It is mainly used as a sandwich spread. Commercially available peanut butter has added salt, oil, sugar/honey and other preservatives, thus making it calorie-dense.
A smarter option would be making it at home as this only takes about 15 minutes. However, if you have to buy peanut butter from the supermarket, choose the ones that dont contain hydrogenated oil. Also, steer clear of the reduced fat peanut butter as they contain added products to make it taste at par with the normal version. Always opt for crunchy/chunky peanut butter as it has a higher fiber and unsaturated fat content and lesser saturated fat than smooth peanut butter.
Since children usually like peanut butter, adding it to vegetables or serving it with fruit can make it easier to get them to eating fruits and vegetables.
Peanut Butter Nutrition Value
A serving (2 tbsp) of chunky peanut butter, without salt, provides -
Calories - 188 kcal
Carbohydrates - 7 gms
Sugar - 3 gms
Protein 8 gms
Fat - 16 gms
Saturated fats 2 gms
Mono Unsaturated fats 7.4 gms
Polyunsaturated fats 4.46 gms
Fiber- 2.5 gms
Calcium- 14.4 mg
Phosphorus 102.08 mg
Sodium 5 mg
Potassium - 238.4 mg
Magnesium 51.2 mg
Zinc 0.89 mg
Peanut Butter - A Superfood with Numerous Health benefits
Peanut Butter can be categorized as a superfood and is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and has many additional health benefits.
1. Vitamins and Minerals
Peanut butter is an excellent source of Niacin needed for brain functioning and Vitamin E which acts as an anti-oxidant. It also contains a significant amount of Folate and Vitamin B-6 which helps in maintaining smooth functioning of the heart and copper which plays an important role in enzyme functioning. Additionally, the zinc content boosts immunity.
2. Peanut butter for weight loss
Various studies have shown that eating peanut butter at breakfast aids in weight loss as the protein and fiber content gives satiety and reduces cravings for empty calories. However, it should be consumed in moderation to avoid over-consuming calories and exceeding the recommended fat intake.
3. Peanut butter for a healthy heart
Peanut butter is an excellent source of Mono-Unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and oleic acid which boost HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Peanut butter is an excellent source of potassium, which is associated with improved blood pressure control.
4. Peanut butter for healthy skin
Peanut butter contains Vitamin E, zinc and magnesium which keeps the skin glowing and prevents acne breakouts. The magnesium content aids in better blood flow to the skin resulting in youthful and healthy skin.
5. Peanut Butter and bodybuilding
In the age of protein shakes and energy bars, bodybuilders have forgotten that peanut butter is a superfood. With a 98% protein digestibility of peanuts, peanut butter sandwich is an ideal post workout snack providing all the essential amino acids. Unsaturated fats in peanut butter assist in muscle growth and repair.
6. Peanut butter and colon cancer
Roasting peanuts can increase their antioxidant properties as found in peanut butter. A number of studies have shown nutrients like folic acid, flavonoids, phenolic acid, phyto-sterols in particular beta-sisterol and resveratrol have anti-cancer effects. The high vitamin E content makes peanut butter a colon cancer-preventive food.
7. Peanut butter and pregnancy
Various studies have found that when pregnant women ate peanut butter, they tended to have children with fewer nut allergies. Since it scores high on both nutrition and calories, it can help in healthy weight gain in pregnant mothers.
Peanut Butter Recipes
Besides the favourite Peanut butter sandwich, here are some quick and easy recipes which can be made using peanut butter.
1. Peanut and Bean Salad
1 cup boiled kidney beans
Ό cup chopped onions
Ό cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons sliced spring onion greens
1/3 cup Peanut butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Directions: Combine beans, celery and onion in a medium bowl. Stir together peanut butter and yogurt in another bowl. Pour over bean mixture. Stir until evenly moistened. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Arrange spinach leaves on individual plates. Top with bean salad.
2. Peanut oats porridge
1 cup old rolled oats
2 1/2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
2 medium ripe sliced bananas
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions: Combine oats, water and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally till it starts thickening.
Add peanut butter, bananas and cinnamon. Serve immediately.
3. Protein packed wrap
1/4 cup Peanut Butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 teaspoons oil
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
4 tortilla wraps/chappati
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix all dressing ingredients in small bowl until it becomes smooth and creamy.
2. Stir fry the vegetables in a wok along with the bean sprouts. Add salt and pepper.
3. Spread 1 tablespoon of the dressing on each tortilla/chappati. Place the vegetable stuffing in the middle and roll into a wrap. Serve immediately.
There are many combinations that are possible with peanut butter besides the recipes given above. For example Dianne Wiest, Hollywood actress says What I love is a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. I'll just have peanut butter and bananas, then peanut butter and pickles. Peanut butter and chocolate I don't recommend.