A butter unlike any other

A butter unlike any other


It need not be merely a sandwich spread; it can go into milkshakes, cookies, salads, and even savoury stir-fry! Peanut butter opens a whole new door to proteins, vegetarianism, and health, finds-out Anusha Shashidhar.

It is quite a commonplace thing for non vegetarians to pick on vegetarians, and for vegetarians to challenge the non-vegetarians to a protein-off challenge. It is obviously a myth that vegetarians don't get enough proteins. It really isn't about being a vegetarian or non vegetarian. It's got to do with our lifestyles: how balanced a diet we follow. And contrary to the popular notion that being vegetarian means having rabbit food (raw salads), the diet has a lot of tasty dishes and health advantages to offer.

Protein and fat

When we talk of protein, we often neglect the fat that it brings with it. Of course, not all fats are bad for you. There are what's called saturated fats (the good ones) and unsaturated fats (the bad ones). Most animal-derivated proteins like milk, butter, and cheese have quite a high content of unsaturated fats, which are known to cause unnecessary cholesterol. Plant-derivated proteins, however, are low on unsaturated fats and high on saturated fats, making them a better option for a healthy protein diet.

Peanut and butter

Did you know that peanut butter is not peanut flavoured butter? Yes! "Butter" is actually a scientific name for any extract from an edible product. Over the years though, butter became synonymous for  the extract obtained from cow's milk. However, peanut butter is purely a plant derivated protein. It is an extract made from roasted peanuts. And you want to know another surprising thing? Peanuts are not really nuts; peanuts are legumes – just like pulses!

Peanut butter and health

Says, Dr Swarupa Kakani, a nutritionist, "Peanut Butter is a healthy option to meet your daily protein requirement. Additionally it is easily digestible, high in energy, good fats and nutrients without any downsides. Moreover, just one and a half tablespoon (24g) of peanut butter can provide as much protein as one large glass (200 ml) of cow's milk." That's quite some good news for even the vegans to celebrate, don't you think?

Acquired taste

Well, just as with cheese, for most Indians, peanut butter too is an acquired taste. Cheese was quite a foreign food to us about a decade back. Today though, households will have a crisis if they don't have cheese on their sunday breakfast sandwich, and movies at the theatre would be incomplete without a bucket of cheese popcorn!

While cheese brings with it quite a lot of fat and cholesterol, peanut butter on the other hand is very low on fat and much higher on protein. So how about getting your tastebuds used to it on your sandwich in place of cheese? In fact, you can make cookies, muffins, milkshakes, salads, and even savoury stir-fry dishes with it!

Here are some simple recipes [Courtesy: Sundrop Peanut Butter] to include peanut butter in your cooking:

Peanut Butter Apple Sandwich

This new take on a breakfast sandwich includes the fresh crunch and fibrous nutrition of an apple, healthy fats from peanut butter and whole grains from granola.

Ingredients:  Cored apple - 1, Peanut butter – 2 tbsp , Low-fat granola – ½ c
Directions: Core apple. Slice apple horizontally into several slices to make sandwich “bread.” Spread two apple slices with 1 tbsp. peanut butter each and sprinkle with granola. Top peanut butter and granola-topped apple slice with another apple slice, and serve .

Peanut Butter Milkshake

You’ve got milk. You’ve got peanut butter. Probably vanilla ice cream, too. You can treat yourself with this delightful drink in seconds. But be careful, this thick shake can be addictive!

Ingredients: Peanut butter – 1 tsp, Jam (optional) – 2 tsp, Milk – 1 cup, Vanilla ice cream – 1 scoop

Directions: Beat peanut butter and jam in a bowl. Add milk, mix well and transfer to a serving glass. Top it with ice cream, or you could blend the icecream and serve.

Peanut Butter Apple Salad

Fruits and yogurt with peanut butter is a combination to die for. Try once and we are sure you can’t have it just once!

Ingredients:

Fat free vanilla yogurt – 6 oz, Creamy peanut butter – 4 cups, Pineapple juice – 6 oz, Mayonnaise – 1 tbsp, Large apples – 4, Golden raisins – 1/3 cup , Dry roasted peanuts (coarsely chopped) – ¼ cup

Directions:  In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, peanut butter, pineapple juice and mayonnaise. Core and cube apples. Toss apples and raisins into the dressing until fully coated. Garnish with chopped  nuts before serving.

Tofu Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

Serve over rice, preferably whole grain, to enjoy the flavour.

Ingredients:  Packaged firm tofu – 14-16 oz, Cornstarch – ½ cup, Peanut oil – ¼ cup, Ginger & garlic – 1 tsp each, Trimmed snow peas – 1½ cups, Medium-sized onion – 1 (thinly sliced), Red & green bell peppers – 1 cup (thinly sliced), Peanut butter – ¼ cup, Toasted sesame oil – ½ tsp, Chilli garlic sauce - 1 tbsp, Reduced-sodium soy sauce – 2 tbsp, Water – 3 tbsp 

Directions: Drain the tofu completely and cut it into bite-sized blocks. Season each piece lightly with salt and dredge in cornstarch to coat. Heat peanut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook until golden and transfer to a plate. Add minced garlic and ginger to the pan; stir-fry until fragrant.

Then add snow peas, onion and thinly sliced red and green bell peppers. Stir-fry until crisp. In a small bowl, mix peanut butter, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, reduced-sodium soy sauce and water. Add this mixture to pan and stir-fry until sauce comes together and vegetables are evenly coated. Return tofu to pan, turning to coat. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle with sliced onions.

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