This morning I smeared chunky peanut butter and wild blueberry preserves on a toasted a whole wheat English muffin for my breakfast. Like many other Americans, I make some version of this popular sandwich many times throughout the year. One reason that's possible is because the main ingredient is something 90 percent of us always have in our kitchens.
Other little known facts about pb&j are that the average child will eat 1,500 of them before he/she graduates from high school, although adults consume more of them than school kids. And for a whopping 96 percent of all pb&j sandwiches made, the chunky or creamy goes on the bread before the jam, jelly or preserves.
Since today is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, I'd like to honor this infamous combination by sharing the top reasons why I think it's so good.
Millions of Americans like the taste of peanuts and anything made with them. Some of us even think they make candy taste better since four of the top 10 candy bars made in the US contain peanuts or peanut butter. That taste is also found in ice cream, cookies, ready-to-eat cereals, granola bars, pretzel snacks, smoothies, sauces, and dressings to name just a few of the most popular pairings.
Easy to use and easy to store are what make peanut butter a household staple. A 3-year-old can make a sandwich with it if you're willing to put up with a little mess or use it as a ready-to-go dip for fruit slices. An unopened jar has a shelf life of 9-12 months, and an opened jar can be on the shelf for 3 months. If you put an opened jar of peanut butter in the refrigerator you can use for up to 6 months.
No matter what your budget, a jar of peanut butter is a good investment. The average price of a 16 ounce jar of creamy was $2.23 as of November 2011. Since there are 14 servings (2 tablespoons) in a pound of peanut butter, that comes to $0.16 per serving. You can't find a less expensive way to replace meat or other sources of protein on a sandwich.
Though not really a nut (peanuts are a legume, like beans and lentils), peanuts have more protein than any nut by weight. They also contain over 30 other essential nutrients and phytonutrients and have a higher antioxidant capacity than grapes, green tea, and tomatoes according to the National Peanut Board. A 2 tablespoon serving of creamy peanut butter has 190 calories, of which 150 calories come from the fat. Fortunately, most of that fat is the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated type and it is completely cholesterol free.
What are your reasons for loving peanut butter?