Monday, March 1, 2010

The Weekend Report: Ode to Peanut Butter

Runners love peanut butter.

Is that an extremely broad and generalizing statement? Yes.

Is it one I’m comfortable making? Absolutely.

Why? Well, it’s really good for you. Peanut butter is jam-packed with all things runners love: protein, fiber, “good” fat, niacin and folic acid (they help convert food to energy), vitamin E, and long-lasting energetic calories!

What to eat pre-workout? Toast with PB. It’s a million times better than any bar on the market.

What to eat post-workout? An apple or banana with PB. Eat it immediately – your muscles need to re-fuel and are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen stores within 30 minutes after exercise. In plain English, that means you will be less sore/fatigued later if you eat something right after you finish working out. Your snack should involve both protein (peanut butter!) and carbs.

But let’s be real here – all health benefits aside – peanut butter is just straight up deliciousness in a jar! You don’t have to be a runner to love it…and frankly, when I dip into my PB, I’m not thinking, Hmm how is this affecting my glycogen stores? I’m thinking PB, yum, now!

Because I’m a firm believer that EVERYTHING is better when dipped in peanut butter (it’s kind of like frosting, but more versatile). The only thing that doesn’t go well with PB is citrus. (And yes, I have put a lot of thought into this…can you think of anything else that wouldn’t benefit from a bit of the nutty stuff?) I mean: apples, dry cereal, graham crackers, cookies, oatmeal, chocolate, toast, bagels, muffins, anything pumpkin, popcorn – all good with PB. And savory food? Ummm peanut sauce? Hello! Delicious.

You may think I’m exaggerating, but really – my PB jar doesn’t live in my cupboard. It just migrates between my kitchen table (where I eat breakfast and read the paper) and my coffee table (where I watch TV/eat dinner/read my book). Putting it away would just be a silly waste of time and energy, because it would only be a matter of minutes before I need to pull it out again.

What has inspired this Peanutty Ode you may be wondering? Well, a birthday box arrived in the mail on Friday, containing nothing less than 3 jars of gourmet peanut butter! And Oh. My. Goodness. I have found my own personal crack. (I’m not advocating drugs here…I’m just saying that PB is my drug of choice).

More specifically, Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter. Ahhhhhhhhhhh! (Picture angels singing, the heavens opening up, and a beam of divine sunlight shining down on my jar).

Yes. It is that good.

The other two flavors are Mocha and White Chocolate Coconut.

Both are good, but I think that they almost have too much going on. I like my PB with coffee and chocolate…but all three mixed together is a bit much. And the White Chocolate Coconut is delish, but a bit sweet.

So if you’re only going to buy one kind, go for the Butter Toffee. But if you want to try a variety, or you’re looking for a great gift for the PB lover in your life – go for the sample pack – you won’t regret it!

Naturally Nutty is all organic, and has flax seeds added. Also, they have almond and sunflower seed butters if you're not into peanuts.