Friday, 22 February 2013 04:20

Healthier Peanut Butter and Delicious Recipes

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I found out by chance that today is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day! I'm sure every day is a national celebration for some random ingredient, but none the less I felt inspired to write about this one because I happen to be a peanut butter lover. Funny enough, this is something that I struggled with up until September 2012. Why? Because I knew peanut butter wasn't the healthiest food. I realized one day that very few healthy vegan recipes call for peanut butter and wondered why, since it's just blended organic nuts (I haven't had the sugary or salty variety in years). Then I figured it out.

Peanuts on their own really aren't so bad, but they're not that great either, at least compared to many other nuts. Almonds and cashews are the nuts of choice amongst chefs and health advocates due to their taste, texture and protein content. Although peanuts contain a high percentage of protein, the main drawback is that they typically contain aflatoxins, thus causing allergic reactions in many people, which also explains why others nuts are more commonly used. And honestly, it seems like most peanuts sold in stores aren't the best quality, are rarely raw, and I've always wondered why they're so much cheaper than other nuts (perhaps their origin?). Despite all of this, I still found it hard to resist peanut butter, especially when mixed in chocolate desserts! Fortunately, I discovered Wild Jungle Peanuts and was thrilled to find a healthy solution!

Jungle Peanuts are heirloom, wild harvested from the Amazon, and raw. They have a slighty different flavor from conventional peanuts - very rich and earthy - and a much prettier color - deep chocolate-colored tiger stripes. Best of all, they're naturally aflatoxin-free! And here are some nutritional benefits I gathered from the Essential Living Foods website:

  • Wild Jungle Peanuts are loaded with vitamin E, polyphenols, antioxidants, resveratrol, niacin, oleic acid and plenty of protein (including all 8 essential amino acids).
  • They contain over 40% oleic acid—an oil essential for heart health and smooth, beautiful skin. This oil content is similar to other nutritionally praised nuts, like almonds.
  • They are 26% protein—this is more than virtually any other nut or seed, including flax or hemp.
  • They are a great source for amino acids like methionine, which is hard to find in other plant foods.
  • They contain arachidonic acid, a beneficial fatty acid usually found only in meat.

So where can you find these wonderous peanuts? I first discovered them via Essential Living Foods, who sells them whole and in blended into an incredible butter. The latter isn't always available so I often buy them whole and then process myself into a butter (super easy - check it out in the first video below). You can find them through other superfood companies as well, though I'm not as familiar with them.

Of course you can use wild jungle peanuts just as you would with conventional, and I thought I'd share some of my favorite recipes. Because I love their peanuts so much, I teamed up with Essential Living Foods to do these 2 videos:

 

Have you tried wild jungle peanuts before? If so, how have you enjoyed them and do you have any favorite recipes? Share below!


Images from the Essential Living Foods website

Read 8311 times Last modified on Friday, 01 March 2013 23:03