The peanut butter it is one of the most famous spreadable creams, symbol of stars and stripes cuisine. Today it is widespread and appreciated all over the world, also because it is an excellent substitute for butter for vegan recipes or those designed for lactose intolerants. You can buy it ready-made or prepare it at home in a few simple steps. The recipe is in fact very simple and just four ingredients are enough: peanuts, cane sugar, seed oil and a pinch of salt. But how was this tasty cream born? Is his origin really American?

History of Peanut Butter

Actually it all began on the American continentbut starting from the South. The peanut is in fact a leguminous plant originally from Brazil. The Incas in Peru used peanuts as an offering to the gods and the Aztecs used to eat a paste by grinding and crushing peanuts. Through these populations, peanuts came into contact with Europeans who then spread them to Asia and Africa. And it seems that it was them African slaves to introduce them to North America at the beginning of the 18th century.

After this long journey through the centuries and continents, it is in this part of the world that peanuts have become the protagonists of a special recipe. Initially they were considered a food for the poor and animals but then they conquered the palates of the gods soldiers busy in the Civil War (1861-65). They began to be sold on the street, toasted and still warm, until they became the famous butter. There are those who attribute its paternity toAfrican-American agronomist George Washington Carver which actually had another merit: at the end of the nineteenth century it encouraged landowners to convert cotton crops and invest in peanuts. She created around 300 products with this legume, including a spicy sauce and a shampoo, but we owe the birth of peanut butter to another character. A name we all know, Dr John Harvey Kellogg, the same one who created corn flakes, breakfast cereals. In the 1895 he patented a butter prepared by grinding raw peanuts, which he offered as a healthy, high-protein meal to the patients of his luxury treatment center, the Battle Creek Sanitarium. And that’s not the only coincidence in this tasty story.

The businessman George Bayle, who in 1894 had started marketing peanut butter as a snack, in 1904 presented his recipe at the Universal Exhibition in St. Louis, Missouri. Curious that the ice cream cone seems to have also been offered for the first time at the same event.

Recipes with peanut butter

Then, let’s be honest, the peanut butter flavor is also good… so let’s see how to use this ingredient in the kitchen.

peanut butter chicken satay

Satay sauce

This typical South-East Asian specialty is perfect in combination with meat. In Indonesia, for example, they season chicken skewers, while in Thailand they season pork skewers. Each country has a slightly different recipe. Peanut butter is usually mixed with coconut milk and curry. Lime juice, tamarind, lemongrass, ginger, chili pepper, soy sauce can then be added depending on local traditions and personal taste. Try satay sauce also to season salads, noodles, tofu or spring rolls.

mafè peanut butter

Mafe

It’s about a meat soup widespread in Africa. Beef or chicken is stewed in broth. Vegetables and peanut butter and/or chopped peanuts are then added, which give a unique flavor to the dish. Another peculiarity: chilli pepper cannot be missing among the spices used in this recipe. George Washington Carver was right to propose something spicy based on peanuts.

Curry

This term does not mean just a mix of spices but one series of spicy dishes with a soft texture. We are not talking about soups but rather meat, fish or vegetable stews, always accompanied by boiled white rice. In Thailand, for example, one of these dishes is prepared by mixing garlic, onion, ginger, red curry, coconut milk and peanut butter. You can add chicken pieces or simply vegetables which will thus acquire a different flavor than usual.

peanut butter hummus

Hummus

Tired of the usual chickpea cream? Revolutionize the traditional recipe replacing there sesame sauce (tahini) with peanut butter. Same quantity, but different flavor. Pour it together with all the other hummus ingredients (chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt) into the blender and blend until you obtain a smooth, homogeneous paste. Serve this delicious preparation on croutons and decorate with sweet paprika and fresh parsley.

Sandwich

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich it is one of the most famous recipes in the United States, but with this tasty preparation we can create many types of different sandwiches, even savory. Replace the jam with chicken breast grilled or scrambled eggs. If you like strong flavors, add a few drops of Sriracha hot sauce. Another interesting and non-trivial combination is a peanut butter sandwich with grilled apple slices, honey and bacon. Not bad, right?

Smoothie & co

We have seen how this American cream can give a new flavor to many savory dishes, but have you ever tried it in a simple one beverage? Then take a banana smoothie and add a teaspoon of peanut butter. Your snack will be much tastier. The same thing can be done with one smoothie. Replace the cow’s milk with almond milk and add a pinch of cinnamon to give everything more complexity.

peanut butter muffins

muffin

These sweets of Anglo-Saxon origin are often enriched with tasty cream. However, it is not the only dominant flavor because with its strong taste it could become tiring. So chocolate chips are often added or chocolate is used peanut butter to give an extra boost to classic recipes of banana or chocolate muffins or even vegan muffins. Do you want something really tasty? This special butter has the consistency of another beloved spreadable cream: Nutella. Then just follow our recipe for muffins with a Nutella heart and replace the latter with peanut butter to bring something irresistible to the table.

Cookies

Peanut butter cookies they call them in the United States and they are one of the typical preparations of this large and varied country. If you want to propose one breakfast or one party themed or you simply want to feel like you’re traveling overseas for a few bites, get your hands dirty with peanut butter biscuits. This particular ingredient will not only give a different taste to your pastry but it will also make it the dough more crumbly. Consider that the recipe dates back to the first decade of the twentieth century but only in the 1930s did the habit of imprinting the tips of a fork on the surface of each biscuit spread. Some say that this helps achieve more uniform cooking since the dough is very dense.

Popsicles. Biscuits are perfect for breakfast or as a snack, but how can you enjoy this American specialty on a warm summer evening? In the United States they have found the solution simply mixing peanut butter, Greek yogurt or milk and maple syrup. The mixture is poured into popsicle molds and placed in the freezer. Those with a sweet tooth add a dark chocolate coating and crunchy chopped peanuts. A tasty variant is the one that involves the addition of ripe blended bananas, also perfect for vegans who can replace the yogurt with coconut or almond milk.

Tart

This preparation is now conquering the whole world, even our country where it has become the protagonist of classic recipes. This is the case of tart that can be, for examplefilled with a peanut butter-based cream. You can then add a layer of jam or chocolate ganache to make everything even more interesting. However, some adopt an alternative solution: they add cream to the shortcrust pastry dough, especially if it is a vegan recipe. They then fill the tart with strawberry or cherry jam. Interesting interpretation, right?