Let's Eat

On the question of buttering up


What is it?
Huge excitement surrounded the arrival of this neat, red plastic grinding machine. It was more about the promise of what it might do, as the retro styling made it look more lik a gimmicky toy than a serious piece of kitchen kit.

What does it promise?
Any nut or seed butter your heart desires made freshly to order. The accompanying booklet provides recipes for variations of peanut butter with honey or chocolate, as well as recipes for cashew, pistachio, pecan and sunflower seed butter. We could not wait to get started.

What does it do?
Nuts must first be chopped (sigh) which is, to be honest, a faff. Never one for an easy life, I roasted my peanuts too for a better flavour. The chopped nuts then go in the clear plastic nut reservoir.

You can add as much or little oil as you like via a turkey baster type of device inserted at the top of the machine.Then off you go. With a noise akin to a pneumatic drill, the grinder then pulverises the nuts into a paste. The end texture is down to how much oil you use - you can always add more at the end, along with salt or sugar, to taste.

Does it work?
It does actually do what it says on the tin, but I had to study the instructions to work out which bit went where. Excitingly, the end result was proper, actual peanut butter!

But the noise levels had me praying my slumbering children far away upstairs would not be scared out of their wits.

Must have or maybe not?
It was undeniably exciting to produce my very own peanut butter. To do the same in a food processor would obviously take far longer.

However, the cost of buying raw nuts means that unless you can get find a reasonably priced supply, the cost of grinding your own is far more expensive than buying a jar of even organic nut butter. I managed to source my raw peanuts from a local market stall.

It might be useful if you want to make more unusual butters like sunflower or pumpkin which would be cheaper.

It was a little fiddly to clean, as you have to take the grinder apart - not as scary as it sounds - and fiddle about poking out little bits of sticky butter.

Teenagers might enjoy the concept, but unless you are nutty for nut butters, I would probably leave this one on the shelf.

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