Elvis Presley would have celebrated his 81st birthday in January 2016. It’s legendary that one of the King’s all time culinary favorites was peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Is that why National Peanut Butter Day is January 24th? Most of our kids love it and, as adults, we still love the creamy (or crunchy) food and continue to rely on it as a staple in the cabinet and a source of a late night spoonful for a quick snack.
Peanut butter is delicious, high in protein, full of fiber, contains potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, healthy unsaturated fat and gives us long lasting energy! For the healthiest peanut butter possible, choose one without added sugar or oil. Choosing one where peanuts are the only ingredient is always best. Some stores have do-it-yourself peanut butter making machines to make the freshest, purest peanut butter available. I especially love the different varieties of organic peanut butter on the market mixed with superseeds, dates, figs, honey, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa and other nuts. There’s no shortage of choices.
Peanut butter is not just for sandwiches anymore. The King could have indulged his craving in so many more ways. It adds a tasty, powerful boost in recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner not to mention everything in between (apple slices dipped in peanut butter, anyone?).
I’ve listed my top 5 favorite recipes below (in no particular order). For those with peanut allergies, most recipes work well with peanut butter alternatives made from tree nuts, soy or seeds.
- Zemas Cocoa-Teff Protein Pancakes with Peanut Butter Maple Syrup (recipe below)
- Zemas Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
- Zemas Chocolate Peanut Butter Donuts
- Thai Peanut Satay Sauce by Laura B. Russell, author of The Gluten Free Asian Kitchen
- Jill’s Peanut Butter-Cacao-Maca Protein Smoothie (see recipe below)
Zemas Cocoa Teff Protein Pancakes with Peanut Butter Maple Syrup
Makes about 2 dozen pancakes (1/2 the recipe for a smaller batch)
2-3 servings or (1/3 c.) Raw Cacao Protein Powder**
1 t. baking powder
2 ¾ c. milk of choice (we used unsweetened chocolate almond milk!)
1 egg (or egg replacer)
¼ c. + 3 T. oil of choice
½ c. pure maple syrup
1 t. pure vanilla extract
Heat griddle over medium heat. Spray with non-stick spray just before cooking. Whisk together all wet ingredients. Add entire mix, protein powder and baking powder. Ladle 1/4 c. batter onto hot griddle. Cook 3-5 minutes on the first side, or until you see bubbles. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes. (The added protein lends to a denser pancake). **Note that you can use more protein powder, however, the pancakes may be more moist inside than usual.
**We used Livwell Vegan Protein Powder(https://www.livwellnutrition.com).
Peanut Butter Maple Syrup
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
½ c. natural peanut butter(no added sugar or oil)
Combine syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until well combined. Drizzle over the finished pancakes and sprinkle with chopped peanuts!
Jill’s Peanut Butter-Cacao-Maca Protein Smoothie
8 oz. unsweetened almond milk(or milk of choice)
1 serving protein powder-I use Livwell’s Raw Cacao Protein Powder
1/2 ripe banana
1 T. raw maca powder
1 T. MCT oil
1 T. chia seeds
1 T. peanut butter
1 c. ice
Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender and enjoy. Garnish with unsweetened shredded coconut, hemp seeds or cinnamon.