November is National Peanut Butter Month so I am sharing a few of my favorite peanut butter recipes this week.
My first memory of making a sandwich included peanut butter. My brother and I got out the bread, peanut butter and jelly, but we didn’t stop there. We also brought out some cheese, cold cuts, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickles, mustard and anything else we could get our hands on that we thought we could put on our monster sandwiches.
We kept piling on layer after layer, trying to see how much stuff we could get between two slices of bread. We thought it was hilarious until my mother walked in. She didn’t find it so funny.
Mayonnaise was dripping down the front of the cabinets and peanut butter was all over the counter. Our experimental sandwiches were a disaster, and so was the kitchen. My father came in and threatened to make us eat the sandwiches, but luckily our only punishment was to clean up the mess and vow not to do it again.
Even as a little kid I instinctively knew that peanut butter is a versatile food. It works in sweet and savory dishes, from cookies to stir-fry sauces.
I often use peanut butter in stir-fry. Since my family loves Pad Thai, which is often served topped with crushed peanuts, I decided to make one, but whisk some peanut butter into the sauce. The extra punch of peanut flavor made it even more delicious.
It can be a struggle to find a nutritious breakfast food that checks all the boxes: quick, nutritious, tasty and portable. For a while peanut-butter-and-banana toast was in the rotation, but if you’re running out the door it’s not convenient to eat. Peanut butter banana muffins are great on the go. You can throw in some chocolate chips, too.
The no-bake cookie recipe, a favorite from childhood, is another great way to enjoy peanut butter.
However you enjoy your peanut butter, take my advice: it does not go well with pickles, bologna and ketchup.
Peanut Butter Pad Thai
1 1/2 cups chicken breast, cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound cooked and prepared shrimp, thawed
1 white onion, sliced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 cup shredded carrot
1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari sauce
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste
1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons green onion, chopped
1 pound package of rice noodles, prepared according to package directions
Add the chicken to a bowl; sprinkle cornstarch and salt over it, then toss lightly to coat the chicken and set aside.
Next, make the sauce by adding the peanut butter, tamari sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and tamarind paste to a lidded plastic container and shake until well combined.
Set a sauté pan over medium-high heat to warm. Add the olive oil and garlic and heat until the garlic browns lightly, then add the seasoned chicken. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is browned, then add onion and pepper. Cook until the onion and pepper have softened, then add the shredded carrot and bean sprouts.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until the carrots and sprouts have softened; stir in chicken broth and heat for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp and sauce; heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently to combine. Remove from heat. Add prepared rice noodles to a serving bowl and spoon the Pad Thai over the noodles. Garnish with cilantro, peanuts and green onions before serving.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
2 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Add the sugars, milk, vanilla and salt to a large saucepan and set over medium-high heat and stir continuously. Once the butter has melted, stir in the peanut butter. Stir until smooth and it comes to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in oats and mix well.
Drop by the heaping teaspoonful onto the prepared baking sheet then set in a cool place for at least 30 minutes to allow the cookies to set before serving.
Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Add banana, honey, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, milk, yogurt and peanut butter to a bowl; whisk together until smooth.
Add the flours, cinnamon, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a separate bowl and stir to combine. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine, then add in the chocolate chips.
Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and spoon the batter into the cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Set the muffins in an oven preheated to 375 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool for 3 to 4 minutes in the muffin tin. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.