Since reducing my sugar and dairy intake, I’ve replaced sweets and chocolate with a new favourite food: nut butters. Smooth or crunchy, peanut or cashew, plain or spiced – there’s a perfect partner for almost every sweet or savoury meal!
With 6kg of nut butters currently in my kitchen and flavoured nut butters being my stocking filler of choice, I eat nut butters almost daily in curries, porridge or creamy vegan stir fries. However, with a typical nut butter containing almost 100 calories per tablespoon there is sadly a limit to how much I can eat – which is why I was so excited when Hale Naturals gave me the chance to try their range of powdered peanut butters (PPB).
PPB is made by roasting and grinding peanuts, removing the oil until only a dry powder is left. Less oil means significantly less fat: 2 tbsp of PPB contains only 55 calories and 1.9g fat, compared to 180 calories and 15g fat in regular peanut butter. Plus, the dried powder has a very strong flavour so you only need 1 tbsp of powder and 1 tbsp water to create 2 tbsp of creamy, runny peanut butter.
Whilst I don’t think PPB has the same richness or depth of flavour as my beloved tubs of regular nut butters, its real advantage is as a baking ingredient. The three flavours (plain, chocolate and sweetened with stevia) contain more protein than regular peanut butter and can be used dry or made up into liquid form. The slightly sweet, strong flavour and powdered texture means it’s a perfect substitute for whey protein or flour in cakes and pancakes, and an ideal ingredient in smoothies where real nut butters can be difficult to blend in and are easily masked by other flavours.
The powder does contain a little added sugar (or stevia) so isn’t really suitable for savoury recipes, but adds a smooth creaminess to shakes and pancakes. I usually have to add at least 2 tbsp of nut butter to a smoothie or sauce, so was able to save 150 calories by using PPB in my breakfast smoothie and pancake stack recipes. It’s particularly perfect for pancake sauces as you can make it as runny as you like to create a delicious nutty waterfall over my fluffy American pancakes for a deliciously light breakfast. Whilst I usually avoid added sugar and would prefer an unsweetened version, I’m a strong advocate of balance – ultimately, the extra 2g of sugar I consume by eating a couple of spoonfuls of PPB a day won’t ruin my healthy eating!