I always thought the idea of peanut butter was just wrong. I didn't like the look of it and when I tasted it I came to the conclusion that it was just a horrible weird salt and sugar paste, with a hint of peanuts.
Years later I decided to give it another go. I realised what went wrong the first time was that I had eaten one of the big brand type peanut butter spreads that was full of sweeteners and bad stuff. However the second time round I tried the healthier version. I got natural peanut butter made from ...100% peanuts of all things! And it tasted really good, I was instantly converted!
Then when I moved to Canada I ended up living on peanut butter for a little while. Partly because I liked it but mainly due to the fact that my first job over there was in a little vintage clothes shop and it paid peanuts. So ironically that's what I ended up consuming! Okay, I suppose I also preferred to buy myself clothes from the store instead of buying groceries, and that's probably the main reason I often ate peanut butter for dinner. But I got creative, varied it up a little, sometimes I had it on toast with jam and sometimes with bananas.
I became passionate about all things peanut butter and I really loved those Reese's chocolate peanut butter cups. So I was very happy when I came across a healthier version in Alicia Silverstone's book The Kind Diet. It's a really good book by the way.
So, since I mentioned in a recent post that I want to try and make healthier baked goods, I think these are a good start. There is no dairy in them for one thing! There also isn't much baking involved - just a bit of stirring stuff in pots. And, while I'm saying these peanut butter cups are healthy - I wouldn't advise anyone on a diet to hurry off and make them! Peanut butter is fattening. But I've been telling myself the protein from the peanut butter has to be good for me. So I'm sure it's good for you too!
Just so you know, I didn't use all the same ingredients as Alicia. I couldn't find some of them as I wasn't shopping in a health store, just Tesco. So, I have listed all of her official ingredients and then what I used (in brackets). And here is a picture of my ingredients too.
If you decide to make these I think you'll like them. They are quick and easy enough to put together. Just remember you need to leave them for a few hours in the fridge to set, so don't expect to eat them straight away.
Ingredients (Makes 12)
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter (Pure soya butter)
- 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (buy the good stuff!)
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (7 Rich Tea biscuits mashed up)
- 1/4 cup maple sugar (Light Brown Muscovado sugar)
- 1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips (dark choc chips)
- 1/4 cup soy, rice or nut milk ( I used soy)
- 1/4 cup chopped peacans, almonds or peanuts (I used almonds)
- First of all line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cases
- If using Rich Tea biscuits put them in a sandwich bag and smash them up
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat
- Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs (or rich tea crumbs) and sugar and mix well
- Remove the mixture from the heat
- Divide the mixture evenly (about one heaped tablespoon in each) among the muffin cups
- Combine the chocolate and milk in another pot
- Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted
- Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture
- Top with chopped nuts
- Place in the fridge for at least two hours before serving
Anyway hope you enjoy. I did, they are officially one of my favourite treats ever!
If you have any strong views on peanut butter please do let me know!
PS. If you are planning on buying peanut butter do try and go for natural ones that are made up of 100% peanuts or something like 99% peanuts and maybe 1% salt would be good too.