October 15, 2019
Peanut Butter has been a staple of American childhoods since the first World War. First eaten for practical reasons (it was cheap to produce, shelf stable and nutritious) its sticky nutty deliciousness has resulted in peanut butter becoming a daily obsession for many. In fact according to National Consumer Statistics Data, over 297 million people in America will eat peanut butter this year. That's 90% of us!
The humble peanut, which is technically not a nut at all, but a legume, is as good for you as it is delicious. Peanuts are high in both protein and good fats. The fat in peanuts is high in oleic acid, which is a healthy type of fat also found in olive oil. (Hi-oleic peanuts are about 80% oleic fatty acid, compared with around 70% in olive oil and 50% in average peanuts). The high-fat, low-carb combo means peanut butter is ideal for those who choose keto or low-carb diets and since peanut butter has a low affect on blood sugar levels it can be consumed by those with diabetes (1).
Peanuts also contain lots of important vitamins and minerals, it's an excellent source of niacin and vitamin E, both of which are protective against Alzheimer's Disease and aged related cognitive decline (2), and also contains more than 20% of our daily needs of manganese and copper, and is a good source of folate which is especially important in pregnancy (3). It's important that if you're eating peanut butter as part of a healthy diet to choose a brand that does not add sugar or artificial preservatives or additives. Even better if it's made with hi-oleic non GMO peanuts which is why we recommend Forty Thieves Nut Butters.
Above and beyond the numerous health and metabolic benefits of peanut butter - it is, for many of us, a comfort food. We ate it for breakfast as kids. It's what we lived on in our broke days of college. It's the go-to for lazy dinners when we don't want to cook and the familiar peanut flavor and stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth goodness is what keeps us coming back for more. This convenient spread also has so much versatility beyond the ubiquitous PB&J. Here's 12 more interesting ways of enjoying peanut butter.
Smoothies are a great option for quick, easy and healthy breakfasts. Adding peanut butter not only provides extra protein but is also a great flavor and will help keep you full all day. Blend, 1/2 cup coconut milk with a frozen banana, a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter and a pinch of salt. Delicious and satisfying.
Lather crunchy peanut butter on the inside of a toasted bun before adding your burger or veggie patty. Pile on your favorite toppings. I go for the classic lettuce and fresh tomato but my husband goes for added bacon.
For those who have eaten from the streets of Singapore and Malaysia you'll be familiar with satay and peanut sauce. This addictive sauce is just as good with grilled veggie skewers as it is chicken. Put half a cup coconut milk on at a low heat with a touch of garlic and ginger, add half a cup peanut butter, a tablespoon of sweet chili sauce and a touch of soy sauce.
For those of us who love a good salty and sweet combo, this is it. Whip a cup of peanut butter with 1/4 of sugar, and a dash of vanilla extract and salt. Slowly add a couple of cups of half and half then a cup of heavy cream. Freeze in an air tight container.
Because of peanut butter's sticky consistency, it's a great way to combine other healthy raw ingredients to make raw treats. Combine similar quantities of quick oats, almond flour and peanut butter (about half a cup of each) and add a touch of vanilla extract, maple syrup and chocolate chips with a dash of salt. Mix well and roll into balls. Store in the freezer.
If you make your own pancake and waffle batter, peanut butter is a fantastic ingredient as it not only thickens the consistency but also adds tons of flavor. If you're using pre-made mix, it's a great topping with berries, honey and maple syrup.
Peanut dressing is so simple to make and perfect for salads and grilled chicken. Throw in the blender 1/3 cup peanut butter, the juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons each of hot water, soy sauce and vinegar, just a touch (like, about a teaspoon at most) of garlic, ginger and black pepper. Blend and done!
A family favorite on cupcakes. Beat a cup of smooth peanut butter with a 1/2 cup of butter, gradually mix in 2 cups sugar and up to 3 tablespoons of milk, just adding a little at a time until you get the perfect fluffy consistency. You're going to want to lick the spoon on this one.
Over a medium-heat combine 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter with 1/2 cup rice syrup. Stir well until combined but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir in 4 cups of rice krispies. Pour the mixture into a lined pan and refrigerate for an hour.
This popular Thai dish is easy to make at home. Add to a hot wok chicken, shrimp or tofu. Push aside once brown and add eggs to scramble. Throw in cooked rice noodles, bean sprouts and sauce made from peanut butter, soy, fish and chili sauces, rice vinegar and brown sugar (a few tablespoons of each adjusting for taste). Serve with cilantro, lime and crushed peanuts.
Peanut Soup is a creamy, nourishing soup popular in West Africa. Lightly fry onion, ginger and garlic, add 5 cups vegetable broth with cubed sweet potato, a handful of greens (such as kale), tomatoes (I use tinned tomatoes), and a half cup of peanut butter. For flavor, a touch of cumin, chili, and salt and pepper. Serve with cilantro and crushed peanuts.
Peanut Butter, chocolate and banana is always a good combo and these flavors together are simple on banana bread. Toast up a slice of firm banana bread, lather with peanut butter and sprinkle on drizzle on chocolate sauce.
1. “Nuts and Dried Fruits: An Update of Their Beneficial Effects on Type 2 Diabetes.” Nutrients. 2017, vol. 9, no. 673.
2. “Peanuts as Functional Food: A Review.” S.S. Arya et al. Journal of Food Science and Technology. January 2016, vol. 53, issue 1, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4711439.
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