If I was on a deserted island and could only bring three things, I would bring peanut butter, whole grain bread, and more peanut butter. Call me obsessed, but the many uses, nutritional benefits, and health benefits of peanut butter are not only tasty, but necessary for survival.
Introducing the new debate: chunky, smooth, or powdered?
Let’s start at the beginning. Peanuts.
Despite the name, peanuts are actually not nuts. They belong to the legume family, which are classified as the seed or fruit to the Fabaceae (or Leguminosae) plant. Legumes can be consumed as a sustainable and healthy alternative to meat, as they are lower in fat and cholesterol, and high in protein. Peanuts are highly nutritious, and are a source of the three macronutrients essential to keep us alive: carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
There are four varieties of peanuts, Runner, Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia, each with their own distinct size, flavour, and nutritional composition. These four varieties of peanuts have one thing in common: they are all a good source of fat and protein.
Peanut butter protein
One use of peanuts is peanut butter, which contains nutrients that are heart healthy and improve blood sugar levels. In 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, there are 8 grams of protein.
Peanut butter protein is not a complete protein. Of the 20 amino acids that make up proteins, 9 of them are essential. This means that 9 of these amino acids, the human body cannot make itself and is essential to get from another source. Peanut butter protein has most of these essential amino acids, but is missing one: methionine.
This missing amino acid, methionine, can easily be compensated for by spreading peanut butter on whole-grain bread, which contains methionine. Methionine can also be found in other plants such as sesame seeds, Brazil nuts, and cereal grains, but are often found in low quantities in legumes.
Protein is used in the body to build and repair muscles, bones, and to make hormones and enzymes. If the body is low on glucose, the main source of energy, amino acids can also be broken down for energy. On top of the protein, peanut butter contains multiple vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, and vitamin B-6.
Peanut butter fat
Most people are scared of fat, but really, your body definitely needs it. Dietary fat works to support cell growth, protect organs, absorb nutrients, and produce important hormones. Fat is also used for energy.
Peanut butter is known to be highly caloric: 188 calories in 2 tablespoons. The calories are mostly attributed to peanut butter’s fat content. However, peanut fat is a healthy fat, having as many health benefits as the protein. Peanut butter is low in saturated fats, an unhealthy fat found in animal fats, and higher in unsaturated fats, a healthier fat found in other vegetables and oils.
Most of the fat in peanut butter is made up of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that is a heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Oleic acid is commonly found in vegetable oils such as sunflower seeds, olives, and avocados.
Oleic acid has been linked to several health benefits including lowering cholesterol, lowering inflammation, decreasing blood pressure, and reducing some symptoms of type 2 diabetes. These benefits are preventative of chronic diseases and can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Peanut butter protein powder
Despite the benefits of the fat, there is a way to get a lower calorie and more protein dense peanut butter alternative. This is through peanut butter protein powder. This can be an efficient way of consuming peanut protein for reaching fitness goals, whether that’s for weight loss or bulking up.
Peanut butter protein powder is made from adding sugar and salt to peanut flour. Peanut flour is made from defattened and crushed peanuts. Peanut flour has varying nutritional composition, based on the quantity of fat removed, but can contain up to 55.2 grams per 100 grams of flour. The flour is a high dense, and gluten-free flour that can be used as thickener for soups, enhancer for breads, pastries, and main dishes.
Using peanut butter protein powder can be useful for athletes as a way to get a high amount of protein. Getting protein from a variety of sources is the best way to optimize protein intake that includes all vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
How to have peanut butter protein powder
There are many tasty ways to incorporate peanut butter protein powder into your daily routine. Incorporating peanut butter protein powder into your daily life can be easier than you think! Whether its high protein bowls, smoothie, brownie, waffles or pancakes, or high protein bars, the options are endless! Here are some tips to add peanut butter protein powder in your snacks or meals:
- The best known way is to blend frozen fruit, plant based-milk or greek yogurt, ice, and protein powder to have a refreshing protein shake or smoothie in the morning or post workout. This can help keep you full and help your recovery.
- Another way is using peanut butter powder to make peanut butter cups. This can be done by enriching peanut butter with protein powder to make a high protein center in a dark chocolate cup. Mixing in powdered sugar can sweeten up the cups to make a high protein dessert.
- Adding peanut butter powder to morning oatmeal can be a tasty way to start the day with fibre and protein.
- Pancake and waffle batter with protein powder is a good way to make the most of your brunch.
- Peanut butter pairs well with chocolate. Adding peanut butter protein powder in brownie mix can be a high protein dessert.