One of the things I hope to do with this blog is share some of my favorite things with people – and to explain why they are my favorite things. I haven’t quite figured out what to call these posts. Raves? Faves? What phrase hasn’t been done to death yet?
Anyway, this is the first of what I hope will be many posts about things I love and why I love them.
Onward to the peanut butter!
I went grocery shopping last night and had to stock up on some pantry basics, since after the holidays things are looking pretty bare. As I was unpacking and putting things away, I noticed how different the results of my grocery shopping trips are this year vs. a few years ago – or even last year. I’ve made some pretty significant changes to the way I eat, becoming more aware of the food I put into my body and exchanging some old standby foods for some new favorites that are healthier and “cleaner”.
Peanut butter is one of those foods – it’s something I eat every day, usually as a snack, often as part of my lunch. Peanut butter is great on bread or toast or waffles or english muffins. It’s also yummy spread on apple slices, into a stalk of celery, mixed with oatmeal, mixed with yogurt … heck, I even make a peanut and chicken stew with peanut butter.
For some things, like the chicken stew and Asian inspired sauces, plain ground peanuts from Whole Foods do the trick. But for sandwiches, snacks, and treats … there’s some essential peanut-buttery element missing. Some indefinable something that is the essence of peanut butter that doesn’t come through in plain ground peanuts.
So when I found this peanut butter / flax seed mix by Naturally More, I was sold. Seriously. This stuff is beyond yummy, tasting of peanuts in a way that the sugar-filled other brands just don’t, plus it’s all natural ingredients, no chemicals, no massive amounts of sugar, and a much better nutritional “bang” for my calories. I did a quick comparison last night between the information on the back of my brand new jar of NM and the jar of a popular brand name’s extra crunchy variety. Here’s what I came up with.
||170 (58% fat)
||190 (68% fat)
||peanuts, wheat germ, flax seed, cane sugar, egg whites, honey
||peanuts and sugar, molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, mono and diglycerides, salt
An additional little tidbit – Naturally More provides 58% of your RDA of folic acid, something that is really important for women who are of childbearing age. (For more information on that topic, read this article: Top 10 Facts About Folic Acid)
Naturally More also makes an Organic version and an Almond Butter that I haven’t tried yet, but I’m dying to. You can also buy it by the 6-pack or by the case (12-pack) online at their website, which is something I’m considering. The price in the grocery stores here is around $4.99 per jar. Buying by the case brings it down to $3.99 per jar, including shipping. Given that I go through a jar every 2 weeks, it might be worth while!
PB Tip #1: Like most natural peanut butters, you’ll often have to give this one a good stir the first time you open the jar to mix all the oils back in. When you store your pb after opening it and giving it a good stir, store it upside down in the fridge. I don’t know why the upside down trick works, but it does. I’ve never had a jar of peanut butter re-separate on me.
PB Tip #2: Peanut butters w/out chemical preservatives need to be stored in the fridge after opening. The problem with this, is that it makes the pb hard to spread. I’ve torn up many a piece of bread trying to spread rock hard pb. So pop the jar in the microwave for about 10 seconds (not much longer – you don’t want to melt it, just soften it up). You’ll get nicely spreadable pb, quickly and easily.
PS – I just wanted to add: I am not getting compensated for this post. No one has asked me to post this. No one is providing me with free jars of peanut butter, free samples, or even a discount coupon. In fact the folks over at Naturally More have no idea I’m writing this post. I just love this stuff and want to share it with the world.