Southeast Asian Sweet
Dip raw vegetables, such as jicama, radishes, carrots, bell peppers, or blanched green beans, in this quick ’n’ easy but delicious sauce. Or serve with shrimp, small scallops, or bite-sized cubes of chicken on toothpicks for easy dipping.
Recipe from The Peanut Institute. For more recipes, visit peanut-institute.org.
3 oz. peanut butter
3 oz. sweet chili sauce
1 oz. rice vinegar
2 Tbs. crushed, roasted peanuts
Combine peanut butter, sweet chili sauce, vinegar, and 1 oz. water, and whisk until smooth. Garnish with crushed, roasted peanuts, and serve.
PER SERVING: 70 CAL; 2 G PROT; 4 G TOTAL FAT (1 G SAT FAT); 7 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 142 MG SOD; 1 G FIBER; 3 G SUGARS
Will a peanut a day keep the doctor away? Not quite, but an ounce might. Peanuts help control blood pressure and cholesterol, manage blood sugar, prevent diabetes, reduce hunger, and keep extra pounds away. And let’s not forget—they’re fun.
You’ve probably heard that high-glycemic foods, the lovable starchy ones like white bread and all the sugary ones like cookies, aren’t the most healthful; they rapidly convert to blood sugar, promoting inflammation and increasing risk for diabetes and heart disease. But adding peanuts to any of these will slow the conversion process, producing more stable energy levels, delaying hunger pangs, and reducing cravings. Less body fat goes hand in hand.
Peanuts are rich in healthful fats, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They’re also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, which helps control blood pressure and reduce risk for diabetes. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that eating 1 ounce of peanuts or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, five or more times weekly, reduced risk for diabetes by 27 and 21 percent, respectively.
Studies published in the International Journal of Obesity found that peanuts and peanut butter were more satisfying than low-calorie, high-carbohydrate snacks such as rice cakes. And people who added peanuts to their diets spontaneously reduced their caloric intake from other foods and lost weight. Another study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that habitual peanut consumers had higher metabolisms and weighed less than peanut abstainers.
Picking Peanut Butters
Avoid products made with unhealthful added oils and sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup. Choose no-salt or low-salt versions.
Healthful Serving Sizes
For shelled peanuts, the serving is 1 ounce (a small handful or about 40 peanuts). Peanut butter is about 2 tablespoons (about the size of a ping-pong ball).
Ways to Enjoy
Gourmet Twists on a Classic
The peanut butter and jelly sandwich may be an American tradition, but chefs at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in California’s Napa Valley, created these international variations:
Sunfood Nutrition Organic Wild Amazonian Jungle Peanuts: The world’s original heirloom peanut from deep within the heart of the Ecuadoran rain forest. Makes a perfect snack.
One serving of Hearts & Minds Peanut Butter with Olive Oil and Omega-3 contains 6 g of heart-healthy olive oil.