How to Eat Peanut Butter Without Piling on the Pounds
Back in 2012, there was a big turning point for wellness in Britain, and not just because we played host to the Olympics. It was the year that fat started to fight back. A BBC 2 documentary entitled The Men Who Made Us Fat was pointing the blame for our increasing health problems and waistlines at sugar. And our minds were blown.
At first we were hesitant, but then we remembered fat was in the good stuff: avocados, salmon, peanut butter. And so we blacklisted refined sugars and started mainlining these good fats, but while they may have left us with better skin, glossier hair and stronger nails, we didn’t lose any weight. Why? Well, "good" fats are calorie dense. A 25g serving of almonds is 149 calories, which doesn’t sound too bad until you realise 25g of almonds is like a serving for a small child. And that a teeny blink-and-you-miss-it 170g pot of cashew butter (that we were eating out of with a spoon because it’s good for us), is a whopping 1025 kcal. The problem is nut butters are so addictive and the best way to derail a diet.
Luckily we have found a solution in the form of PB2. PB, what now? PB2 is powdered peanut butter, you simply mix it with water to create the consistency of the regular stuff we know and love. What’s great about this version is that 2 tablespoons (12g) is just 45kcal—1.5g fat, 5g carbohydrates (of which 1g is sugar) and 5g protein. Keep scrolling for more information about PB2 and five healthy PB2 recipes to try this week.
Bell Plantation PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter (£14)
The company squeezes the oils out of the nuts and dehydrates the leftovers to create the powder. Now, since the good fats have been extracted, you’ll have to get those elsewhere, but this is a great addition to your kitchen if you’re a nut butter fanatic and want to reduce your calorie intake. You can spread the PB2 and water mix on toast (we love The Celtic Bakers Organic Fig & Fennel Sourdough, £3), or blend it into your morning smoothie. But when it comes to this versatile ingredient the options are endless.
Not only is this microwave cake, invented by Cassie Johnston of Back to Her Roots, just 130 calories per serving, it takes little over one minute to make. The secret to making it low calorie? Using PB2, egg whites and no butter, but you would never know because it tastes so good. Head to Back to Her Roots for the full recipe.
Peanuts aren’t just great in sweet recipes, Juliana Walters, founder of the site Julie’s Jazz, has created a savoury carrot salad recipe. Mix PB2 with soy sauce and honey (among other flavourings), and you can whip up this simple salad in no time. Add some stir fried chicken or tofu and you’ve got yourself a quick, healthy and tasty supper. Check out Juliana's peanut and carrot recipe.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are kryptonite to a peanut lover's diet, thankfully Katie Farrell, founder of Dashing Dish, has found a way to make peanut butter cups that stack up at just 17 calories each (but taste far naughtier). They take just 10 minutes to make, but you need to freeze them which takes around 1–2 hours until they are set, so plan ahead. The chocolate layer is bolstered with low fat Greek yoghurt and protein powder, while a pinch of salt in the PB2 gives them an authentic taste. Give these healthy peanut butter cups a try.
Katie has also come up trumps with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups–inspired shake. It’s a hefty 250 calories so this is best saved for a post-workout refuel. It has a whopping 40g protein and 20g carbohydrate, so it will help repair muscles after a big workout. The secret ingredient for getting that thick consistency is cottage cheese, which you can’t taste, but you can substitute with low-fat Greek yoghurt and a small banana if you're not a fan. PB2 gives it that peanut flavour, of course! Find the recipe at Dashing Dish.
Blogger Kristin Ione uses this smoothie recipe to give herself a caffeine-free energy boost in the mornings. The banana and PB2 add a sweetness to the drink, great if you're not a big greens fan but you want to reap the vitamin-rich benefits. Head over to kristinione.com for the recipe.
Have you ever tried PB2? Share your recipe ideas in the comment box below!