Happy National Peanut Butter Day! Who doesn’t love a day that’s dedicated to a food? I’ve noticed people get excited about these relatively obscure (but absolutely essential) holidays, especially when that food is an awesome one like peanut butter, because really (barring dietary restrictions of course), when is a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich a bad idea? I’ll answer that one for you. Never.
Peanut Butter is one of those foods that have a cult following, right next to things like Nutella. I think one of the reasons why people love it so much is because it’s so versatile. You can have peanut butter in so many different ways: from desserts, to sandwiches, to smoothies! There is literally so many ways to enjoy this sticky goodness and benefit from it, it’s so hard to resist!
1. Heath Benefits
Some people look at me funny when I make this argument. The truth is that despite it’s high calorie and fat content peanut butter is a staple that is really healthy. The fats contained in it are of the “good” variety (think avocados) and it’s really high in protein, helping keeping you full and energized longer. Plus, it’s chock full of vitamins that you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There’s been research done that those who consume peanut butter in moderation have a lower risk of heart disease (it could even lower your cholesterol) and diabetes. There is also some evidence of it lowering incidences of gallstones and possibly ward off Alzheimer’s, though more research is being done to confirm or deny this correlation.
To increase the health benefit, I try to buy all-natural varieties of the stuff because they don’t have added hydrogenated oils to give it the creamy, no-stir consistency. Though natural peanut butter is generally grittier and more savory, it is yummy all the same. Whenever possible, I like to make my own peanut butter, and it’s really easy! Just take a bag of roasted peanuts, shell them, toss them into a food processor and work on it until the oils get released and it reforms into something that resembles the spreadable stuff in the jar. You can then add in whatever you want: honey, sugar, chocolate…the list goes on and on.
2. Beauty Benefits
In addition to being super healthy, peanut butter is also said to do wonders for your skin and hair. I’ve heard some people even use it to make face and hair masks, but I’m not sure I buy into that. There are strong believers in using or consuming peanut butter to strengthen hair and clear acne. The supposed reason for this is that peanut butter has a lot of vitamins and minerals that are essential to healthy skin and hair. I’ve never tried it, but it makes sense.
3. Household Uses
As yummy as peanut butter is, it’s also really helpful for certain pesky household situations. My favorite among these is using peanut butter to get chewing gum off of pretty much anything. When I was younger, I’d always manage to get gum in my hair and instead of chopping it off, we rubbed some peanut butter in there which loosened it up and it slid right off. Same goes for clothes, or any other fabric. Also, peanut butter was really fun to use as a toy. Who says you can’t play with your food? Every once in a while, we’d make a Play-Doh like substance to play with on the kitchen table. Some of my friends even ate it afterwards (which slightly grossed me out, but to each their own!)
What’s your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter?