In honor of National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, I’d like to share my own personal story of how peanut butter came to my rescue. Picture ninth grade Geometry class. One near-retirement teacher is nodding off at his desk. Like a classic John Hughes film clip, chaos is in full swing. One 15-year-old girl with waist-long, late 1980s hair feels an unmistakable “plop” in her super-sized bangs. It’s gum. Bright lime green, sticky, gooey gum. A classmate across the room had been aiming at the boy behind me, but alas—despite being the ninth grade football team’s quarterback, his aim was off (or so he claimed)—and my waist-long hair was the victim.
Off I ran to the nurse’s office, and she sent me to the cafeteria for—you guessed it—peanut butter. Good ol’ peanut butter saved my tresses from the scissors, and although I smelled of peanuts for the remainder of the day, I was forever grateful to—yes you got it—peanut butter.
Of course peanut butter is useful for many purposes, not just getting gum out of hair (although if that ever happens to you, I highly recommend the strategy). Baking with peanut butter, cooking with it, eating it plain out of the jar—how many ways can we love peanut butter? Hundreds. But since we don’t have that much time, we’ll just cover some highlights.
Breakfast: Peanut butter and honey on whole grain toast or an English muffin is my go-to pre-workout breakfast. On the weekends, my favorite waffle topping is peanut butter and syrup (it tastes like a Nutter Butter cookie, delish). My kids love to eat apple slices dipped in peanut butter for a snack, and I love that they consume both fruit and a protein, sure to keep them satisfied until dinner.
Cooking & Baking: My favorite peanut butter dish is peanut sauce served over stir-fried vegetables and rice noodles.
1 cup creamy Parkers Farm peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sesame oil
½ Tablespoon chopped garlic
½ Tablespoon chopped cilantro
¼ cup cold water
¼ cup Thai sweet chili sauce
¼ cup chopped peanuts
Stir-fried vegetables of your choice (I like carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, water chestnuts, bell peppers)
Thai rice noodles, cooked
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix or whisk until creamy. Toss with Thai rice noodles and vegetables and serve.
Here are some more delicious peanut butter recipe ideas from parkersfarm.com.
2 T butter, softened
8 slices bread
1/2 cup Parkers Farm Honey Roasted Peanut Butter
1 large, ripe banana, sliced
12 slices bacon, sauteed until crispy (optional)
Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. On the other side of half o the bread slices, spread the peanut butter. Top 4 slices of bread with banana slices and the bacon. Top with remaining 4 slices of bread, butter side out. Place sandwiches on preheated grill pan or griddle. Flip them over when they become golden brown & crispy. When sandwiches are browned on both sides, remove to plates. Slice in half & serve immediately. YIELD: 4 servings.
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Parkers Farm peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking oats
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup Parkers Farm smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet, and press each mound down with a fork to form 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown. To Make Filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butter or margarine with the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.
Peanut Butter Bars
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup Parkers Farm peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons Parkers Farm peanut butter
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.
Peanut butter is healthy for you, a great source of protein and full of antioxidants. Celebrate the versatility of all natural peanut butter this month—I just hope you don’t need to use it as gum remover.
Parkers Farm has produced the finest Cold Pack Cheese since the company’s conception in 1977. Parkers Farm has expanded its growing product line to include one of the best all-natural Peanut Butters available. We have also added pimiento spread, six varieties of bagel spreads and five varieties of fresh salsa to the line as well as Con Queso and Jalapeno Nacho Dip.