Peanut Butter Lover’s Day

With the month of February wrapping up and March just around the corner, let’s take a look at the first food holiday we can celebrate in March. March 1, 2019 is Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, and while we may not all be peanut butter lovers, many of us do eat peanut butter from time-to-time. Whether we enjoy it on toast or on celery sticks, peanut butter can be a healthy addition to a meal or snack. However, there are a few things to consider when picking out a jar at the grocery store.

1. Does it contain partially hydrogenated oils?

Some peanut butter has added partially hydrogenated oils. These types of oils contain trans fats, the type of fat we want to avoid in the diet the best we can. To determine if the peanut butter we typically buy contains the oil mentioned above, double check the ingredients list on the back of the jar. Luckily, most manufacturers have stopped adding partially hydrogenated oils to their peanut butter.

*While peanuts, and therefore peanut butter, do contain fat, the types of fat they contain are those we want to include in our diets — mono and polyunsaturated fat.

2. What does it contain in addition to peanuts?

While some enjoy peanut butter that is made solely from peanuts, others prefer the taste of peanut butters that contain a little salt or sugar. While it is best practice to pick options with the least amount of additives, the amount of salt and/or sugar that is added to most peanut butters is typically a very small amount and can be included in a healthy diet. Check the nutrition facts label to determine which option is best for you.

3. How much is a serving size?

Once we are at home and ready to enjoy our peanut butter, it is important to recognize what a serving looks like. A typical serving size of peanut butter is 2 tablespoons. While this may seem like a lot for 1 slice of toast, if we are enjoying it with an apple or some celery sticks, 2 tablespoons can easily double if we aren’t careful. Having a larger serving than we intend can lead to excess calories that we don’t need.

Overall, peanut butter is a nutrient-dense option containing healthy fats, protein, niacin, magnesium, copper, manganese, folate and fiber!

Here is one of my favorite ways to enjoy peanut butter!

Apple “Cookies”

Ingredients:

1 medium apple

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1-2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

1-2 tablespoons slivered almonds

1 tablespoon of mini dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Core apple and slice into “rings.”

2. Spread peanut butter onto apple rings and top with toppings (unsweetened shredded coconut, slivered almonds, mini dark chocolate chips).

3. Enjoy!

Rachelle Deutz is a registered dietitian at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center.

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