Product Review: Powdered Peanut Butter

NUTS. I love nuts.  Filling, satisfying, crunchy, whats not to love? Nut butter? I’m obsessed.  I often have a big spoon of almond butter and call it a snack or dessert.  It’s indulgent, delicious and satisfying.  I bitch and moan at Trader Joes when the Raw Unsalted Crunchy is out of stock.

Now with peanut butter, I’m a little picky.  Any “Jif like” product contains hydrogenated oils and has a weird filmy texture.  My dog loves it, but it’s not for me.  I do enjoy a good, all natural peanut butter from time to time–mostly in desserts 🙂

Nut butters are high in fat, which for me is a good and a bad thing.  I maintain a pretty plant based diet and sometimes I really need the fat in nuts to satiate my hunger and keep me satisfied.  However, I am a junkie for sweets, so any way to naturally reduce the fat and calories in my sweet treats is worth a try.

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Enter Powdered Peanut Butter.  I saw this product (Just Great Stuff  the Original Organic Powdered Peanut Butter) when I was picking up my dog’s peanut butter yesterday and bought it out of curiosity.  Just Great Stuff is Organic, Non GMO, Gluten Free, Corn Free and Low Glycemic–wohoooo! I also love the short and simple list of ingredients: Organic Peanuts, Organic Coconut Sugar, Sea Salt.

Powdered peanut butter is basically dehydrated peanuts with salt and sugar (sans oil).  This is why the powdered version has 90% less fat.  Since the majority of peanut butter’s calories come from fat, the powdered version has about a quarter of the calories.  A popular powdered brand on the market is PB2.  I saw this product but decided to spend the extra money for organic and GMO free.  Peanuts are a highly sprayed crop, so it is worth paying extra for organic and GMO free peanut products.

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So I mixed up one serving of powdered peanut butter (2 tablespoon dry) with one tablespoon of water to do a taste test after lunch yesterday.  Sadly, two tablespoons dry yields a little more than 1 tablespoon wet, so in reality I would double the calories and fat if you are looking for two tablespoons of creamy peanut butter. The taste is very similar, but the texture and mouth feel cannot compare to a nut butter with natural oil.  I do foresee myself using the powder in desserts, mixing it in my Greek yogurt and adding to protein shakes and smoothies.  I’ve even pondered mixing it with coconut oil for some healthy fat.  Stay tuned, there will be a powdered peanut butter concoction on the blog next week!

In addition to the lack of creamy mouth feel, you miss out on all the healthy fat that clean eaters need to stay energized! This society has a fear of fat, when the real culprit in  Americas’ diet is sugar.  The powdered version yields the same amount of sugar as creamy peanut butter (which is relatively low).   Powdered peanut butter has half the protein when compared to it’s creamy & oily counterpart, another reason to keep the real thing in your pantry.

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If you have not tried powdered peanut butter yet, i recommend giving it a whirl. If you have already added it into your recipe repertoire, tell me how you use it!

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Managing a Sweet Tooth

My diet is gluten free.  I eat mostly fruits, veggies, legumes and nuts.  Oh, and chocolate.

I am going to be honest, I have been going a bit overboard  lately.  Anyone who knows me knows I love my chocolate, but I decided last week I needed to get a hold of myself.  So I decided to have a little self control and go chocolate/sugar free for the weekend.  For me, the more sugar I eat, the more I crave it.  It’s this cyclical bad habit that can be tough to crack.  In order to adhere I have to tell the people in my life that I am cutting it out for a time period, so they hold me accountable.

My enabler is my mom.  I always fall into a chocolate hole after I spend too much time with her.  She has “Parties” after dinner when I come over.  These “Parties” involve buying every gluten free pint of ice cream in Harris Teeter and putting them all on a Lazy Susan.  I have been going to too many “Parties” lately.

So after a meal, instead of reaching for my frozen brownies I made earlier in the week, I ate half a pear and some banana chips or a couple Medjool Dates with raw almond butter.  Guess what? It does satisfy the craving!

Last night my partner in crime and I decided to celebrate my 72 hours of chocolate celibacy by whipping up a healthful chocolaty concoction.  We made this recipe for Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Bars from Ambitious Kitchen.  It is gluten free and also vegan if you opt for vegan chocolate chips, which I did not.  If you love gooey chocolatey goodness you should definitely give the recipe a try.  Not only is it delicious, but it is pretty darn healthy for something that tastes so decadent.  I had all the ingredients already in my pantry, and I am sure you do too!

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We had one serving with a some red wine and after we finished I froze the left overs.  I freeze all my organic concoctions for two reasons.

  1. Without all the additives and processed ingredients, they often spoil or mold before I can devour a pan.
  2. I can defrost when cravings strike, rather than spend a week noshing on chocolate every night.

I had my fix.  Now I going chocolate (and sugar) free for the remainder of the week! You can hold me accountable! Anyone want to join me?

Here are some of my tips on detoxing from sugar:

  1. Reach for fruit when you want M&Ms.  Make them low-carb fruits like berries, pears, cherries, grapefruit, etc if you can.  But don’t beat yourself up if you eat a mango.  That would be ridiculous.  If fruit wont crush the craving, have a little handful of nuts too, maybe some walnuts, almonds, macadamias or nut butter (with no sugar added). I think the combination of fruit and nuts provide the same fatty sweet satisfaction.  Even if it is not a chocolate lava cake.
  2. If I finish a meal and I want that sugar rush I quickly make tea and focus on that rather than the brownies in my freezer.  I recently discovered GoodEarth tea at Target, which is my new favorite!
  3. Avoid processed and packaged foods when you are trying to detox sugar.  Most packaged foods are full of sugar.
  4. Drink a lot of lemon water. It keeps me full.  Currently I am a little too full.  Whoops.
  5. Don’t be afraid of good fats, they will keep you full and satisfied.  Eggs, avocado, salmon, nuts, olives and pumpkin seeds are some of my favorite fatty foods.

Let me know if you try the recipe or the sugar free challenge! They are both wonderful in their own ways.