Peanut Butter for Dinner?

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Are you as obsessed with peanut butter as I am? I love, love, love it and it is so healthy for you! This week, we observe National Peanut Butter Day, but I am turning it into a week of peanut butter yumminess. In my last blog entry, I included my recipe for Peanut Butter and Honey Power Muffins. Tonight, we are having a vegetarian friend over for dinner so I came up with this delicious recipe using peanut butter.

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp siracha sauce
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk (not canned)

Mix all ingredients together and add to cooked vegetables and rice or soba noodles.

This will last about five days in a closed container in fridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Peanut Butter and Honey Power Muffins for National Peanut Butter Day

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Peanut Butter lovers everywhere, rejoice! Yesterday was National Peanut Butter Day!

But, but, but? Isn’t peanut butter bad for you? Peanut butter is absolutely, positively, by no means, BAD for you. Well, to be fair, eating half a jar of peanut butter wouldn’t exactly be the best thing for you, but a healthy serving size once a day provides so many health benefits.

Let’s break it down. Peanut butter comes, of course, from peanuts. Natural peanut butter (emphasis on the NATURAL) is made up of one ingredient and that’s peanuts. In case you didn’t know, peanuts aren’t even actually a nut. They’re a legume and they grow in the ground. The peanuts are roasted and ground into a paste to make the spread.

Composed primarily of fat, a serving of peanuts also packs in about 8 grams of protein, so it’s a great plant-based protein source. Keep in mind that the fat in peanut butter is monounsaturated, a good fat that can help lower your LDL cholesterol and benefit the heart in numerous ways.

Just so you don’t get too carried away, a typical serving of peanut butter consists of two tablespoons. For two tablespoons of peanut butter you’ll get about 180 calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 7 grams of carbs.

This is the breakdown for natural peanut butter. Now some of you may have been raised on named brand peanut butters that were packed full of sugar and other hydrogenated oils, but today, even many named brands have natural options with just the one ingredient of peanuts!

You may have seen my blog a few months ago about the benefits of peanuts (to read, click here). All of those same benefits apply to peanut butter of course. I’ll recap some of the main points:

  • Filled with monounsaturated fats that help to lower LDL cholesterol levels and raises HDL levels
  • Decreases chances of heart attack and stroke
  • Curb appetite
  • Promote weight loss
  • Packed with Fiber

The big takeaway here is that peanut butter is filled with healthy fats. Healthy fats are essential to a healthy diet. So make sure you watch out the “reduced fat” label. In these products, where the fat is taken out, sugar and other additives are added to replace it. Natural, natural, natural, I can’t say it enough!

While peanut butter can be good on toasted whole grain bread…yuuummm, there are so many other ways to use it. Be sure to try this breakfast or snack favorite of mine that I made yesterday for the celebration!

Peanut Butter and Honey Power Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat (or gluten free all purpose) flour
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (excluding the oats) in a bowl.
  3. Melt peanut butter and honey together in microwave at 30 seconds intervals, stirring until completely combined.
  4. Allow mixture to cool before adding the rest of the wet ingredients.
  5. Once cooled, add in the rest of the wet ingredients and mix to combine
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until well combined
  7. Spray muffin tin and add mixture to tin. Each cup should be about ¾ full
  8. Sprinkle oats over top of muffins (makes them look extra yummy)
  9. Cook for 12-15  minutes or until a fork comes out clean

 

Let’s celebrate National Popcorn Day

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It’s going to be a frigid weekend and what better way to spend it than having a family movie night at home with plenty of popcorn! That’s right, I said Popcorn! And the timing couldn’t be more perfect! Tomorrow, January 19 is National Popcorn Day.

Popcorn is a snack that I am a huge proponent of. Why? First, it’s a whole grain! A whole grain has three main elements, the germ, bran, and endosperm. The germ contains many B vitamins, protein, vitamin E, and many minerals. The bran is the primary place where fiber is stored in a whole grain and it also has B vitamins, antioxidants, and protein. The endosperm has some protein and fiber.

So when you have popcorn, you are having all the amazing nutrients that are in the three main components of a whole grain.

If that’s not good enough news, popcorn is low in calories (as long as you don’t douse it in butter).

Get your air popper out and pop some popcorn. Here are my favorite ways to season popcorn:

  • Standard: One tablespoon of olive oil and a few shakes of sea salt per six cups of popcorn
  • Spicy: Spice it up with juice of one lime, one teaspoon of dried cilantro, ¼ teasonn cumin, and one tablespoon of olive oil per six cups of popcorn.
  • Sweet Tooth: 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar. ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil per six cups of popcorn

Enjoy! And feel free to share your favorite healthy popcorn recipe!