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Live Well. Eat Well.

Cooking with Peanut Butter

Is PB&J still one of the great sandwiches of youth? November celebrates peanut butter with Peanut Butter Lovers Month. Along with spreading on bread, let's explore other ways to eat with peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Sauce. Try recipes for peanut butter in sauces for noodles or rice. This recipe for "Carrot Noodles with Thai Chicken Peanut Sauce" is from UI Extension.

Peanut Butter Smoothie. Add peanut butter to your smoothie blend for flavor, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and protein. From the USDA Mixing Bowl, enjoy a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie.

Peanut Butter Soups and Stews. Peanut butter adds a unique flavor in savory dishes. Peanutty African Stew from the USDA Mixing Bowl is a way to experiment with peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Sweets. Peanut butter cookies and other sweets are a fun use of peanut butter. Try the Fruit and Nut Granola Bar Clusters from Illinois Nutrition Education Programs.

Granola Bar Clusters

Fruit and Nut Granola Bar Clusters (serves 12)

1.5 cups quick oats
1/2 cup bran flakes
>1/3 cup dried fruit, such as raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup nuts, such as sliced almonds or roasted peanuts
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. Mix together oats, bran flakes, dried fruit, nuts, and mini chocolate chips together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
    3. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter, maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla until smooth.
    4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine together.
    5. Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Form mixture into 12 clusters and place into pan.
    6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly browned. Let cool and store in air-tight container.

    Nutritional analysis per serving: 200 calories, 10g fat, 50mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 6g protein


    Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.