Readers’ recipe swap: Peanut butter | Eve O’Sullivan (2024)

It might not be December quite yet, but this week’s theme meant that Christmas came early for me. I can say, without exaggeration, that I eat peanut butter every day. I love it so much that one dear friend made a giant peanut-butter cup for my wedding cake! So, discovering new ways to eat my favourite spread was a real delight.

One of a nut butter’s many merits is that it can be the base of fast and filling food; this was especially true in the case of Onykahonie’s peanut butter and chocolate traybake, which was both delicious and dairy-free. I discovered my new favourite weekend breakfast or quick dinner in an Indonesian-inspired fried egg pitta from Eva Broer, and, on the healthier side of things, Angela Kim’s kale salad with a peanut-lime dressing was beyond moreish. A gluten-free banana bread with crunchy peanut topping served as mid-afternoon treat, courtesy of Myviewfromthesouth.

This week’s winner was a stand-out dish that would appeal equally to peanut butter devotees and the less enthusiastic. Rich, spicy, warming and hearty, Recipespantry’s stew ticked all the right boxes on an autumnal weekend, with the bonus of leaving just enough peanut butter in the jar to eat on its own with a spoon.

The winning recipe: West African chicken and peanut butter stew

This dish is extremely popular across West Africa (where I grew up) with many variations, but all have a base of peanut butter.
Recipespantry, via GuardianWitness

Serves 4-6
1 chicken cut into pieces/8 chicken thighs
1 tsp ground coriander
Salt and black pepper
2½ tbsp oil
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
Scotch bonnet or other chillies to taste, deseeded and finely chopped
2 bay leaves
2 red peppers, chopped
8 tbsp smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp tomato puree
A chicken stock cube
750ml-1 litre water
A handful of peanuts, to serve
Coriander, roughly chopped, to serve
4-6 spring onions, sliced, to serve

1 Season the chicken pieces with the coriander, salt and pepper then heat 1½ tbsp oil in a nonstick lidded casserole or frying pan and quickly brown the chicken pieces. You might have to do this in two or more batches as you don’t want to crowd the meat. Then set aside on a plate.

2 Fry the onions, garlic, chillies, bay leaves and 6 tbsp of water in the remaining oil for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is very fragrant, stirring often.

3 Add the red pepper, stir, then fry covered for 5 minutes. Add the peanut butter, tomato puree and stock. Fry quickly for 30 seconds, until these are both mixed in.

4 Add the browned chicken pieces and the water, bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer for about 50-70 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened, but remains a little soupy. Stir the mix a few times during cooking as the peanut butter tends to settle at the bottom of the pot.

5 Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve with rice, plantains or bread and garnish with peanuts, coriander and spring onions.

Peanut butter tray bake bars

These chocolate-coated peanut butter bars are really quick and easy to make. My kids reckon they taste like Snickers bars.
, via GuardianWitness

Makes 12
100g crunchy peanut butter
25g dairy-free spread
2 tbsp golden syrup
100g soft brown sugar
50g self-raising flour
50g porridge oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground cinnamon or ginger (optional)
100g plain (dairy free) chocolate

1 Set the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Cream the peanut butter, spread, syrup and sugar together. Add the flour, oats, vanilla and cinnamon/ginger. Mix well until you have a firm dough. Add a drop of water if the dough is too dry.

2 Press the dough into a small, square, greased baking tray. Cook for 12-15 minutes until golden brown around the edges, then leave to cool.

3 Melt the chocolate and spread on top. Let it set before cutting into bars.

Delicious peanut butter and cucumber pitta bread

This my favourite peanut-butter sandwich. You can do this with any type of bread – or even make this without if you find yourself with all ingredients bar the bread, with the fried egg as the base and the peanut butter, spicy Indonesian paste and cucumber on top. Yum!
Eva Broer, via

Serves 1
1 wholemeal pitta
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp sambal badjak (spicy indonesian chilli paste), or to taste
5cm piece cucumber, sliced
1 egg, fried or boiled (runny yolk is best)

1 Toast the pitta and then cut open while still hot and spread generously with the peanut butter, then spread with the chilli paste. Top with the cucumber and the egg, then eat.

Kale salad with chickpeas and apple in a peanut-lime dressing

The kale and red cabbage should sit in the dressing for about an hour. It works as a marinade for the kale and also softens the kale leaves.Angela Kim, via GuardianWitness

Serves 1-2
7-8 kale leaves, washed, dried and chopped
80g red cabbage, finely shredded
½ small apple, thinly sliced
50g cooked chickpeas

For the dressing
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp dijon mustard
Salt and black pepper, to taste
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1 small garlic clove, green germ removed

1 First, make the dressing. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Add half of the dressing to a bowl with the kale and cabbage. Massage with clean hands until the leaves start to wilt. Set aside for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2 To serve, slice the apple. Toss in a little dressing with the chickpeas, then mix with the kale and cabbage.

Gluten-free peanut butter banana bread

This was my attempt to turn my favourite milkshake into a cake. Peanut butter and banana in any form is a winning combination. I made it for my brother in law who loves peanut butter and apparently “he went crazy for it”. The topping is not essential but it really does add something special. I love the crunchy nuts in contrast to the softness of the cake.
Myviewfromthesouth, via

Serves 8
125g gluten-free flour
100g gluten-free oat flour/ground almonds
100g sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
3-4 really ripe bananas
150g peanut butter
25g chia seeds (optional)
50g maple syrup (or honey)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml almond milk

For the topping
1 handful roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
25g dark brown sugar

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 450g loaf tin.

2 Weigh the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix them together, then in another bowl, mash the bananas and 100g of the peanut butter together.

3 If you are using chia, weigh the seeds into a cup and cover them with boiling water. Mix them vigorously and add more boiling water until they have a thick, gooey consistency. Add this to the bananas and peanut butter, then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

4 Combine the wet and dry mixtures and beat until mixed. You should end up with a fairly runny cake batter. Pour this into the prepared loaf tin.

5 To add the remaining peanut butter, separate it into 6-7 dollops and push these into the cake at intervals. They should be covered with batter. They add extra hits of peanut butter to the finished cake.

6 To make the topping, mix the peanuts with the sugar, then sprinkle this evenly over the cake.

7 Bake for 50–60 minutes, then turn the oven down to 170C/335F/gas mark 3½ for another 15 minutes. If not just insert a toothpick and wiggle it around. You should feel some resistance if the cake is cooked. If you are not sure give

8 Make sure you allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the tin.

Next time we’d love to see your mustard recipes AND your ideas for chutney. Send in your ideas to or upload them (plus of your own pics, if you like) to (mustard) and here for chutney – but get cracking - we need them by Wednesday 3 December!Winning recipes will appear here – and in the magazine – on 13 December (mustard) and 27 December (chutney). You could be in with a chance to win Guardian Home Cook of the Year!

Please include your name, address and phone number. Conditions apply.

Readers’ recipe swap: Peanut butter | Eve O’Sullivan (2024)
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