Creamy or crunchy? What is your peanut butter preference?
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Creamy or crunchy? That is the question for November and peanut butter lovers’ month. The National Peanut Board states that men and the West Coast prefer crunchy while women, kids and the East Coast prefer creamy. No matter which you prefer, peanut butter has become as all-American as apple pie and baseball. Americans consume over a billion pounds a year. Our love affair begins as we are introduced as kids to PBJ. We continue to enjoy PBJ but as our palettes mature, we begin adding other peanut butter flavors through cookies, ice cream, candy and even main dishes to our diet. Ohioans are no exception adding to the peanut butter craze with peanut butter buckeyes!Believe it or not Dr. Kellogg, the creator of Kellogg’s cereal, created the original patent for peanut butter for people who could hardly chew. In 1903, a peanut butter machine was invented and the popularity of peanut butter soared.We can’t talk about peanut butter without talking about the original agricultural product of peanuts and the farmers who grow them. The National Peanut Board states that 7,000 peanut farmers grow peanuts commercially in 13 states with 94% of the U.S. peanut crop grown in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina. These farmers average close to 4,000 pounds of peanuts per acre producing 5.2 billion pounds in 2014.There are four different types of peanuts grown in the U.S. Around 80% of all peanuts grown are called runners, which are primarily used for peanut butter. Virginia peanuts are nicknamed “ballpark peanuts” and enjoyed in the shell. Spanish peanuts are produced for salted peanuts, peanut candy and peanut butter. Valencia peanuts come in last and are a slightly sweeter peanut used for all-natural peanut butter.It takes 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. U.S. law requires all products labeled peanut butter to contain 90% peanuts with sugars and added fats filling in the difference. Great news to peanut farmers is that peanut and peanut butter consumption continues to grow despite the 1% of Americans with peanut allergies.In March of 2015, my AgriPower group headed to South Carolina to see the diversity of agriculture in the Southeast. On peanut and cotton day, we visited a peanut farm. Harvesting peanuts is an interesting two-part process using a digger and a shaker/picker. A digger pulls up the peanut plant, flips it over with the peanuts on the top and the plant underneath. Farmers hope for a few days of sunny weather as the peanuts dry. The shaker then comes through to separate and pick the peanut pods. Right next door happened to be a huge peanut processing plant. I saw the biggest pile of peanuts I have ever seen and probably ever will! It was fascinating to see the farm-to-peanut plant portion of a peanut’s journey on the way to my peanut butter jar.Peanut butter is a great protein source. Two tablespoons of peanut butter have eight grams of protein. The only drawback is the fat content of peanut butter. Two tablespoons of peanut butter have 16 grams of fat. It is a healthy fat, but still needs to be consumed in moderation. If you eat a lot of peanut butter and need to cut back, try one of the new peanut butter powder products on the market. The two most popular powders are called PBFit and PB2. You need to add water to get the consistency of peanut butter. There are some complaints that say these products don’t taste like peanut butter. I’ve tried it in the apple peanut butter dip below and it works great. These products may work better in recipes but there is nothing like opening up a new jar of peanut butter and enjoying a spoonful!Paul and I fall right in line with the Peanut Board’s stats. I love creamy and, therefore, since I am the shopper, our pantry is stocked with creamy. Paul occasionally sneaks in a crunchy from time to time. No matter what you prefer, enjoy some peanut butter this month and thank a southern peanut farmer!Eat Well & Healthy!Shelly Peanut Butter Macaroons bhg.com 2 egg whites1/8 teaspoon cream of tartarDash salt½ cup sugar½ cup creamy peanut butter2 cups chocolate-flavored crisp rice cereal1/3 cup chopped honey-roasted peanuts Preheat oven to 300 degree F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper; set aside.In a medium mixing bowl beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold in peanut butter. Fold in cereal. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.Bake 10 minutes. Turn oven off and let cookies dry in oven with door closed for 15 minutes. Remove macaroons from cookie sheets to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 30 macaroons. Nutrition Facts (Peanut Butter Macaroons) Per serving: 57 kcal cal., 3 g fat, 50 mg sodium, 7 g carb., 5 g sugar, 2 g pro Shelly’s Peanut Butter Dip1 small carton of Greek fat free, sugar free vanilla yogurt2 Tbsp. peanut butterMix peanut butter and yogurt until smooth. Enjoy as a fruit dip. Great w apples! Peanutty Noodles Cookinglight.com 2 carrots, peeled1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger3 garlic cloves, minced1 c fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth1/2 cup natural-style peanut butter (such as Smucker’s)1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce3 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar1 tsp chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)1/4 teaspoon saltCooking spray2 cups red bell pepper strips1 pound snow peas, trimmed8 cups hot cooked linguine (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro Shave the carrots lengthwise into thin strips using a vegetable peeler, and set aside. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and the next 5 ingredients (broth through salt); stir until well-blended. Reduce heat, and simmer 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and keep warm.Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and snow peas; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Combine carrot, peanut butter mixture, bell pepper mixture, and linguine in a large bowl; toss well. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 10 cups Calories 296; Fat 8.8 g; Protein 11.7 g; Carb 43.1 g; Fiber 3.4 g; Cholesterol 1 mg; Iron 3.6 mg; Sodium 400 mg; Calcium 44 mg Peanut Butter IcingAdd this icing to any brownies, chocolate cookies, chocolate cupcakes and cake! Top with mini buckeyes and you’ve got a great end of any meal or Buckeye gathering. 1 c peanut butter5 Tbsp. butter, softened1 tsp. vanilla3-4 c powdered sugar4-5 Tbsp. milk Beat butter and add vanilla, milk and powdered sugar and beat until nice and creamy. Peanut Butter Pie tasteofhome.com 3 oz. lite cream cheese, softened1/3 cup peanut butter1 cup confectioners’ sugar1/4 cup fat-free milk1-8 oz. lite whipped topping, thawed1 chocolate crumb crust (9 inches) In a bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in peanut butter and sugar. Gradually add milk; mix well. Gently fold in whipped topping. Spoon into the crust. Refrigerate or freeze overnight. Yummy ½ frozen. Want to make your own crust? Use 1cup cookie crumbs and stir in 3 Tbsp. melted butter. Press into a 9inch pie pan. Yield: 8 slices.