I have a few thoughts and opinions on festive consumerism this year. I’m mulling them and turning them and twisting them over in my brain, and I’m not sure that I’ve quite settled on how to correctly articulate what it is that really bothers me about it – or why it’s suddenly surfaced this year.
I also don’t want to be one of those Internet charmers that preach at people just because they’ve recently had some kind of crisis of conscience, because they always come across as dicks, whether they are or not.
All you need to know is that I’ve been inspired to try and throw as many ideas out there as possible for homemade Christmas gifts that won’t cost a bomb this year, and this is the first of them.
Peanut butter has had a serious moment in 2015. Maybe it was in 2014 too and I just haven’t noticed how much time has gone by, but I feel like a million different flavours of peanut butter have been released this year. And I think we should get in on the action – for way less money, minimum effort and maximum happiness.
The reason that this makes a particularly badass gift is: if you package this up correctly and get your flavour combos right, your friends and family are going to think you’re a genius. You can get this looking seriously cute, like up market artisan cute. You have all the control. That’s the wonder of homemade gifting.
Not that I did that. I just jarred it up and scrawled on a luggage tag with some gel pen. We weren’t all born crafty.
To keep this cheap as humanly possible, pick up Sainsbury’s basics peanuts for 70p, that’s enough for one small jar. Thrifty as, right? When I decided I wanted to make maple and vanilla peanut butter as an edible Christmas gift this year, I had to Google how to actually make the stuff, and my hero Jack Monroe already had it covered with the exact same peanuts. It makes me happy to know that Mx Monroe and I eat the same cheap nuts.
I’ve hardly swayed from Jack’s recipe at all, apart from the fact that I went with different flavours. Also, I think the blender I use behaves ever so slightly differently (the Nutri Ninja, for the record).
With my blender, I had to detach it and give it a shake every now and then to make sure all the peanuts were getting whizzed. You may or may not need to do the same, trust your judgement and do it by eye. Once you’ve got something that looks like peanut butter, that’s your peanut butter, you’re done.
200g roasted, salted peanuts
1 tbsp maple syrup (more if your recipient is super sweet toothed)
2 capfuls vanilla extract
50-60ml sunflower oil
extra salt (if you get to the end and decide it could still be saltier)
- Soak the peanuts in cold water for about half an hour, drain and then rinse.
- Chuck them in the blender with the syrup, vanilla and sunflower oil and blend until you’ve got peanut butter. As mentioned above, you might need to shake the mixture about a bit depending on the machine you’re working with but you’ll get there!
- Spoon into a sterilised jar, it’ll keep for.. a while? I never know, and I don’t want to be responsible for any deaths, so let’s say 1 month.
I hope you don’t hate me for talking about Christmas already.. would you be down with your friend giving you a homemade as opposed to shop bought gift? Let me know in the comments, I’m 100% interested.