In Praise of Peanut Butter
Diets rich in peanuts and peanut butter appear to protect against heart disease by lowering levels of bad LDL cholesterol and controlling body weight. So enjoy this time-honored favorite with the whole family.
Following are some quick and nutritious nibbles to reap the health benefits.
- Spread your peanut butter in a new way. For an appealing and healthy snack, spread it on apples, bananas or pears.
- At breakfast, spread it on waffles. For lunch, roll it up with jelly.
- Swirl it. Heat 2-tablespoons in the microwave for about one minute until soft. Swirl it into yogurt, or use as a topping on frozen yogurt or fat-free/low-fat ice cream.
- Dress it up. Add sliced strawberries or golden raisins for a more grown-up taste.
- Put on a toasted whole-wheat English muffin; top with pear slices and honey.
- Blend peanut butter, a banana, 1 percent milk and a little vanilla extract for a smoothie for two.
- Make a sauce by combining light brown sugar, low-sodium soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, crushed red pepper, and a minced garlic clove. Serve with vegetables, pita wedges, or chicken.
- One whole-wheat tortilla with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat peanut butter and 1-tablespoon all-fruit strawberry jam.
Hard in the Jar?
Here are a couple of ways to soften jarred PB if it’s not as creamy as you’d like: Add one teaspoon of hot water. Stir. Add a few drops of sesame oil. It not only restores creaminess, but increases the nutty flavor.
A Couple Cautions:
The American of Pediatrics suggests parents wait until children are at least two years of age before introducing them to peanut butter. Wait until age four to give them crunchy peanut butter to guard against choking.
Quick note: Discourage eating right from the spoon. It can cause choking in both adults and children.
Because Man Cannot Live on Bread Alone!
Peanut butter is a very satisfying food, which actually suppresses your appetite for hours after you’ve eaten some.
- A piece of bread, toasted or not, with a tablespoon of peanut butter spread atop and one-half a banana sliced on top.
- Top a toasted English muffin with peanut butter, pear slices and honey.
- Blend peanut butter, a banana, 1 percent milk and a little vanilla extract for a smoothie.
- Take a tortilla and top with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat peanut butter and 1-tablespoon all-fruit strawberry jam.
P.S. National Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month is November!
P.P.S. National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day is March 1