Tag Archives: peanut butter

A post about peanut butter

3 Dec

I’m sure I’ve told you about how much of a fussy eater I was growing up.  I lived on cheese pizza, turkey hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and every day at school, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (jam as I now have to say as an Aussie so they don’t think I’m a weirdo who puts jello on my sandwiches).  It was undoubtedly my biggest source of protein.

I am still a huge fan of peanut butter. Especially the stuff RedBalloon sent me.  So is Hannah.  She doesn’t like chicken apart from the occasional nugget (if you can even call that chicken), and only intermittently likes deli ham, and she doesn’t eat any other meat at all.  If I make her a sandwich at home, it always has peanut butter on it.  Two tablespoons (32 grams) of the stuff has 8 grams of protein.  For comparison’s sake, 32 grams of chicken breast has about 9.7 grams of protein.  Yes, chicken has far fewer calories than peanut butter, but if you have a kid who doesn’t like meat, does like peanut butter, doesn’t eat a large volume of any kind of food, and is underweight, daily doses of peanut butter is a great option.  Plus it’s delicious.  Also, don’t be scared of the fat in peanut butter (don’t eat the whole jar at once, obviously, I mean per 2 TBSP serve), since the majority of fat in peanut butter is monounsaturated fat, which lowers LDL cholesterol levels (the bad cholesterol) and polyunsaturated fat which raises HDL levels (the good cholesterol).  Humans also need good fats in their diet for good health.

Unfortunately though, peanuts are also an allergen to a lot of people.  So many that it is banned in most schools, churches, playgroups, and children’s venues.  In Australia, around 3% of kids have a peanut allergy, some so severe that it causes anaphylaxis.  And trust me, that is scary.  When I was young, my brother got stung by a bee and went into anaphylactic shock.  He went all blue and couldn’t breathe until he got a shot of epinephrine.  20% of kids with peanut allergies grow out of it at some point (although I wonder when they think “hey, maybe I’ll try this stuff that I’ve been allergic to my whole life and see what happens”).  Needless to say, I can see why schools, and other venues have such strict peanut rules.

Not that peanuts are even a nut.  They are a legume, like peas, and beans.  Real nuts such as almonds and macadamias grow on trees.

Luckily for my family, we have no such peanut allergies and go through a very large volume of peanut butter in any given week.  We happened to have just run out of our big tub of it when I was volunteered to review a Red Balloon subscription.  I browsed the list of subscriptions, saw the delicious looking peanut butter, and here we are.

Screen shot 2013-11-28 at 9.26.47 PM

I like the quirky labels, and the star on the lid. If you’ve never eaten peanut butter made with only peanuts (and maybe a little salt), you’d probably be a bit surprised after you twist the lid off.  Inside is gooey, slightly runny, lumpy, brown goodness, unlike most peanut butter that you get at the supermarket, that is a firm set mass and isn’t even remotely going to fall out if you turn the jar upside down with the lid on.  You’d think the regular stuff is made of just peanuts, but it’s not.  Most peanut butters are only 90-ish percent peanuts, and have all sorts of added extras like vegetable or palm oil, sugar, molasses, and some even have ingredients with crazy long names that no one even remotely knows what are without consulting google.

Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter, on the other hand, only contains peanuts and a little bit of salt.  And by a little, I mean a little; only 30mg per serve.  The recommended daily intake for most adults under 51 is 2,300mg per day or less, which means that one serving of Pic’s peanut butter is only 1.3% of your daily allowance of salt.

Being a little runny makes it far easier to spread (or eat straight from the jar…) than 90% peanut peanut butters.  It tastes way better too.  If you’ve never had 100% peanut peanut butter, I highly suggest you try it.  You don’t know what you’re missing out on.  Between uses, it does tend to separate into solids at the bottom, oil at the top, but a quick stir brings it back to it’s gooey deliciousness.  The jar recommends storing it upside down so that when it separates it’s easier to stir evenly.  Most 100% peanut butter needs to be stored in the fridge, but Pic’s Really Good Peanut butter is made from Hi Oleic peanuts.  Whilst that may sound like something out of a science lab, it’s not.  They are not genetically modified, but a naturally bred variety that yields peanuts with an even healthier fat profile.

Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 11.02.15 AM

ref. SS-AGR-91, Agronomy Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service,
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Revised June 2003.

The different fat profile has the added benefit of a longer shelf life, meaning peanut butter made from Hi Oleic peanuts doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge, just in a dark coolish place.  Mine is in the cupboard.  Not that it lasts long around here with our high peanut butter consumption.

With our first jar of peanut butter, Hannah and I made muesli bars (recipe below), and then chickpea and peanut butter cookies (sounds horrid, but are really yummy).  Basically, we used a whole jar in under a week, but that’s normal for us.  Pic’s really Good Peanut Butter is just that though, it really is really good.  

If peanut butter is not your thing, you’re crazy Red Balloon has heaps of other options, from honey (we use a lot of that too) to coffee, to muesli, to pasta, to candles, and everything in between.  Below is a discount code for you:

Receive $20 off when you spend $79 or more on any RedBalloon experience!
Visit www.redballoon.com.au & enter the code REDBLOG14 at the checkout to receive your discount.
Code can only be used once per person. All purchases are subject to RedBalloon T&Cs – http://www.redballoon.com.au/help/terms-conditions
Expiry: 31/12/2014

RedBalloon MarketPlace was created with the aim to bring surprise and delight into the homes of people across Australia.

Each month RedBalloon curates a premium selection of gourmet food, wine and lifestyle boxes, filled with products that the RedBalloon Team has discovered and loves.

Whether you’re looking for a gift that keeps on giving, or a treat for yourself, a subscription to RedBalloon MarketPlace is one way to ensure a box of happiness and lots of smiles every month.

This recipe (below) is for Hannah’s  favourite bars.  We make them often and she gobbles them up.  Don’t be scared of the honey.  Honey has countless health benefits (so many that I’m going to write a whole post about it.  I did a presentation on the health and medicinal benefits of honey for my food science class, so I’ve thoroughly researched the topic).  Make sure you check the label because the cheaper honeys often aren’t pure honey, but have glucose or high fructose corn syrup mixed in.  Certain types of honey, such as acacia are low GI and suitable for most diabetics.
(Sources for peanut butter info and facts are below the vote banner at the end of this post)
Hannah’s Bars:
-1 cup quick oats
-1/2 cup nuts of crunchy stuff of choice (sometimes we use crunchy cereal, sometimes peanuts, or macadamias, and/or seeds. One of our favourite things to use is fibre toppers, which are really crunchy little balls of bran. It just has to be crunchy, and obviously work well with the overall flavours of the recipe)
-1/2 cup raisins/sultanas, or any other dried fruit of choice.  We often use craisins.  Craisins and macadamias go very well together, if you used macadamias for the crunchy element.
-1/3 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup honey
1. Mix oats, crunchy stuff, and raisins in a large bowl.
2. Put peanut butter, butter, and honey in a saucepan on med-low heat.
3. Stir continuously until mixture comes to a boil.
4. Pour melted mix onto dry mix and throughly stir.
5. Press entire mix into a loaf pan.  It’s much easier to get out once cooled if the pan is lined with baking paper, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
6. Refrigerate overnight.
7. Take entire batch out of the pan and cut into desired slice size.  I make some fairly small ones for the kids and then some regular muesli bar sized pieces for me.
8. Put in airtight container and store in the fridge. I have no idea how long they can be stored for since we have them eaten in less than a week.

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