Peanut butter is one of my top five favorite foods and frankly, I think it gets a bad rap. Sure, you can buy the super sugared-up variety that’s made with additional sugar and hydrogenated oils, but there are a number of brands out there that now made a “natural variety” that only has peanuts, salt and palm oil. My personal favorite brand is Skippy Naturals. It’s creamy, you don’t have to stir it and if you eat a spoonful, your cheeks don’t pucker like some brands. I’m probably going to be judged by the true hippies of the world for not getting an organic variety, but that’s okay. I’m perfectly happy finding the middle ground of food that isn’t excessively processed, but that Parker will happily eat.
I can honestly say that I eat peanut butter every day. Some of my favorite breakfasts/snacks/smoothies have peanut butter as the primary ingredient and for good reason. With 180 calories and 7 grams of protein in 2 Tablespoons, it’s a great energy source and the perfect complement to fruits and grains. Here are some of my favorite peanut butter pairings.
- Peanut butter and banana
- Peanut butter and apples
- Whole grain waffle smeared with peanut butter and honey
- Peanut butter, banana and chocolate soy milk smoothie
- Oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter
Don’t be scared off by the fact that peanut butter has fat. Our bodies need fat, especially the good monounsaturated varieties like those found in peanut butter, as well as avocados and olive oil. The fact is that eating foods with a moderate amount of fat (and low sugar) will help you feel fuller for longer. In other words, you’ll eat less in the long run. Plus, there’s not much out there that’s better for a pre- or post-workout snack than a banana smeared with peanut butter. It might just be one of the most perfect fuel sources.
So go ahead, indulge in a peanut butter treat as part of your daily fare. As long as you consume everything in moderation, you are on your way to a well balanced diet.