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It’s National Peanut Butter Day!

It might as well be my birthday. Or my anniversary. Or Mother’s Day  But it’s not. January 24th is National Peanut Butter Day and given the amount of Peanut Butter I consume, it might as well be my very own holiday!

In honor of National Peanut Butter Day (well not really in honor of but it sounded good), I ran 4 miles on the treadmill and did some strength training at Lifetime (my fancy schmancy gym). Considering it is about 15 degrees outside, my love hate relationship with the treadmill must be put aside until it is safe to step outdoors without risking frostbite to the nose.

I decided not long ago that the one food I could not live without was Peanut Butter.  I do not go a day without it and when I travel, I take it with me. Laugh if you want (and airport security certainly laughed), but at least I am always prepared for a good meal or snack. And you don’t want to be around me if I am getting hungry with no food in reach.

I am able to incorporate peanut butter into every meal.  Now how talented am I? There are plenty of days that I do eat peanut butter at every meal. So what? What’s wrong with that?

Peanut Butter is a healthy option when eaten as part of a balanced diet. Depending upon the brand, two tablespoons of peanut butter provides you with around 190 calories, around 16 grams of fat and about 7 grams of protein. While the calorie count and fat grams may seem high, peanut butter is truly satisfying and worth it to me. As long as you make sure to eat the natural peanut butters with no partially hydrogenated oils, salts, sugars and preservatives, peanut butter can easily be incorporated into a healthy diet  and daily meal plan.

As a runner, there are days that  I am a bottomless pit and ravenous all of the time. I need to eat and need to eat often. I also need to eat before I run and whatever it is that I eat, I need it to cooperate nicely with my stomach. Peanut butter sits so well in my stomach, gives me a satiated feeling and the energy to get through my run. And, most importantly, it is delicious.

Creamy, Crunchy, Salted, Unsalted, Crunchy with Flaxseed, Maple, Chocolate, White Chocolate, Honey, Cinnamon Raisin – so many varieties and brands to choose from.

My absolute favorite brand of peanut butter is Peanut Butter and Co. I will devote a separate post to a full product line review.

cinn raisin pb crunch time might maple pb

Now, how do I eat my peanut butter you ask? You mean besides directly out of the jar?

Peanut butter works wonders at breakfast. It will provide your breakfast with staying power to get you through the morning (or at least a few hours until you have a snack).

I love peanut butter mixed into a bowl of steel cut oats, on top of oatmeal pancakes, spread on a whole grain english muffin or Ezekial bread (Cinnamon Raisin – yum!).

Or, you can simply cut up a banana or an apple and spread away!

For lunch, nothing beats a classic peanut butter sandwich. I happen to love replacing the jelly with fresh fruit such as blueberries, apples, banana or strawberries. Perfect way to get your 5 a day.

Peanut Butter also makes a great compliment to a Greek Yogurt Parfait. Simply mix some peanut butter into the yogurt and layer with fruit and some granola.

For dinner, I have also been known to add a spoonful of peanut butter to a vegetable and brown rice stir fry with alittle soy sauce. So delicious!

How about roasted carrots or sweet potato wedges with alittle peanut butter? And throw in some cinnamon roasted chickpeas in peanut butter? OMG, amazing.

Now, my absolute favorite way to eat peanut butter – and I eat this every single night as a dessert:

A giant green apple sliced up with Peanut Butter and Company’s crunchy peanut butter and some dark chocolate chips on top. There is nothing better or more satisfying at the end of the day. And, you get the antioxidant benefits from the apple and the dark chocolate.

Talk about healthy eating multitasking!

And baking with peanut butter? Classic peanut butter cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cup cookies, peanut butter brownies, peanut butter oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter granola cookies, peanut butter banana bread …should I continue?

My son always asks if there is anything I wouldn’t put peanut butter on and I really haven’t come up with anything that peanut butter wouldn’t go with, including cardboard.

Except maybe the traditional slice of pizza. That’s about it.

Question of the day: Is there anything you wouldn’t combine with peanut butter?

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