Monday, April 15, 2013

The NEW Peanut Butter

      
         


      So, this is a picture of the peanut butter/nut butter selection currently residing in my kitchen cabinet. It's safe to say I am a fan. In my case, peanut butter and jelly has been a great lunch to take on my rotations since 1). Hospital cafeteria food freaks me out (due to an incident dating back to my days as a candy striper)  2). Even with an ice pack in my lunch bag cold food does not remain as cold as it should be, which also freaks me out (medical students do not always have refrigerator access as the space is often reserved for individuals higher up on the medical food chain- like interns). Peanut butter can remain at room temperature, it is delicious, it is nutritious, and importantly, it is filling. Perfection. The only issue is that it is extremely high in fat and calories (good fat) so sadly, it is important to watch the serving size. ESPECIALLY for someone like me, who has been known to sit down with a jar and a spoon in front of the television.
      While the fat in peanut butter is heart-healthy, and can satisfy hunger for hours, some people cannot afford the 190 calorie per 2 tablespoon price tag every single day. For this reason, I am going to review/discuss a new product I recently tried called PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter. According to the company "Through a unique process that doesn’t involve the use of any chemicals and doesn’t alter nature’s intended balance found within the peanut, we remove over 85% of the fat from premium quality peanuts. Essentially, the oil is squeezed out of roasted peanuts and what remains is our famous powdered peanut butter – all natural with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. When you mix water or a favorite drink with PB2 you get the same consistency as full-fat peanut butter, with all the roasted peanut flavor, but 85% less fat calories."  PB2 is only 45 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per serving so it is like an 80% off sale taking place in the calorie department. It also contains 5 grams of protein per serving, which is excellent, as protein is more slowly digested which enables us to stave off hunger for longer periods of time.  


      So- getting to the important stuff. PB2 comes in 2 flavors- regular peanut butter, and chocolate peanut butter. I have only tried the regular so far. Making it does take some getting used to, as it is like powdered sugar in consistency, but all you really have to do is mix water into it to get the texture you desire. When I did it, I used the amount they recommended on the jar and it looked like peanut butter.......and it even tasted like peanut butter......sort of. You can definitely tell that the fat has been taken out of it because it lacks a richness that regular peanut butter has, but that is not a terrible thing. The texture is not as silky or creamy. It is sort of like switching from Ben and Jerry's to Skinny Cow ice cream. Both are very good, but they do not taste the same. Ben and Jerry's may taste BETTER, but that does not mean that Skinny Cow ice cream tastes BAD. Especially when you compare the nutritional stats of both brands. 
      I have heard that the chocolate-flavored PB2 is even better than the regular. One great thing about the powder, is that a small amount adds great peanut butter flavor to recipes. It is arguably PB2's biggest attribute. I think it would work amazingly well in smoothies, a drink I have never added nut butter to in the past for fear that I would essentially be drinking a high-calorie milkshake in disguise, but the possibilities are endless. This stuff would also be excellent in sauces, dips, oatmeal, yogurt- basically, anywhere that peanut butter would be a welcome flavor (which, in my opinion, is EVERYWHERE). So, in a nutshell, it is a great peanut butter SUBSTITUTE. Nothing could ever fully replace peanut butter, but this is a very close second. I highly recommend it.
      P.S.- I bought my PB2 at a store in my neighborhood, but if you are not sure where to get it, you can always order it online at amazon.com. Here is a link: PB2.

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