Peanut butter is a household staple in many parts of the world and the peanut butter industry is worth a whopping 3 billion dollars globally! But should peanut butter be a regular part of a healthy diet?
A recent survey showed that only 48% of people considered peanut butter to be healthy, but most health experts placed it firmly in the health food category! I would have to agree with the health experts on this one, peanut butter is as nutritious as it is delicious!
So what’s so good about it? Firstly, it’s a great source of protein. Plus, it’s packed with monounsaturated fats that are good for our hearts. It’s also a good source of fibre, folate, vitamin E and potassium too! Better yet, there is evidence to show that a diet that includes regular consumption of nuts may lead to other beneficial health outcomes including reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
It’s super versatile and can be used for both sweet and savoury, and as part of a meal or as a snack! I like it smeared on cut up tomato slices (try it!) or in a smoothie with frozen banana- yum! Just remember it is energy-dense, so it’s best to watch your portion size.
Not All Peanut Butter is Created Equal!
As with all packaged food, it is important to read the label before you buy. Some peanut butters are packed with added sugar, salt and oil. Choose a peanut butter that is 100% peanuts. Yes, you will need to give it a bit more of a mix than the ones that have partially hydrogenated oils in them, but you won’t be including any nasty trans fats on your toast so it’s worth it!
This gado gado recipe uses 100% peanut, peanut butter as the base to make a delicious peanut sauce. Use whatever veggies you have for an easy week night dinner. If there’s any leftover sauce, it keeps well in the freezer for next time!
Serves: 4 Time: 20 mins
For the sauce:
- ½ tsp oil (preferably peanut, but canola will work too)
- A clove of garlic, finely diced
- 1 onion, diced
- ½ tsp chilli powder/paste/sauce (add more later if you like it hot!)
- 2 tbs reduced salt soy sauce
- 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 150ml light coconut milk
- Juice of a lime/lemon
- 1 block tofu (fresh if available!), sliced
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cleaned but not peeled
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
- Snow peas
- Red cabbage, sliced
- Lettuce leaves
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Cut the sweet potato into long, 1 cm wide slices. Toss in olive oil and cook until crispy on the outside and soft inside, turning regularly.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and add the garlic and onion. Cook on medium heat until soft and the onion is transparent.
- Add chilli, soy sauce, peanut butter and coconut milk and mix thoroughly until the peanut butter melts and they are well combined.
- Add lime juice and taste. I usually play around with the flavour by adding more lime, soy and coconut milk. Add some water if the sauce seems too thick.
- Serve with fresh veggies and roasted sweet potato.
Variations to try:
- Literally, any vegetables will work with the gado gado sauce! I try to always include a carb-y one (potato, sweet potato or pumpkin), some kind of leaves and tomatoes then whatever’s in the fridge, fresh carrot, green beans, broccoli, cucumber… In a pinch, even frozen veg will do too.
- Swap the tofu for some hard boiled eggs
Per serving: 530 calories; 35g fat; 26g carbohydrates; 17g protein
Carbohydrate Servings: 1.6