Race Fueling

Is Peanut Butter Good for You?

Don’t fall for the siren song of chicer nut butters. This simple spread should be a triathlete’s BFF.

Don’t fall for the siren song of chicer nut butters. This simple spread should be a triathlete’s BFF. (Unless, you know, you’re allergic to it.) 

Pity poor peanut butter: The Forrest Gump of the nut butter world, it’s become the underdog to tonier spreads like almond, cashew and coconut. But jars of peanut butter once again should find a home in your pantry. For starters, the peanutty stuff has more protein than most of its competitors (4 grams per tablespoon versus 2 grams in almond butter). If you eat PB, you’ll also benefit from plenty of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and good amounts of vitamin E, a nutrient thought to bolster bone strength and brainpower. Besides, it’s budget-friendly and just flat-out delicious. So when something is so awesome, why relegate it to a slice of toast? Here are six fun ways to sneak PB back into your life–or get more of it, if you never strayed.

PB&J energy balls
Grind 3/4 cup rolled oats and 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts into small pieces in a food processor. Add 1 cup pitted dates, 1 cup dried cherries, 1/3 cup peanut butter and a couple pinches of salt. Blend until mixture clumps together. Roll into 1-inch balls. Eat as snacks or take along on a long ride in a small zip-top bag.

PB salad dressing
Whisk together 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon Sriracha, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and a couple pinches of salt until smooth. If needed, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach a pourable consistency. Serve over salads or mix into slaws.

PB hummus
Blend together one 15-ounce can drained and rinsed chickpeas, 1/4 cup peanut butter, juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder and ½ teaspoon salt. If needed, blend in 1 tablespoon warm water at a time until smooth. Serve with tortilla chips or sliced vegetables, or slather on rice cakes.

A Better Grind

Justin’s Peanut Butter Banana Chip Snack Pack

These peanut butter products make it easy to skip over Skippy.

Big Spoon Roasters Peanut
$10 for 10-ounce jar, Bigspoonroasters.com

Small batch, made-to-order peanut butter made with roasted heirloom peanuts and wildflower honey.

Once Again Old Fashioned Natural Creamy Peanut Butter 
$5 for 16-ounce jar, Onceagainnutbutter.com

With just peanuts and a touch of salt, this uncompromised buttery spread is spoon-worthy

Justin’s Peanut Butter Banana Chip Snack Pack
$1.99 per pack, Justinsnutbutter.com 

Whether for a snack, dessert or post-training fuel, you’ll love dipping crispy banana chips into creamy PB.