Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Healthy Dose of Peanut Butter

I'll have my usual, please.

Occasionally, perhaps on a Saturday, i'll make pancakes or eggs for the kids, but my usual breakfast is 2 pieces of grainy toast with peanut butter. When i was a teen and in my twenties, i wouldn't touch the stuff for fear of its fat content, but for several years now, peanut butter has felt like a healthy helping of protien, and keeps me going till lunch.

Turns out peanut butter is one of those "bad" foods that some researchers think is packed with stuff that is great for us:

Aside from being one of the most caloric foods in the kitchen, so that one shouldn't eat it if one is trying to lose weight, it contains primarily monounsaturated fats and in fact acts to reduce the "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase the "good" HDL cholesterol. It is fairly high in dietary fiber, and high in protein. It's a good source of vitamins E and B3, and provides several beneficial minerals. And peanuts contain Resveritrol, a natural antimicrobial agent that wards off pathogens like bacteria and virii. (And it is also believed to keep cardiovascular disease down in people whose diets are high in fats.) Studies have also shown that peanut butter may reduce incidence of gallstones and protect against Alzheimer's disease.

For Christmas my husband gave me a Peanut Butter of the Month membership. My first two jars were an organic dark chocolate peanut butter from Sunland (which is funny because the factory is right here in my little New Mexico town) and an all-natural crunchy made from Virginia peanuts by the Appomattox River Peanut Co. The Sunland one is interesting, being a creamy dark brown. But the sweet and bitter of the dark chocolate is a bit too much when combined with the sharp smokey flavor of the Valencia peanuts. Or maybe it has just too much going on compared with the pure and simple comfort of the golden, grainy mild Virginia peanuts, which i am really enjoying on these cold quiet holiday mornings.

The Skippy has been shoved to the back of the cupboard for now while i indulge in exotic peanut spreads.

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