What is more American than apple pie? Peanut butter! November is National Peanut Butter Month and my husband couldn’t be happier.
Peanut butter is probably my husband’s favorite food. He can find a way to enjoy peanut butter with anything from a breakfast of peanut butter toast to his nightly scoop of peanut butter swirl ice-cream. He’ll wax poetic about the joy of opening a brand new jar of peanut butter. He used to carve his initials in the top of the creamy surface so that when his siblings opened the jar, they would see he had been there first. Yup, this is the guy I married!
As a little boy, PB&Js were his first foray into the culinary world. He could make lunch all by himself! My hubby’s mom knew that if he had a PB&J packed in his bag before he went off to play with the neighborhood kids, he would be just fine until dinner. In fact, she considered it a healthy choice, and she wasn’t wrong.
It’s all about moderation. Two tablespoons of peanut butter provides a good amount of protein (7 grams), along with essential vitamins and minerals. The ratio of unsaturated and saturated fats is similar to olive oil (a heart-healthy choice) plus the nutrients of niacin, potassium, magnesium and Vitamin E found in peanut butter can aid heart health. The protein, natural fats and fiber help you feel full. No-added sugar peanut butter is an excellent choice for weight and glucose control.
Check out the ingredient list of your favorite peanut butter. Added sugar and salt, or other ingredients such as palm oil are unnecessary and can negatively affect heart health and weight. Even the big brands are now making “natural” options. Read the label! If your natural peanut butter has separated, give it a quick stir. We store ours upside down to keep the oils incorporated.
Our youngest daughter is a peanut butter fan too! Recently, I overheard her debate the merits between homemade and store-bought natural peanut butters to the big brands made with added ingredients. All but one of her friends preferred natural peanut butter. However, all of them were interested to hear that she makes her own peanut butter. Check out this recipe for just how easy it is to make. She also loves to cook with peanut butter and searches for recipes using peanut butter, inspiring me to do the same.
Despite not being quite as crazy for peanut butter as my husband and daughter, I really enjoy cooking with it. When thinking of peanut butter, my mind used to go straight to PB&Js plus peanut butter in brownies, smoothies and cookies, but I learned that it adds a really special flavor to dressings and sauces. Who knew the variety of dishes that use peanut butter?
The peanut butter-loving boy in my husband has thoroughly enjoyed my foray into adding peanut butter-inspired dinners. He’s just a big kid who still loves eating and learning about peanut butter! My husband loved this link of 24 fun Facts from the National Peanut Board. Have fun reading it and sharing at your own dinner table!