There are wrong ways and right ways to eat peanut butter. Read on to learn super simple and yummy peanut butter snacks that won’t hurt your diet.
Peanut butter is good for you (peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, folic acid and protein), but can also be a danger to your diet due to caloric density and high fat content. As someone who used to eat peanut butter out of the jar by the spoonful and nosh on bagels slathered with peanut butter and honey, I’m here to tell you that there are wrong ways and right ways to eat peanut butter!
1 THE NEW PB&J: PEANUT BUTTER AND JICAMA STICKS (175 CALORIES)
Everyone has probably tried peanut butter with celery sticks. But I’ve never been a fan of celery because it’s so stringy and it gets caught in my teeth. Enter jicama, peanut butter’s new partner in crime! Jicama is a root vegetable, and when sliced it has a crispy texture similar to apples, though it’s less sweet. Jicama is high in vitamins C, A and B, along with calcium and phosphorus.
2 PEANUT BUTTER AND BABY CARROTS (190 CALORIES)
Peanut butter helps make snacking on baby carrots more fun, filling and satisfying. This has become one of my go-to snacks. On the weekends I portion them out in Tupperware and stack ’em in the refrigerator, then I bring one to the office with me each day to help stop me from snacking on other junk food that would be less nutritious.
3 PEANUT BUTTER GREEK YOGURT (125 CALORIES)
Peanut butter yogurt may sound weird, but if you ever wanted to eat something that tastes like a half-cup of creamy peanut butter, here’s your chance to do it! I use Betty Lou’s Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter, but you can use another powdered peanut butter like Bell’s Plantation PB2 also. I also use Greek Gods plain nonfat yogurt. As a variation, mix the peanut butter into strawberry fruit on the bottom for peanut butter and jelly yogurt!
4 PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY ON CRACK (125 CALORIES)
Sometimes I crave a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a snack, but then I remind myself that one PB&J sandwich contains about 350 calories. PB&J on crack(ers) gives you all the rush of flavor in a less-filling snack.
5 PEANUT BUTTER STEEL-CUT OATMEAL (215 CALORIES)
Add some protein to your oatmeal to make it more filling. I used Betty Lou’s Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter, but you can use PB2 or even regular peanut butter.
6 PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE PROTEIN SHAKE (250-350 CALORIES)
This peanut butter and chocolate protein shake is yummy, and keeps you feeling full for several hours on just about 350 calories. Start by pouring one cup of almond milk, cashew milk or regular milk into your blender. Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder. I use Sunwarrior Vegan Protein Powder, but you can use any protein powder you like. Add Betty Lou’s Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter, or you can use PB2 or even a tablespoon of regular peanut butter. Also, add a tablespoon of organic cacao. Finally, toss in half of a banana for sweetness, and blend.
7 (PB&G) PEANUT BUTTER AND GREEN SMOOTHIE (250-350 CALORIES)
This smoothie a great way to enjoy drinking a serving of nutritious greens at breakfast! Start by pouring one cup of almond milk, cashew milk or regular milk into your blender. Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder. I use Sunwarrior Vegan Protein Powder, but you can use any protein powder you like. Add Betty Lou’s Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter, or you can use PB2 or even a tablespoon of regular peanut butter. Also, add a handful of organic spinach. Finally, toss in half of a banana for sweetness, and blend. When I’m making this shake, I have been known to start jumping around and singing “Peanut Butter Jelly Time!” (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, watch this video.)
8 NO-BAKE HONEY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES (260 CALORIES PER COOKIE)
These simple to make no-bake cookies contain the great flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate along with a little hint of sweetness from honey. The addition of oats adds a punch of fiber and plant protein that makes them very satisfying.
9 PEANUT BUTTER AND MANGO “SUSHI” (60 CALORIES PER PIECE)
I love mangoes, and I love getting creative with food. I found this recipe on the Kitchn blog, where they have photos showing step-by-step instructions on how to make it. If mangoes are not in season, you can also try this recipe using sliced apples.
By Jess Barron* in 9 Simple and Satisfying Peanut Butter Snacks
*Jess Barron is Editor-in-Chief of LIVESTRONG.COM. A longtime foodie and fan of Farmer’s Market food, Jess particularly loves heirloom tomatoes, fresh figs with burrata cheese, and anything with pumpkin or peanut butter in it! Her love for food fuels her desire to exercise daily. In the summer of 2012 Jess lost 20 pounds in a test group for a new fitness program. Some of her favorite workout routines include walking, running, yoga, P90X, INSANITY, and mixed martial arts. Jess’s writing can also be found at Poprocks.com. She has appeared on MSNBC’s “The Most,” ABC News Now, and XM satellite radio and her writing has appeared on Wired.com and Yahoo! Follow Jess on Twitter @jessdandy. Also, you can add her on Google+ and follow her on Pinterest.