Some people –including me- are quite addicted to peanut butter. Served on oatmeal in the morning, with banana or apple slices for a quick snack, or on a slice of warm whole grain toast with a bit of homemade healthy jam, this creamy wonder is a big favorite of many, and a healthy alternative to spreads like Nutella for those who care about their nutrition. But why is it an actually healthier option than all those sweet spreads?
Peanuts in general and thus peanut butter is high in protein – its high protein and iron content actually makes it a good replacement for red meat for vegans and vegetarians. And along with the Vitamin B it contains, it is great for those who work out, as it can help prevent muscle spasms and cramps and increase your energy levels.
Along with protein, it also contains healthy fats, just like other nuts or avocados. We call them healthy fats, because they have a higher ratio of unsaturated fats compared to saturated fats. The higher fat content also means it’s great for giving you an energy boost in the morning or before a workout, and thanks to the also high protein and fiber content, it will also fill you up for a longer period of time.
After reading these two paragraphs above, you might think to yourself… High fat content? Doesn’t that mean lots of calories and thus shouldn’t it be something we I should stay away from if I want to live a healthy lifestyle?
Yes, peanut butter, just as nuts and nut butters in general are high in calories indeed – and this is why they are recommended to be consumed in moderation. But! It is different from ‘regular’ high calorie food items you can pick up the shelves in store, as peanut butter is ideally much less processed and closer to whole foods and if you buy the right ones it does not have any nasty additives that make it bad for you. (Always look at the label, and if it has more than three ingredients or things like hydrogenated oils, emulsifying agents or artificial flavors, put the jar right back on the shelf!) So as long as you keep in mind that you should eat and use it in moderation, it is healthy and good for you!
All these facts underline that peanut butter is a great option – especially if you are into fitness and working out. However, with a simple addition, you can make it even better. Adding protein power can add flavor to the beloved nut butter, so you can prepare and eat a wide variety of them and never get bored – and also increases its protein content making it and even better ingredient or post-workout snack. All you have to do is the following:
- Over steam on low to medium heat, melt 4-5 tablespoons of peanut butter.
- Mix in one scoop of protein powder of your choice – maybe start with simple flavors like vanilla or chocolate to see how you like it and experiment with others later.
- Do a quick taste test and if you feel you want it a bit sweeter, add some natural sweetener of your choice: raw coconut sugar, honey, or stevia for example.
Pour it into a glass jar or plastic container and store in the fridge. It will be a perfect topping for your oatmeal, toast or rice cakes or ingredient for any healthy snacks you are making. Peanut butter as you love it – just an even better, improved version.