Today we're going to talk peanut butter. Peanut butter is a great protein-filled snack which is filling, delicious, and is great to share around the gaming table. You can dip pretzels in it (or better, whole-grain crackers filled with fiber), it goes great on apples, on sugar-free dark chocolate, or even just by the spoonful!
Unfortunately, while you may not have noticed this (many haven't), almost all the peanut butter you buy in the store has added sugar in it. Sometimes it doesn't seem like much--what's an extra 6 grams of carbs, after all? But for those with sugar sensitivity, that can be more than enough to cause problems.
Added Sugar is BadAdded sugar is the demon of our diets. We don't need it, and it's in everything. I'm not even talking the demon of high fructose corn syrup. Just added sugar. And by the way, folks: sugar is sugar is sugar. There is no sugar that is better than other sugars, if it is added after the fact. Added sucrose, added fructose, added honey, it's all sugar.
Some sugars (honey, for example) may have other benefits, but that doesn't make them better as a sugar. Honey is still sugar, despite its antibacterial properties. It's best if we just eliminate all added sugar from our diets entirely.
This particular blog won't get into the issue of artificial sweeteners, because there's a ridiculous crusade against them right now and I don't want to wade into that.
Okay, down off the soap box.
No-Sugar Peanut ButterSo: peanut butter. The majority of the stuff you find in the store has added sugar, and while you can get all-natural that doesn't have added sugar, they charge you an arm and a leg for it. It can cost anywhere from $3.50 to $5.00 for all-natural, no-sugar peanut butter. And here's the kicker: No sugar peanut butter costs less to make and is easier. It's just another case of them making a buck off of people trying to eat healthy.
So what can you do? Work around it.
No-sugar, all-natural peanut butter has one or two ingredients, maximum. Mine has two. Here's the "recipe" (such as it is):
- 16 oz. jar of dry-roasted, salted peanuts. You can go lightly or unsalted if you wish. I prefer salted.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil. You can actually use any kind of cooking oil you like.
Dump a jar of peanuts into your food processor. Chop them finely. Put the coconut oil in the microwave for about 1 minute to melt it (it's usually in a hardened form). Pour the melted coconut oil over the chopped peanuts. Process the mixture until it turns into butter.
That's it! You're done, and it cost you about $2.66 to make 16 oz. of peanuts: $2.50 for the jar of peanuts, and about $0.16 for the coconut oil (you can get it by the gallon for around $20 on Amazon). Even better, the process takes less than 5 minutes, total.
Why Coconut Oil?
I use coconut oil because, put simply, it's something of a power food, and it also is outstanding for helping with diabetes. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels, improves glucose tolerance, and helps to fight insulin resistance. It's also delicious and isn't as heavy as other oils. It also has a wealth of other evidence-based health benefits.
Of course, like anything else that's good for diabetics, there are those out there who are dead-set on a crusade to prove that it's horrible for you. Ignore the crusaders and look at the wealth of evidence. "A recent study," is almost never conclusive, though that phrase is used constantly by people who want to take things away from you.
Note, also, that I'm not a doctor or a healthcare professional, so take my advice with a grain of salt, too. Do your own research, and decide for yourself. Again, you can use just about any oil, and you may not need any oil at all--it's likely that if you process them enough, the peanuts will butter just fine without oil.
What do you think about this recipe? Try it yourself and let me know below!