Recipe Time: Everything Peanut Butter
I want to share a topic that’s close to my heart: Peanut butter! A simple peanut butter & jelly sandwiches is one of my all time favorite foods and luckily for me, it’s also one of the healthiest “comfort foods” out there. The best thing about peanut butter sandwiches are that they’re an easy go-to breakfast, lunch, OR dinner that provide some good wholesome nutrition, along with just tasting delicious.
Let’s take a look at the nutritional makeup of this fabulous legume (Fun Fact: peanNUTS are actually not nuts at all, but legumes):
- Full of unsaturated fats, nutrients that lower the levels of harmful cholesterol in your bloodstream, helping to reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Good source of manganese, which contributes to tissue growth (great for post work-out), supporting healthy bone development (great for kids!) and wound healing after injury.
- Contains Niacin (vitamin B-3): Niacin supports metabolism by helping to breakdown nutrients into useable energy (great pre-workout!)
- Dietary Fiber: Fiber helps regulate your digestive system and will make you feel fuller for longer. A 2 TBSP serving for this wonder food contains about 2 grams of fiber. While not the must fiber rich food, it will help supplement your daily intake, which is recommended at about 25 grams for a grown adult.
Now you can see why I have no problem indulging in a delicious peanut butter sandwich and it’s the type of food I’d feel comfortable giving to my child. I have to add, though, that it’s important to stick to natural peanut butter with no added sugar, salt, or chemicals. This means no “reduced fat” versions as well. The closer your peanut butter is to resembling an actual peanut, the better. One of my favorites to use is Crazy Richards. I mean, don’t you just love the name? Naming aside, though, Crazy Richards Peanut Butter has one ingredient: Peanuts! Maybe that’s why they call it crazy!
Peanut butter doesn’t just belong in sandwiches. Through experimenting, I’ve found it can be used in a zillion (don’t quote me on this fact) dishes! Here are just some of my personal favorite ways to use peanut butter:
My Favorite Peanut Butter Sandwich:
- 2 Slices Ezekiel Bread OR brown rice wrap from Trader Joe’s
- Generous spread (about 2 TBSP) Crazy Richards chunky peanut butter
- Healthy smear of raspberry jam with seeds
I love the added texture of the chunky peanut butter and seeds in the jam. Using a wrap is a perfect on-the-go snack, or meal. I use the brown rice wrap when I don’t have enough time in the morning to sit down to breakfast, or I’m running around in between clients.
Yogurt Parfait (1 serving)
- 1 Cup Plain greek yogurt
- 2 TBSP Peanut butter
- Topped with a hand full of fresh, or frozen berries
This one is a protein powerhouse and is a perfect post-workout snack.
Green Smoothie (1 serving)
- 2 Cups Spinach leaves
- 1/2 Frozen banana
- 1 Cup Unsweetened almond milk
- 1 TSP Coconut Oil
- 1 -2 TBSP Peanut butter
- Hand full of ice
Add all ingredients into a blend and enjoy! You can also add protein powder to this smoothie and/or swap in any of your favorite fruits! I promise you won’t even taste the spinach! What a great way to “sneak” in some greens for yourself 🙂
Veggie Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce
I have to admit, I’m not anywhere near a full blown chef. For this light and delicious summertime treat, I will have to refer you to the wonderful Oh She Glows. There is a bunch of prep-work involved in this dish, but it’s relatively easy to make and the preparation can be done ahead of time.
Zucchini Pancakes (Gluten Free) (2 servings)
- 1 Medium zucchini grated
- 1/4th Cup Almond flour
- 1/2 TBSP Coconut oil
- 1/4 TSP Baking powder
- 2 Whole eggs
- Dash of vanilla
- 2 TBSP Peanut butter
Mix all the ingredients together until you get a nice thick texture. For thinner pancakes, add a splash of almond milk. Then, put in a pan to cook like you would regular pancakes, flipping when ready….and finally top with peanut butter! This simple pancake is another good way to sneak greens into your breakfast. You won’t taste the zucchini and the healthy fat from the almond flour creates a natural sweetness without actually adding sugar.
Those are just some of my favorite ways to use peanut butter, but there are a million other recipes that incorporate it! Peanut butter is one of those foods I feel safe always keeping on the grocery list because I know I can always find a way to use it up.
I’ll leave you with one quick tip: Most natural peanut butters come with the oil separated. Once you open the jar, do a pretty through job of mixing the oil in with a thin spoon and then place the jar into the refrigerator upside down. This will help to hold the oil/peanuts together for the next time you open it.
Now I’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite way to use peanut butter???
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!