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