According to Jama’s Alphabet Soup, November is Peanut Butter Lover’s Month: friday feast: peanut butter poems wanted! Since I talked about peanut butter in the comments to that post and in some of my bread recipe posts in October, I thought it would be a good time to write about peanut butter on my blog.
Peanut butter is both a triggering food for me and a food that showed up in some of my worst overeating episodes. Nearly all foods that meet those two criteria have been banned from my house. I can count on one hand the number of those foods that are currently in my kitchen. Peanut butter is one.
I’m not the only eater in my house, so eliminating peanut butter would cause a hardship for my husband who eats it sanely, usually in the form of a half-sandwich of peanut butter and honey for an afternoon snack. Peanut butter is the basis for one of our favorite sauces for stir-fry — a sauce that we particularly like with cooking greens which are so healthy that you could eat them with almost anything and consider it a win nutritionally.
I had to work pretty hard to find a way to keep peanut butter in my diet without letting it derail my good eating habits (at least, not too often). I follow two principles with peanut butter.
Peanut Butter is a fat not a protein. I had to quit thinking of peanut butter as a good source of protein. Here’s a table of some of the foods I eat for protein in the amounts I use at lunch. The values are from CalorieKing.
|protein (g)||fat (g)||kcal|
|1T Peanut Butter||4||8||94|
|1/2c 1% cottage cheese||14||1||81|
I don’t know where I got the idea that peanut butter was a good source of protein given those numbers! Maybe the peanut butter lobby?
Peanut Butter is an ingredient not a condiment. I use peanut butter in things not on things.
Once in awhile, though, I get a craving for peanut butter on toast or a peanut butter sandwich that nothing else is going to solve. When that happens, I make a PB Spread so that the peanut butter remains an ingredient. For me, PB Spread satisfies the craving without triggering additional cravings.
The easiest version of my PB Spread is simply peanut butter mixed with yogurt cheese (strained yogurt). When I first started doing this, I made it about half and half. Now, I use two big spoonfuls of yogurt cheese and one big spoonful of peanut butter, blended together in the food processor.
Over time, I’ve grown to like PB Spread better than peanut butter. It’s creamier, spreads more easily, and it’s less oily.
Other things can be added to change the flavor, texture, and nutritional elements of PB Spread. Cottage cheese is surprisingly good while boosting the protein. Flax meal adds those ever-important omega-3s and you hardly notice it’s in there. Honey is good if you’re in a sweet rather than savory mood.
Is peanut butter a problem food for you (or am I the only crazy one)? What approaches work well for you?
Has anyone tried that new PB2? Apparently, it’s a de-fatted powdered peanut butter that is reported to be quite good as a substitute in recipes. I haven’t seen it around here yet.
This is my Weekend Cooking post for this week. Visit Beth Fish Reads to see other posts describing adventures in the kitchen.