Peanut Butter Dreams

by Laura on March 25, 2012

in Food

Family Eats loves peanut butter, and we know we’re not alone. Since being introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800’s, peanut butter has become an American staple, loved by millions of children and adults alike.

My childhood memories of peanut butter include a creamy treat of Peter Pan spread on a single slice of bread – no jelly, just peanut butter on rye bread. But it wasn’t just the sandwich that tempted me. Also on my list of peanut butter favorites were Grandma Gorman’s peanut butter cookies and her smooth and cream peanut butter fudge.

Fast forward a few decades and peanut butter still tops my list. Now my kids are fans of the peanut butter sandwich, and they gobble down cookies, fudge, and smoothies made using this protein-filled ingredient.

What is so comforting about having peanut butter in our house, (aside from no one having a nut allergy), is that it truly is a healthy – and cost-effective – ingredient.

Even though peanut butter contains some saturated fats, it doesn’t mean that it is unhealthy. According to Harvard Health Publications, “A typical 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter has 3.3 grams of saturated fat and 12.3 grams of unsaturated fat. That puts it up there with olive oil in terms of the ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat.”

The publication also noted numerous studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat nuts.

I know that it is a healthy option for a snack – it is an energy dense food, and also contributes more than 30 essential nutrients to our diet. Peanut butter gives them a boost as an afternoon snack, makes them happy during lunchtime, and on occasion, greets them with goodness during dinner (i.e. peanut butter noodles).

The recent PB My Way recipe contest, sponsored by the Southern Peanut Growers got me thinking about how I could expand my uses of peanut butter. After all, peanut butter gets a thumbs up from the entire family. (Rarely is there a meal, or ingredient, that gets such resounding applause.)

I’m no longer a big fan of peanut butter sandwiches, but I still enjoy peanut butter at lunchtime. So, I wanted to create an easy lunch that would allow me to keep peanut butter in my day – and, something the kids would like as well. I turned to my love for peanut butter noodles, and created some Thai-inspired roll ups, a recipe adapted from Easy Asian Noodles, Helen Chen, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Spicy Peanut Butter Vegetable Wraps

½ cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup chicken broth – warmed

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp chili-garlic sauce, or to taste

1 tsp sugar

Filling

Scallions, thinly sliced

Carrots, thinly sliced

Cucumbers, peeled and sliced thinly

Chicken breast, cooked, shredded

Blend the peanut butter with the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, chili-garlic sauce and sugar into a smooth past. Spread peanut sauce on warmed tortilla. Place vegetables and chicken (if using) inside and wrap.

(next page for a chance to win $50 gift card)

To make things even more fun, Family Eats is giving away one $50 Visa card to one peanut-loving reader  (courtesy of the Southern Peanut Growers).

To be entered into the Family Eats drawing, simply do one (or more) of the following:

* Send us your peanut butter recipe, we’ll highlight it, and you’ll be entered in the giveaway.

* Retweet our contest – use the hashtag #FEPB

* Like us on Facebook – and if you already ‘like’ us, comment on one of our peanut-related posts.

* Sign up for our newsletter (If you already receive the newsletter, share it, and if your colleagues sign up, make sure they mention you)

* Comment on this article

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