As mentioned in my previous post on Tuesday, March is National Nutrition Month. I've been thinking about this years theme "From the Ground Up" and pondering what it means to me. Originally I had visions of spring vegetables, farmers markets, and the herbs we will be planting at work tomorrow. And then I thought specifically about the 'Ground Up' part and what came to mind first was my second favorite food, peanut butter. I understand that there has been an insurgence of SUPER NUTS on the market; mainly almonds and walnuts. But lets face it...a PB&J does not taste the same when made with almond butter. From personal experience it also does not taste as good when mixed into oatmeal. Instead of poo pooing the humble peanut lets focus on it's good qualities. A serving (2 Tbs) contains: 188 kcals, 7g carbohydrate (3 of which come from fiber), 16g fat (4.5g polyunsaturated, 8g monounsaturated), 7g protein. Don't forget it's vitamins and minerals it's a good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. All very important for cell function and metabolism.
This years theme also makes me think of going back to our roots, or back to the basics. So instead of buying peanut butter that has been adulterated such as Skippy, Jiff, or Peter Pan; try the all natural and organic kinds. They have a much more 'nutty' flavor, with less salt and no added sugar. Growing up Mom bought Real Peanut Butter. Yes, Real was the brand name. The ingredients were peanuts and salt. It was the best PB ever, until the plant closed down. Thankfully, Smucker's has jumped on the bandwagon and now I buy their natural brand PB. Today however, I picked up a container of Publix natural PB, I believe they grind it in the store. It tastes terrific, and since it comes in a flat, square container it will be much easier to mix up if it begins to separate. I also keep a jar of Sun Butter in the fridge for those moments when I want something a little different. It's just ground up sunflower seeds, a fellow dietetic intern introduced me to it. It's delicious with orange marmalade. I would keep almond butter around, however a jar of it around here will set me back a good $10. So Ryan and I save that for our trips to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods in Atlanta.
So while almonds and walnuts may have more omega 3 fatty acids in them, I will forever be spreading PB on my sandwiches, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, bananas, apples, and carrots. No ants on a log for me though; I may be a dietitian, but I hate celery.
(I had a nice picture of our nut-butter collection, but my camera and computer are not communicating for some reason.)