Admit it. You’ve been caught with your hands in the peanut butter jar. Even we can often be seen walking around the office with a teaspoon and peanut butter jar in hand; it’s just that good! But do you know what’s even better? There is a whole day dedicated to our mutual love for this spreadable, nutty goodness: Happy Peanut Butter Lover’s Day!
By Jana du Plessis
The funny thing about the peanut is the fact that it’s actually not a nut at all! Scientifically speaking, it’s part of the legume (hands up for beans and lentils!) family and are the seeds of the Arachis hypogaea legume crop. Unlike other nuts, like macadamias or Brazil nuts, that grow on trees, the peanut flourishes underground and is also sometimes called a groundnut. Peanut butter – and this counts for any other nut or seed butter around – is merely raw or roasted peanuts that have been ground to form a smooth paste. Their oils are released, resulting in those luscious buttery spreads we love.
THE HEALTH FACTOR
Luckily for us, peanut butter is not only a delicious toast topper and oat swirler, but also contains a good dose of nutrients. First off, incorporating healthy fats into your diet is essential for nourishing your cells and providing the lubricant that your joints and digestive system need in order to function optimally. Add a tablespoon to your smoothie or try a satay sauce on your chicken tonight if you’re stuck for ideas. Peanuts are also high in B vitamins which provide your body with the ability to metabolise your food into energy. Traces of manganese plays a role in bone health and allow to be the building blocks for essential enzymes needed for bone building. Vitamin E is great for your hair, nails and skin, while the protein count would make any vegan or vegetarian (or meat-eater!) happy to indulge.
FROM HARVEST TO HOMES
On the flip side, like all commercially produced products, peanut butter manufactured on a big scale is often filled with additives, stabilisers and extra oils to extend shelf life and improve the consistency. But, as we know, all these chemically added ingredients aren’t always a great idea for our health. Always look for natural peanut butter that only contains ground peanuts and perhaps an addition of some salt or flavouring like cinnamon – any ingredients more than that and that jar should rather stay in the supermarket. Or even better, if you have a high speed blender at home, try to make it yourself and you won’t want to buy a jar soon again!
OUR TOP 3 HEALTHFUL PEANUT BUTTER RECIPES