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Nutty About Peanut Butter

Shopping, eating, and cooking tips for peanut butter, an all-American favorite.

A Better PB&J

With whole-wheat bread, less sugar jam, and natural style peanut butter, the traditional PB&J turns into a high-fiber, high-nutrient sandwich that isn't dripping in calories or fat.

2 slices 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain bread
1 tablespoon natural (reduced-fat if available) smooth peanut butter (like Laura Scudder's)
1 tablespoon less-sugar jam or jelly

  • Spread natural peanut butter on top of one of the slices.
  • Spread less-sugar jam or jelly on top of the other slice.
  • Put pieces of bread together to make sandwich. Cut diagonally and enjoy!

Yield: 1 sandwich

Per serving: 308 calories, 12 g protein, 47 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 430 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 26%.

Peanut Butter Safety

In 2009, the FDA warned consumers not to eat certain jars of peanut butter produced by a particular plant in Georgia, which may be contaminated with salmonella. (The warning applies to Peter Pan and Great Value brands with the product code on the lid of the jar beginning with "2111" purchased since October 2004.)

Historically, it has been the potentially carcinogenic aflatoxin -- produced by particular fungi -- that was the thing to watch in peanut butter, not the notorious salmonella (usually linked to poultry and raw eggs). Aflatoxin can contaminate grains and nuts before harvest or during storage. Corn and peanuts are thought to be at highest risk of aflatoxin contamination.

One of the best things you can do to minimize aflatoxins in the future is to store your grains and nuts in a dry, cool environment. That's why I always refrigerate my peanut butter and freeze nuts that I'm not going to use right away.

To prevent rancidity in your peanut butter, keep your jar of natural-style peanut butter in the refrigerator. And if you don't go through a lot of peanut butter, buy the smaller sized jars.

Reviewed on March 23, 2007

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