter could make an appearance. So each week, we are going to give one of their recipes a go until we can't lick anymore spread out of the jar!
Spicy Chicken and Peanut Butter Curry
It's usually a chicken tikka tandoori from our local Indian with some poppadoms thrown in to build up little towers of food! But we've never come across peanut butter inside a curry?! Here's what you need:
4 chicken thighs, boneless
1tsp ground coriander
Salt and black pepper
1tbs light olive or vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1-2 red chillies, finely sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
4tbs Hi-PRO crunchy peanut butter
2tbs tomato puree
750ml chicken stock, made with one stock cube
1 bay leaf
1tbs peanuts, roughly chopped
few sprigs fresh coriander, roughly chopped
40g spring onions, sliced
200g brown rice
The full recipe can be found here so we are gonna give you a quick run through. We swapped the thighs for diced chicken breast, we just think it's better meat. You get the odd thigh which just ends up grey and veiny. Fry the chicken, throw in your veg and spices until it's cooked to your liking. Recipes which say cook till they are soft or brown is too controlling in our book, your dinner, your way, you're the chef! Just have to make sure the meat is the ingredient that's cooked properly. Throw in the stock, tomato puree and the Queen of this mixture, the peanut butter. The crunchy paste is much thicker than regular butters and we did dab our finger in for a little taste before hand. What you notice straight away that it's devoid of any sweetness. You start to wonder how much sugar brands such as Sunpat throw into their jars, the sweetness definitely affects the taste. We added one chilli in our concoction but we could of added a little more as it wasn't at all spicy. We served the curry up with some microwaveable long grain rice (just simple and easy!) and threw the chopped spring onions on top.
We have to say it was a refreshing dinner. The peanut butter definitely gave the 'curry' a different dimension. Now we say 'curry' because we felt it was more of a Mediterranean dish than an Asian speciality but the game changers here were the peanut butter and the spring onions which added some crunch and freshness. Now, looking at the nutritional value, the jar is packed full of protein mostly coming from the peanuts 33g from each 100g portion. It is high in fat but this is mostly unsaturated so for those who are looking to bulk and build power, this added grocery could be a good addition next to your peri-peri sauce and fice spice.
Peanut Butter and Cranberry Protein Bars
We have dabbled in a few granola recipes this year as we started to realise for half the cost, you could make your own and it will last you a month! So these peanut butter and cranberry bars caught our eye, as before, here's what you need to know:
200g dates, pitted
100g dried cranberries
4tbs Hi-PRO peanut butter
75g whole, unblanched almonds
The full recipe can be found here but here's our quick run through. On paper, it looked like the easiest snack to make but it turn out to be a sticky mess. We was advised to have a decent food blender ready so we borrowed the wife's Nutri Bullet and got to work. We've been used the crunchy peanut butter from H-PRO and it's thick. Straight away we could see a problem that the butter was going to cement itself on the blades inside the presser. We gave it a go anyway but the blades weren't churning nada so we added a little bit of water to the mix to aid the blades. This helped a little but the almonds were still quite large so we ended up taking the mixture out, trying to separate it then churn them up a bit at a time. Finally after much spooning (the mixture, nothing more!), we spread the paste into our cake tin and let it set in the fridge.
Now possibly because of the added water, the bars were very soft after an hour so to dry them out and crisp them up (we do like a crusty burnt side!), we threw them in the oven on a high heat. This hardened up the bars but with enough moisture inside so they didn't have the texture of house bricks. The wife had the first dab (bite, not dance move!) and was pleasantly surprised by the sweetness from the cranberries coupled with the core of the peanut butter. These were wicked bars to taste but a bit of a mission to make. We would definitely suggest adding a bit of water or even better blend the ingredients separately then mix it altogether. Either way, you could replace quite a few of this content and still come out with a great snack for those dragging mornings, we put ours in our lunch and they were very handy in our line of work....kids!
Peanut Butter Granola
We do love a granola bar. Granola cereal can be a healthy start but you can't take a pint of milk with you on a ride! So next best thing is to make yourself some bars and it is such an easy recipe to follow. Plus, the variety in fillings and extra ingredients are endless.
75g Hi-PRO Crunchy Peanut Butter
75g of Maple Syrup or Honey
200g of oats
1/4 tsp sea salt
The full recipe can be found here but here's our story of how we did it. The recipe was so easy that we actually attempted a few versions. Trial one was just using the ingredients above. Now we accidentally added a bit more sea salt than was required but it gave the bars a distinctive after taste similar to what you would get out of salted caramel. Melting the honey together and peanut butter had to be done with care as the peanuts will begin to burn in the saucepan if not constantly stirred. When mixing, make sure there's no dry oats left otherwise it will affect the texture of the whole bake. Now, we like our granola crispy so we left into bake for a while longer but in hindsight, not the wisest idea as when the bars were cooling, it hardened even further turning it into more of a biscuit mixed with concrete. The peanut butter though was a game changer and the sea salt coming into play at the end gave it a moreish taste.
Trial two was at the request of our wife not to overdo them this time and we had our godson over who unfortunately could not have dairy so the chocolate chips I had brought would be saved for another time. Instead, sunflower seeds and cranberries were used as the infusion. Little tip when pouring the mix into the baking tray is to use the back of your fingers by your knuckles to press the mixture together, it will help bind the oats and peanutbutter/honey paste together. As soon as the edges started to turn a slight brown, the tray was pulled from the oven and we sliced the bars up straight away so the bars would cool in squares and not be a pain to cut as a whole. Our godson Theo put them to the test and let's just say he constantly kept coming back from more so if it's good enough for him, it's a thumbs up from us. We did take the remains out for a ride and they were put to good use. The mixture of carbs from the oats, the protein from the peanut butter, the natural sugars from the honey and cranberries and the salt from the er....sea salt is exactly the concotion the body requires when taking part in endurance based activities so this recipe is definitely a favourite of ours.