Peanutty Goodness

Nobody needs to promote the consumption of peanut butter to me. I’d eat the stuff even if it was unhealthy. I’ve ingested so much peanut butter over the years that it’s a wonder peanut butter is still my go to food.

People who plan on spending even a little time with my step-nephew must be careful not to have eaten nuts or peanuts immediately prior to the visit. If any type of nut or peanut is near, he suffers an attack of anaphylaxis. This is a severe, life-threatening situation that requires swift emergency measures.

That said, most of us are able to eat peanut butter and other nut products without worrying about it. Thankfully, I have no allergies nor other reactions from the stuff. In fact, it’s been a real boon.

During the years of strict budgeting for college expenses, peanut butter was a main staple food. Room mates and I kept hunger at bay by using it on sandwiches and having spoonfuls as snacks while doing our homework. It was a rare day that did not include peanut butter consumed in some manner.

Between jobs, when unemployment threatened to become long- term, peanut butter was the key to inexpensive, yet healthy living. At the time, I purchased the store brand in plastic pails, because that was the cheapest way to buy it. Plus, the small buckets could be reused as sealable storage containers. They even had handles for added convenience.

Personally, I prefer chunky style over creamy style, but creamy will do in a pinch. Also, the peanut butter is best without sugar or added fructose nor other sweeteners. The full-bodied richness of peanuts-only is what I crave.

Nothing beats the flavor of organic peanut butter. I rarely buy it though, because it must be stirred before using. There’s no quick, neat way to stir it well. I start out by stabbing the separated substance with a table knife several times to loosen the most solid portions. Then I cut through the layers to create pockets of space for the oil to flow.

After much chopping, scraping, pushing and pulling, the peanut butter is reasonably mixed up. There is always a thin residue of peanut oil on the outside of the jar that must be wiped away. I usually have a couple of slices of whole wheat bread ready to clean off the knife. The resulting sandwich is especially tasty because the peanut butter is oilier than usual.

I store the mixed peanut butter tightly capped and upside down in the fridge. This seems to keep it from separating again. This is not a scientific fact; your results may vary.

If the day comes when the doctor recommends halting my consumption of peanut butter, I would make quitting much easier by getting reduced-fat peanut butter. The product is nasty tasting and contains added ingredients to make up for the missing peanut oil. I’ve tried a couple of brands of reduced fat peanut butter, and had to discard them due to the awful mouth feel and stale flavor.

I learned to avoid the major brands of peanut butter because they contain plenty of added sugars, fructose and other fillers. Their “natural” varieties aren’t much better, plus they’re costlier. I look for the store branded jars that have the shortest ingredients list. Frequently, the cheapest peanut butter is the tastiest, healthiest option.

All this writing about peanut butter has made me hungry for peanut butter and alfalfa sprouts on whole grain bread. The sandwich is easy to prepare, and has a heavenly flavor.

Ciao
The Blue Jay of Happiness likes a quip from food writer Kate Lebo. “If you love peanut butter pie, you are either Dolly Parton or someone who loves her.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Health, Youth and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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