Friday, April 9, 2010

What Choosey Moms Really Should Choose

Peanut Butter. Need I say more? Creamy or crunchy, its smooth, nutty flavor is an absolute essential in most families. I eat gobs of it on whole grain toast, with apple slices, and on celery sticks with plump little raisins lined up and nestled in its ooey gooey goodness. It truly is a wonderful food. It is packed with protein, B vitamins, and many minerals. It is also high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant and monounsaturated fat, which can improve HDL levels (good cholesterol). On top of all that, it is simply delicious!

Unfortunately, like most healthy and delicious foods, American food manufacturers have found a way to adulterate this perfect nut spread into something that is not as wonderful as it could and should be.

This is what I am looking for in my peanut butter: dry roasted peanuts and sea salt. This is what I am NOT looking for on the list of ingredients: sugar, hydrogenated vegetables oils. Take a look at the peanut butter on the market shelf. See the jars with a little bit of oil floating on the top? Separation of the oil in peanut butter is NORMAL. But, American consumers don’t like to see that yucky oil on top so manufacturers went ahead and add some hydrogenated oil to the mix so the peanut butter wouldn’t separate. Yes, that’s right, hydrogenated oil = trans fat, even if it doesn’t list it in the nutrition facts. Let’s smarten up American consumers! Let's stand up and say: “we like the oil on top because that is the way real food looks and that’s what we want to eat!” Oh and the sugar thing, the American diet is already ridiculously high in added sugar, do we really need it in our peanut butter?

One peanut butter brand that I love is MaraNatha. I think it is great because of the ingredients, but it is also made just a state away from me, in Oregon, so it has a lower carbon footprint. They also make other wonderful nut butters and tahini. You do have to watch out and steer clear of the “no stir” kind. It has added sugar and palm oil. Another fantastic brand of nut butters is Kettle brand, also made in Oregon and also delicious.

Aside from sandwiches, peanut butter was on my grocery list today because tonight we are having soba noodles with veggies, fried tofu, and the most delicious coconut peanut sauce to ever find it’s way to your taste buds. I got the recipe from one of my instructors at Bastyr University, Cynthia Lair, and every time I make it my husband literally licks his plate clean. Kids also adore this sauce on noodles or for dipping. Here is the link to that wonderful recipe and Cynthia’s website! Enjoy!


  1. Mmm. Sounds delicious!
    I love this Sarah and new recipes are exactly what I need.

  2. Usually get Adams, but happened to have picked up Kettle just last week - yum!!