We are big fans of nut butters around here. Spread a little on an apple wedge and yum! Kendra is partial to almond butter, but Suzanne loves peanut butter. She is from Georgia after all. And peanut butter is the classic. It plays so nicely with others… jelly, chocolate, you name it.
Photo by Huiee of the peanut plants at Happiness Farms. What a great name!
Contrary to what their name implies, peanuts are not true nuts but a member of a family of legumes related to peas, lentils, chickpeas and other beans. (And you know we love our legumes.) Peanuts are nutrition powerhouses, packed with vitamins, antioxidants, protein and healthy fats. A great source of monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, peanuts are also a good source of protein, vitamin E, niacin, folate and manganese. And believe it or not, peanuts rival the antioxidant content of blackberries and strawberries, and are far richer in antioxidants than apples, carrots or beets. Peanuts provide resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant also found in red grapes and red wine that is thought to be responsible for the French paradox: the fact that French women can dine on brie and chocolates and still remain stylishly svelte. The French always seem to know how to do things right! In fact, a prospective study published in the journal Obesity shows that people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts. Win. Win.
As with most things though, quality matters. And we are talking about real, all natural nut butters here. (The critical thing is to make sure there are no hyudrogenated/trans-fats or sugars added.) Of course, our favorite nut butters are Justin’s. Made in small batches, from high quality natural and organic ingredients, they’re kind of our nut butter alter ego! And of course they are simply delicious. I mean 3 kinds of peanut butter, 4 almond butters and a chocolate hazelnut. Excuse us, we need to go have a snack!
Images via Justin’s
Of course the options with peanut butter are endless, but a few of our favorites ways to indulge include:
- Peanut butter on a pink lady apple, tart green pear or a banana.
- A peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich.
- In a smoothie to thicken and add a healthy source of fat. Along with whey protein powder, this can turn a smoothie into a complete breakfast!
- Combined with coconut milk, and ready-to-use Thai red or green curry paste for a quick, delicious sauce. Pour over chicken, salmon or your favorite sautéed vegetables.
- Try a recipe from Justin’s or email them one of your favorites!
What are some of your favorites?