National Peanut Butter Month!

A month to celebrate one of my all time favorite foods!?  That’s right, November is National Peanut Butter month!  This has made me ecstatic and has simply given me another excuse to continue consuming mass amounts of peanut butter.

I adore peanut butter.  After opening a jar, it’s almost guaranteed to be gone within the next 1-2 weeks (usually leaning on the side of one week).  Never leave IMG_4797a banana and a jar of peanut butter near me, unless you’re willing to lose your banana.  Banana with peanut butter is probably my favorite food combination.  I’ve been eating this duo ever since I can remember, and it still hasn’t grown old.

The beautiful thing about peanut butter is that it can be paired with almost anything.  While I’m often found eating it straight from the jar (or simply drizzled with a little honey for a nice dessert), it works great with everything from sweets, to veggies, to fruits, to grains, making it one of the most versatile foods out there.  Let’s think of everything I’ve ever eaten peanut butter on….Bananas, apples, bread, rice cakes, celery, oatmeal, pears, crackers, chocolate, ice cream, pancakes, cookies…and this list excludes peanut sauce, which I’ve paired with everything from broccoli to tofu to rice and more.  I could probably fill this entire post with things I have previously coupled with peanut butter, but for the sake of space and interest, I’ll cut it short.

Lucky for me, I chose a relatively healthy food to fall in love with.  As a vegetarian, peanut butter is a great snack to help me pack a punch of protein into my diet.  Per serving, it contains 8 grams of protein (about 14% of your daily needs depending on your size), and 3 grams of fiber (10% of your daily needs).  Peanut butter also contains a substantial amount of potassium.  Although this amount is not quite as high as in bananas, if you pair them together you’re body is guaranteed a nice dose of potassium.  Peanut butter is relatively high in fat, however the good news is that this fat is primarily the healthy kind.  Monounsaturated fat, the main kind of fat in peanut butter, has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, thus improving cholesterol levels. Peanut butter also contains polyunsaturated fats, which help to raise HDL (good) cholesterol, making peanut butter highly beneficial in regulating cholesterol.

Studies have shown that nuts in general lower the risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.  While many people avoid nuts due to their high caloric content, they may actually help you lose weight.  A study published in the journal Obesity showed that people who eat nuts at least twice a week are actually significantly less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts.

Unique to peanuts is a nutrient known as Resveratrol. When consumed, resveratrol acts as a natural antimicrobial and antifungal agent that wards off pathogens, such as bacteria, fungi, and virus-causing pathogens.  Studies conducted on mice have show numerous benefits from consuming the nutrient that range from anti-cancer, antiviral, anti-aging, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects.

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your peanut butter, stick to an all-natural brand.  Look for jars containing simply peanuts and salt.  This two ingredient combination is all you need to guarantee an outstanding taste.  Unnatural peanut butter varieties contain a list of other unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients, such as hydrogenated oils (trans fat) and sugar.  My favorite brand actually consists of just solely peanuts, and I add my own salt to it.

A key sign that you’ve chosen natural is that you will probably have to stir it.  With no hydrogenated fats or artificial ingredients, the natural oil in the peanuts tends to separate from the ground peanut mixture.  Note that this is natural, and simply takes a mere two minutes of arm oomph to return it to its naturally creamy state.  If you’re making the switch from Jif (or Skippy or Peter Pan, or any other inferior PB) to natural PB, check out my top 3 favorite brands.

In order from my absolute favorite to relatively enjoyed brands:

IMG_4799

  • Crazy Richard’s:  The star component of this peanut butter is its creaminess.  I usually get the chunky, which consists of extremely creamy peanut butter combined with freshly chopped peanuts.  The creamy is also delicious and truly lives up to its name in comparison to other brands.  While it doesn’t contain any salt, it’s worth the extra effort of having to add your own.  Before stirring, I add a teaspoon of salt to the jar, and then mix it all up.  Mmm.

IMG_5032Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter: This is also a remarkably creamy peanut butter.  The peanuts are dry roasted, giving it a roasted taste that differs from the brand above.  However, it is almost equally as good.  Plus, it already contains the salt.

Courtesy of RealSimple.com

  • Smucker’s: With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good. This has a rich, peanutty taste.  It’s not quite as creamy as the brands above, however you’re almost guaranteed to be able to find Smucker’s in any generic supermarket branch.
  • Also, Whole Foods and a few other health food stores often have grind-your-own peanut butter stations that grind the peanuts right in front of you.  I must say, this usually ensures an extra peanutty, fresh taste.  However, always try to taste the peanuts beforehand to make sure that they haven’t gone stale.

Look for future posts with some of my favorite recipes containing peanut butter!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter?  What’s your favorite brand?

Peanut Butter on Foodista

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  • Reply
    Mari
    November 12, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Gasp National PB Month! November has officially become my fave month lol. I love PB in anything ha…from pasta to oats to fruit to smoothies lol…2 weeks? damn chickie you are stronger than I lol…

  • Reply
    Meg @ Be fit Be Full
    November 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I love that it’s national peanut butter month! Think I may take a break from almond butter and hit up my PB jar!

  • Reply
    Dina
    November 12, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I had peanutbutter and bananas as soon as I read this. 🙂 Although mine wasn’t natural pb, i will def look for some after i am done this jar.

    -p.s. i love your posts, i read them all the time. i found your blog through cherryandwhite.com

  • Reply
    Corinne Dobbas
    November 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks for your comment! It prompted me to check out your awesome blog! And–I was delighted to see you posted on one of my favorite foods–good ol’ PB! I love the stuff. And, I must say I adore the Trader Joe’s brand. Good stuff!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    November 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I’m obsessed with my new jar of PB&Co Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. Mmmm!

  • Reply
    peanutbutterfingers
    November 12, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    WHAT!? how did i not know this!!!??? i love PB anyway… my fav would have to be the old stand by: a pb & j sandwich. nothin’ better! :o)

  • Reply
    Bekah
    November 12, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I swear, right after I read this post.. I went and ate a little spoonful of both my crunchy raw PB AND dark chocolate dreams. Love it.

    One of my faves= crunchy valencia raw peanut butter from arrowhead mills. there is something about the sweetness of those peanuts, because ALL there is in the jar is raw peanuts, and I also add my own salt. I also grew up on that specific brand, so that probably has something to do with my love for it.

    I love all the flavored kinds too.

    I know, I’m so excited to be on the east coast! I really have no idea where everything is in relation to where I’ll be, but I’d say a meetup is definitely a possibility. It seems like everything on the east coast is just naturally closer together? I’ll go with that. 🙂 xoxo

  • Reply
    Peanut Butter Bliss
    November 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    ahaha oh my gosh I am the same way with a jar of pb & a bananas..really anything with a jar of peanut butter…

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    November 12, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Yum, I love peanut butter – so sweet and delicious!

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    November 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Yayyy…PB month!!! Actually, I used to be ADDICTED to PB – like it was crazy…by the spoonfuls, on bread, bagels, my fingers…I finally decided to try Almond Butter after thinking I needed to cut back on it… Well, I thought that if I switched to AB, I wouldn’t ‘like it as much’ – so I thought that I wouldn’t eat so much and it would be okay…UH NOOOO – turns out I’m OBSESSED WITH ALMOND BUTTER NOW!! And, then I started trying other kinds -Cashew Butter, Sunflower Seed, Pumpkin…oye -I have a terrible addiction 🙁
    …But I did lay off the PB?! haha not that it really matters. I do still have it in Reese’s Pieces Cups though…does that count?
    Question – what’s your take on nut butters AND eating nuts throughout the day…because I do both every day …I know nuts are good for you and the butters – but they’re also caloric. I don’t have a weight problem and exercise…but I’m afraid I go overboard…yet I can’t break the obsession !! 🙂

    • Reply
      Food-Fitness-FreshAir
      November 12, 2009 at 9:30 pm

      I think nuts should be consumed in moderation, but are definitely a great addition to add in daily. Try to stick with a handful of nuts a day and/or limiting yourself to a serving size of nut butters. I know this can be hard, as I often break this rule myself! But as I mentioned above, studies actually show that while nuts are relatively high in calories, those who eat them regularly are actually less likely to gain weight.

  • Reply
    kris | iheartwellness.com
    November 12, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Mmm PB & Ninners go hand in hand…..they are delish together. They are like Rachel and Ross 🙂

    I really like PB or Almond butter and carrot sticks! LOL….

    XXOO

  • Reply
    Angie
    November 13, 2009 at 7:56 am

    How did I miss that this is PB month??

    Have a great weekend!!

  • Reply
    alex
    November 20, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    my favorite – Safeway’s Old Fashioned Creamy. Yep, the generic brand. It’s incredible. You have to stir it when you first open it, but after a day in the fridge, it’s amazing. i literally eat it every day for lunch. =)

    wonder if im the only person who does this, but i always make my pb&js on frozen bread, the night before. I wrap them in wax paper and ziploc them, and leave them in the freezer. in the morning at work it goes into the fridge, and by lunch? it’s perfect.

  • Reply
    Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    November 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    […] Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Banana Bread 2009 November 29 by Food-Fitness-FreshAir The leaves have fallen, cold weather is approaching, and winter is soon on its way.  Wow!  After today, just one more day of November…Can you believe it!?  That also means we’re coming to the end of National Peanut Butter Month. […]

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