Peanut butter lovers worldwide cast aside social norms and dove spoon-first into jars of crunchy or smooth nut butter on March 1 — the official Peanut Butter Lover’s day.
However, this indulgence shouldn’t be limited to a single day of the year. As one of the healthiest snacks, peanut butter should serve as a staple in our diets, and here’s a guide of how to incorporate the creamy spread into your diet for every meal:
As we all know, one of the most difficult quandaries for college students is how to have a quick and healthy breakfast on the go. Toast is quick and easy, and slathering it with peanut butter rather than regular butter or margarine is more filling and provides a much-needed dose of protein to start the day. Add some bananas on top for even more nutritious flavor. A peanut butter parfait could even be made by combining granola,aq11q some fruit of your choice, yogurt, peanut butter and oatmeal.
Besides starring in the classic PB&J we might remember from our days in elementary school, peanut butter is also a key ingredient in many Thai foods. Try this Food Network recipe for chilled peanut soba noodles, which involves combining peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar and chili sauce in a large bowl and drenching it over the cooked noodles before chilling them in the refrigerator.
A spoonful of peanut butter can be an indulgent snack in and of itself, but another option between classes is dipping apple slices into peanut butter. For a simple no-cook snack, try oatmeal-chocolate chip energy cookies, made by combining peanut butter, oats, flaxseed, chocolate chips and honey all rolled into a ball and left to set for 15 minutes.
For dinner, consider going back to vegetables and protein for a perfect way to end the day. Try Bobby Flay’s recipe for chicken salad with red chili peanut dressing. The recipe has been marked as healthy, meaning it was chosen specifically by food nutrition experts to complement a healthy lifestyle. The preparation time takes 20 minutes and involves combining peanut butter, ginger, soy sauce, honey and sesame oil in a bowl to make the salad dressing and adding the various vegetables with chicken.
For another easy, no-bake treat, check out Food Network’s Healthy No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars. It combines wafer cookies, peanut butter, chocolate, cream cheese and yogurt. It takes only 10 minutes to prepare and doesn’t require special tools. Fix ground-up cookies with butter and fill the bottom of the baking tray with a layer of creamy chocolate and peanut butter goodness. For an added savory twist, top with peanuts and salt. The mixture will take at least four hours to set in the refrigerator afterwards, so try and be patient. In the meantime, try this peanut butter smoothie that has an ice-cream like consistency without the additional calories.
Versatile and addicting, peanut butter rightfully deserves a national holiday. You may have missed the March 1 celebration, but try some these recipes for healthy, tasty meals you’re bound to go nuts for.
Email Beth Sattur at [email protected]