If you think peanut butter is just for making PB and J sandwiches for the kids, think again. It’s one of the best bargain foods and there’s so much you can do with it.
An Essential Pantry Staple
Peanut butter’s always had a place in my pantry. I like to keep a jar of both chunky and smooth/creamy on the shelf at all times.
Everyone Loves It
We loved it when we were children and I have to admit when I’ve had a bad day; sometimes a PB and J sandwich is all I need to put a smile back on my face. And how many other foods, well, maybe pizza, can you think of that both children and adults love? If you make a dish using peanut butter I can guarantee you won’t have any leftovers.
You might think the PB and J sandwich doesn’t rank in the category of gourmet sandwiches, but there are some ways to put a new twist on it and create some variety. I’ve paired it with things like cherry jam. Another favorite combination of mine is PB and Nutella spread.
A Healthful Snack
A PB and J sandwich can be a healthful treat for both you and your children. No sugar added peanut butter plus a no sugar added fruit spread served on whole wheat bread makes a healthy after school treat.
Breakfast in a Dash
Here’s one of my favorite breakfasts on the go. In a blender add about a cup of soymilk, a chopped banana and about two tablespoons of PB. It’s a great energy booster and tastes delicious too. You can use chocolate soymilk too.
Many years ago I tried a deli salad that I thought was wonderful. Cooked spaghetti with slivers of carrots and chopped green onions with sesame seeds in a sauce that tasted really good. One day I happened to see a similar recipe in a magazine and discovered the sauce was just PB, some oil and soy sauce. Ever since then I’ve been making the salad myself.
In my house, we’re big fans of hummus with pita bread. Sometimes I’ll make my own hummus and one day I was out of tahini, so I substituted it with PB. We actually liked the taste better and it’s a lot cheaper than a jar of tahini.
Salad Dressings and Dips
One of my favorite ways to eat peanut butter is to use it as the basis for a salad dressing.
Here’s one of my favorite recipes-
Baked Chicken Salad with Field Greens-Serves Four
•½ cup chunky peanut butter
•¼ cup warm water
•2 tablespoons soy sauce
•2 tablespoons canola oil
•2 tablespoons honey
•2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
•1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root, you can use powder but I think the fresh variety really adds a lot more flavor
•And if you like a little heat, try adding a dash of red pepper flakes too.
I use about three to four cups of shredded cooked chicken for this dish.
Wash five cups of field greens or you can use a combination of romaine and red leaf lettuce. Place the field greens in a large serving bowl and top with the chicken strips, pour on the dressing and toss everything together. It’s wonderful served with crusty bread and makes the ideal meal for a hot summer evening.
The same dressing also makes a great marinade for chicken or pork.
A Quick Snack
If you feel your energy is starting to slide, try eating some peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers. A study conducted by Harvard University found that women who eat at least five tablespoons of peanut butter each week reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes by more than 21 percent. Start snacking ladies!