Beyond smacking it on some Wonder Bread and adding a dollop of jelly, peanut butter — when consisting of just peanuts — is an easily-accessible, diverse protein that can spruce up any diet. Try out some of these healthy recipes in honor of National Peanut Butter Day on Jan. 24.
Peanut Butter “Nice” Cream
Don’t let the ingredients in this fool you — it tastes like anything but a health food. The bananas lend a natural sweetness, and the peanut butter gives this treat a creamy texture. Try it for breakfast or a decadent dessert.
- 3 frozen bananas
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sweetener if desired
Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend. Depending on your blender, you may need to add more or less almond milk. The consistency should be fairly thick — like a soft-serve ice cream. Jazz it up by scooping it into a bowl and topping with dark chocolate chips, coconut flakes, granola or fresh fruits.
Apple Peanut Butter “Cookies”
There’s no baking necessary to make this quick snack. Perfect for a late night pick-me-up in between hours of studying, these “cookies” are sure to satisfy.
- 1 granny smith apple
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter, or enough to spread over apple slices
- 2 teaspoons chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons shredded coconut
- A sprinkle of cinnamon
Begin by slicing the apple into 1/4 inch slices, through the core. Cut the core out of each apple, so each slice is in the shape of a donut. Spread peanut butter over one side of each piece, and add toppings.
Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles
If sweets aren’t really your jam, give this savory dish a try. It’s easy to make, filling and fully customizable — toss in whatever vegetables or proteins you wish to add make it a more substantial meal.
- 2 ounces spaghetti or soba noodles
- 2 green onions
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (make sure it has no added sugar)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 2 teaspoons red chili flakes or cayenne pepper powder
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
Begin by boiling the noodles until they are al dente — you want to make sure you don’t overcook them, as you need them to be sturdy enough to toss them into the sauce. Dice green onions. Add the rest of the ingredients to a stir fry pan, and stir to combine over medium heat. Once the sauce is simmering, toss in noodles and green onions. Keep over heat until green onions lose their crunch. Steamed broccoli, carrots or tofu can be a great addition to this dish.
Energy Superfood Pinwheels
With a kick of magnesium, fiber, healthy fats, omega-3’s and antioxidants, this wrap would be a great way to start any day the healthy way.
- 1 high fiber wrap (look for some with flax or chia seeds)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- 1/2 granny smith apple, cut into matchsticks
- 2 tablespoons goji berries
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
Lay wrap out over a flat surface, and spread peanut butter over the whole wrap. Sprinkle chia seeds over the peanut butter, and lightly pat them into the peanut butter- this will ensure they do not fall out while eating. Layer in apple sticks, and add in the rest of the ingredients. Roll up the wrap, slice into pinwheels and enjoy.