I must admit, peanut butter is my first love.
It’s creamy (I only eat the creamy stuff) and salty and pairs oh so well with another love of mine, ice cream. I have been known to hide jars and jars of it in the pantry. All different brands and flavors: cinnamon raisin, maple, vanilla, espresso, dark chocolate, white chocolate. I mean really, what doesn’t pair well with peanut butter? But while variety is fun, day after day I find myself coming back ole’ reliable–natural, fresh ground peanut butter.
While I am most certainly addicted to jelly’s best friend, I can understand why some of you may be concerned with the gooey treat. The brands you may be used to buying most likely contain a ton of fat, sugar, and salt (yes, this what makes it so delicious; and yes, it’s still amazing without all of that icky stuff). I’ve found that even the brands that say “Natural” or “low-fat” still house an unhealthy amount of sugar and salt.
So how’s a girl supposed to get her fix?!
The key is this: look at the ingredients. Your PB should contain only one or two ingredients. Peanut butter will always contains peanuts, duh (ingredient number one) and some may contain salt (ingredient number 2). If you opt for salted PB just make sure the sodium content isn’t astronomically high and you should be good.
The peanut butter I use is freshly ground from a local Amish market, and the sole ingredient is the peanut. He is the star of the show and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Yes, I’ve experimented with other nuts. The almond, particularly. And yes, ok, almond butter is tasty (helllooo Justin’s) and a great alternative to the peanut–but it just can’t compete. The peanut reigns supreme in my heart, always.
Some days I want nothing more than to come home, grab a ladle, and head for the pantry. I dream of unscrewing the lid of my PB jar and scooping a mound of creaminess onto the bowl of my spoon. Yes, I dream of this.
*Side note: I was actually at a baseball game the other night and declared during the 5th inning that I couldn’t wait to get home and have some peanut butter. My friend was supportive in my proclamation and instead of asking why peanuts were dancing in my head, asked how I was going to eat it. With celery? A banana? “Alone,” I decided. “Probably nuked in the microwave for a couple seconds.”
If you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate these cookies.
*Note to reader: These cookies are cakey, I like them that way. They aren’t crunchy or mushy. If you like your cookies crunchy, consider lowering the baking soda or omitting it altogether.
Almost Clean Peanut Butter Flax Cookies
Yield: 12 cookies
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup egg whites (or the whites of two eggs)
1 tbs ground flax
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
a dash of sea salt
*Optional: 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or carob chips)
- Preheat oven to 350˚
- In a small bowl, mix oats, flax, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Combine peanut butter, sugar, egg whites, salt, and vanilla.
- Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients.
- If using chocolate chips, fold gently into mixture.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or not, if you’re lazy like me).
- Drop cookie dough by the spoonful, about two inches apart. Dough is not quite thick, and cookies will spread as soon as they drop onto parchment.
- Remove cookies from oven when the edges are golden brown, about 9-11 minutes.
Serving size: 1 cookie WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS; Calories:104; Fat: 7g; Sugar: 6.5g; Carbs: 8g; Protein: 4g.
Serving size: 1 cookie WITHOUT CHOCOLATE CHIPS; Calories: 81; Fat: 5.6g; Sugar: 3.8g; Carbs: 5g; Protein: 3.6g.
Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.
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