It seems so strange to me that just a few years ago I never used nut butters. Though I ate peanut butter as a child, that’s the only one I’d had. Now they’re very much a staple in my diet and I eat them almost every day. Nuts are so fantastic for you- packed with protein, fibre and essential fats and they all have their own extra nutrition credentials- calcium, selenium, zinc, iron, magnesium, etc. And they’re super tasty of course!
Nut butters are great for cooking and add flavour and richness. And though I do use oil in moderation, I like to use more whole foods where possible so nut butters are an ideal oil alternative.
Meridian is my favourite UK brand. Their nut butters are pure and simple, made from just roasted nuts, no salt or sugar, and best of all, no palm oil (unlike the majority of brands)! (See here for more info on why we should all be avoiding palm oil).
There are so many options available these days and Meridian make peanut, almond, cashew and hazelnut butters as well as tahini, sunflower seed and pumpkin seed butters! It’s impossible for me to pick a favourite but since I’d been neglecting the classic peanut butter recently I brought it back into my life with this tasty African-inspired Peanutty Millet.
This is another fab weeknight dinner recipe as it’s quick and satisfying. I loved the leftovers cold for lunch the next day too so it would be a nice one for if you pack food for work or school.
Millet, peanuts, ginger and the other spices I’ve used here are typical of West-African cuisine and all meld together nicely to provide lots of interesting texture and flavour.
- 2/3 C Dry millet (Approx 2 1/2 C Cooked Millet)
- 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
- 1 Small onion, diced
- 4 Cloves garlic, minced
- 1 " Ginger, minced
- 1 Red chili, seeds removed and minced
- 1 Small cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Coriander
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Peanut butter
- 1 Medium tomato, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Tomato purée
- 2/3 C Water (+ 1/4C)
- 3-4 C Spinach (loosely packed)
- 1/4C Chopped roasted peanuts
- Cook your millet if you're not using leftover cooked millet.
- Toast the millet in a dry pan for 4-5 minutes until it smells fragrant (optional). Add 1 1/3 C water (1: 2 ratio millet to water). Bring to boil, then turn down heat and simmer on low for approx 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Leave to sit, covered, off the heat, for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, garlic, ginger, chili and cauliflower for approx 5 minutes.
- Add the spices and salt and stir well to coat the vegetables.
- Add the tomatoes, peanut butter and water, stir well and cover. Simmer for approx 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy. If the mixture looks a little dry add the remaining 1/4 C water. Add the spinach and cook just until wilted.
- Stir through the millet, making sure it's all well coated with the sauce.
- Serve topped with the roasted peanuts.
If you don't have/ don't want to use millet, brown rice works as a substitute.
Meridian nut butters are widely available across the UK in supermarkets and health food stores.
What’s your favourite nut butter? Or are you like me and love them all!
Disclaimer: Meridian Foods sent me a selection of nut butters to sample but, as always, all opinions are my own. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.