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'PB' Without the 'J'

Here are 10 tips for eating peanut butter beyond the PB&J:

  • Spread peanut butter on whole-grain toast or bagels instead of butter or cream cheese.
  • Add peanut butter to fat-free or low-fat salad dressings (with compatible flavors) for added thickness and flavor. Beat them together until smooth -- using an electric mixer, small food processor, or whisk.
  • Add peanut butter to muffin or pancake batters instead of butter or margarine (when the taste is compatible).
  • Add peanut butter to smoothies, especially chocolate- or banana-flavored smoothies.
  • Add peanut butter to stir-fry sauces for added flavor and thickness.
  • When making peanut butter cookies, keep the peanut butter, but for the butter/margarine the recipe calls for, substitute a less-fat margarine (one with 8 grams of fat or less per tablespoon).
  • Peanut butter adds plant fat and protein to make a well-rounded, satisfying snack out of whole-wheat crackers, sliced apples or bananas, or celery sticks.
  • Make a vanilla or chocolate peanut butter treat by mixing a tablespoon of natural peanut butter into 1/2 cup of light vanilla or chocolate ice cream or frozen yogurt.
  • Add peanut butter to granola bar recipes for extra flavor and to help bind the oats and other ingredients together.
  • Use whole-grain bread and less-sugar jam to whip up a healthier peanut butter sandwich (see recipe below).

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%.

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