Peanut Butter

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According to the National Peanut Butter Board, Americans spend around $800 million a year on peanut butter, and it takes a whopping 550 peanuts to make just a 12 ounce jar.

Peanut butter is enjoyed in mainly 2 forms, smooth or chunky, but there are many varieties including: natural, reduced fat, reduced sugar, and even spreads with hazelnut or chocolate.

Peanut butter is an inexpensive protein option and has around 8 grams of protein for a serving size of 2 tablespoons. It is also an excellent source of the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats and is a good source of several vitamins and minerals including: magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin E.

If there is any caution when it comes to peanut butter, watch out for added sugars and limit your portion size. The calories can add up as 2 tablespoons has around 16 grams of fat.

If you’re not a peanut butter lover, there are several alternatives such as almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter, which are nutritionally comparable to peanut butter. Try out this alternative peanut butter recipe from Cooking Light magazine.

Peanut Butter Hummus with Cucumber Dip

peanut butter

Ingredients
• 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
• 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 3/8 tsp kosher salt
• 1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 7 Tbsp water
• 1 English cucumber, cut into1/4-inch slices

Directions:
Place peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 20 seconds. Combine peanut butter and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor. With food processor running, slowly drizzle in water; process until smooth. Enjoy with cucumber.

Makes 8 servings. (1 serving = 2 Tbsp hummus with 6 cucumber slices)
Nutrition Facts: Calories 93, Fat 6 g, Protein 3 g, Carbohydrates 7 g, Fiber 1.7 g, Sodium 194 mg

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