I grew up in East Africa where Peanuts are called Njugu (pronounced Jugu). Chocolates were a rare treat when we were young so whenever we felt like a sweet treat, my sister would offer to make Jugu paak which is a bit like peanut brittle but instead of using sugar and peanuts we used to use Jaggery and peanuts so it tasted much nicer without being too brittle.
The main ingredients I used for this recipe are:
Mixed nuts: You can use any nuts. I used a mixture of peanuts, cashews and almonds. All the nuts were roasted first to release their oils and natural flavours. Nuts release their energy slowly so help to keep you feeling full for longer.
Jaggery: For this recipe I used a shop bought jaggery which was slightly lighter in colour. Jaggery is made from unrefined cane sugar. This product is called Gor or gud and when we were in Kenya- it was available quite cheaply so it was used instead of sugar by a lot of us. It was also believed that Jaggery was healthier than sugar so another reason for using it. For me, I just love the taste of sweets and desserts made from jaggery. You can read more about jaggery here.
Salted Butter : This also helps to bind the bars and gives it a lovely flavour. Vegans can use a butter substitute.
2 cups of peanuts (jugu) with a small mixture of almonds and cashews
½ cup jaggery (available in the World food section of larger Supermarkets)
2 tbls melted butter
1 tsp Olive oil for greasing the plate
1. Grease and prepare a tray ready to pour your Jugu pak into.
2. Roast the nuts separately. The best way is to put them in microwave proof dish and cook them for 2-3 minutes.
3. Once cool, rub them with your hands and remove the husks from the peanuts. Try to resist eating them at this stage if you wish to taste the jugu paak.
4. If your jaggery is in a block form, try and slice it into smaller chunks. Add the melted butter to the jaggery and heat this in the microwave for 2 minutes, stir and cook again for 2 minutes until all the jaggery is melted. Stir and add the roasted peanuts nuts to the hot jaggery and mix. You can also add cashew and almonds to your jugu paak if you like.
5. It starts to look and smell amazing now. Transfer it to the greased tray and spread it evenly using the back of your spoon.
6. Make the slices whist the Peanut brittle/jugu paak is hot.
7. Once cool, you can save the peanut brittle in an air tight container to enjoy when ever you fancy a sweet.
Did you have any favourite childhood treats? Mine are this jugu pak and Kenyan Chevdo.. The locally grown Kenyan potatoes from Meru and the Kenyan grown red skinned small peanuts used in the chevdo recipe gave this snack a taste we Kenyans still crave for.
You may wish to checkout the following easy and different recipes for high energy snack bars from my blog.
- Muesli or granola bars
- Goji berry cereal bars Powder
- Nutty Energy Ladoos with dates
- Ferrero Richer and whole nut topped bars
- Dates, Nuts and Protein Energy Balls
- Mixed Nuts Barfi with Dates
- Oats, Peanut Butter and Protein Powder Bars
- Nutty bars with Protein Powder and Jaggery
- Choco-nut Energy Bars
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