Peanut butter is one of America’s favorite foods. Even though peanut butter is thought of as a kid’s food, adults actually eat more peanut butter than kids.

Whether you prefer your peanut butter creamy or crunchy, there’s great news about its nutrition benefits. Peanut butter is packed with disease-fighting nutrients such as folic acid, vitamin E, phytochemicals, fiber and monounsaturated fat. These nutrients have a role in lowering your risk for heart disease, birth defects and diabetes. And studies have found that because eating peanut butter helps satisfy hunger, it can even help you lose weight.

But a person must eat peanut butter sensibly. The calories from peanut butter can add up quickly and result in weight gain. One serving of peanut butter is two tablespoons, which is about the size of a golf ball. The best peanut butter to choose is natural peanut butter that contains only peanuts or peanuts and salt without added fats or sugars.

Suggestions to enjoy your peanut butter without overdoing the calories:

• Enjoy your breakfast waffle with peanut butter and banana slices.

• Spread peanut butter on whole-grain bagels or English muffins.

• Toast your favorite peanut butter sandwich as you would a toasted cheese sandwich.

• Stir peanut butter into a cooked bowl of oatmeal.

• Add extra nutrients by spreading a thin layer of peanut butter to store-bought granola bars.

• Dip apple wedges, celery sticks or pretzels into peanut butter.

• A great-tasting fun snack is banana dogs. Spread peanut butter on a tortilla shell, place a banana in the tortilla and roll.

• Try a peanut butter sauce for a change with your favorite Asian dish.

Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location. The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com.

 

Beef and Chicken Satay with Peanut-Curry Dipping Sauce

Servings: 12

Prep: 15 min

Total: 27 min

Ingredients:

½ pound boneless beef sirloin steak

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about ¾ pound total)

½ cup less-sodium chicken broth

½ cup lite coconut milk

2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. light soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

½ tsp. lime zest

 

Peanut-Curry Dipping Sauce

½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup less-sodium chicken broth

3 tbsp. light soy sauce

1 ½ tbsp. brown sugar

1 ½ tbsp. minced fresh ginger

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. red curry paste

½ tsp. red pepper flakes

 

Directions

1. Cut steak across the grain into 1-inch-long, thin strips. Pound chicken breasts slightly and cut into 1-inch-thin strips. Place beef and chicken strips in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade, whisk together broth, coconut milk, soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and lime zest. Pour marinade over beef and chicken. Seal bag; turn to coat beef and chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove meat from marinade; discard marinade.

2. Preheat broiler. Thread beef and chicken accordion-style onto twelve 6-inch skewers. Place skewers on rack of a broiler pan. Broil 6 to 7 inches from the heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until beef and chicken are no longer pink, turning once halfway through broiling. Serve skewers with Peanut-Curry Dipping Sauce.

3. To make Peanut-Curry Dipping Sauce, place peanut butter in a food processor. Add chicken broth, light soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, lime juice, garlic, red curry paste and red pepper flakes. Cover and blend until smooth.