Friday, 21 November 2014

17 Ways to Make Peanut Butter Better

There have been lots of peanut butter sandwiches lately at Acorn Towers. The peanut butter and bread do not need a fridge, so they have been a great thing to have around while we are without our kitchen.

Peanut butter is a great protein source – you can find about the same amount of protein in 100g peanuts as in 100g animal protein!  And it is one heck of lot cheaper!  Ok, so peanut butter does not have all of the amino acids that an animal protein will, but you do not need all of the amino acids to come from the same item of food at one meal; a varied diet will ensure you get the balance you need. 
We used to buy the economy brands, until I realised that they contained palm oil which we decided we wanted to cut back on as much as possible.  Sunpat (no palm oil) is still a great deal.

The younger kids and hubby can eat the same meals for days on end without minding at all.  (Husband has done as such for weeks and months on end of his own volition in the past!)  But the eldest and I need variation.  We get tired of the same old boring PB sarnie.

So how to mix it up?

My kids prefer the sweet combos listed below, but I try to keep those to an occasional treat like a birthday or special day.  The savoury ones are my preference anyway (luckily!) and the children are always happy to have peanut butter whatever comes with it! Favourite and so safe (!) savouries with all of the children are peanut butter with cucumber, or with sweet gherkins and spinach or pea shoots (see below list for details), or with cooked beetroot.

Some other combos that are enjoyed by our family are:
  • Your choice of jam as an occasional treat (especially if adding as much as in the photograph above!)
  • Sliced pear or apple, with or without watercress
  • Banana slices tossed in lemon or orange juice, with a dusting of cinnamon
  • Banana slices tossed in lemon or lime juice, with ground black pepper and watercress
  • Cucumber and black pepper
  • Mashed avocado and shredded red cabbage
  • Mashed avocado with sliced cooked beetroot, or with grated raw beetroot
  • Watercress and sweet gherkins
  • Wholegrain mustard and baby spinach or homegrown pea shoots
  • Shredded lettuce or cabbage with sliced ripe plum and black pepper, or with plum chutney
  • Lime pickle and salad (green leaves or shredded cabbage)
  • With tomato chutney and salad (leaves or shredded cabbage), optional mashed avocado
  • With a homemade hedgerow chutney e.g. blackberry, and watercress
  • With leftover roasted vegetables
  • In a Chinese-style wrap with marinated tofu pieces and matchstick carrots and cabbage
  • In a wrap with steak pieces and chilli relish or tomato chutney (steak also available at Holland and Barratt, approx. same cost or cheaper than beefsteak)
  • In a wrap with mashed avocado and matchstick raw veg or beansprouts
  • In a wrap with beansprouts and plum chutney with a dash of soy sauce mixed in to taste
*If you aren’t keen on watercress like some of our family, you can use spinach leaves or other soft leafed salad instead. You can grow salad leaves simply indoors.  In summer, we like to plant at least a bagful of dried marrowfat peas in pots which grow beautifully and abundantly with little effort – just make sure the soil is kept moist.  The pea shoot leaves are popular in expensive fashionable restaurants but can be used as salad for next-to-free at home!  In early spring, you can use the mild nutty leaves of the commonly found hawthorn tree for nothing too.

Hopefully you will find at least one new idea to try there! 

Why not leave your own fave peanut butter combo in the comments?  We would love to give a different idea a try!





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