10 Ways to Love Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter* is one of those foods, like chocolate, dates, and honey, that while I am eating it, I am salivating in subhanAllah–praise be to God for such a creation. I love peanut butter–the kind that is nothing but peanuts–in so many ways.
1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. This staple sustained me for lunch five days a week throughout my growing years. I still count on it for a dependably delicious and satisfying lunch. It works with any kind of bread and almost any kind of jelly. It tastes best fresh because after a long day in the sun, the jelly may bleed through the bread and result in a soggy sandwich. This jelly attack can be avoided by covering both sides of bread with a thin base layer of peanut butter.
2. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich. This is a special, and often also includes jelly. The banana in the sandwich makes it more cumbersome for packing purposes. So I usually pack it in parts: a whole banana plus a peanut butter sandwich. The banana is easy to slice just before consumption.
3. Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich. I read a story about a pregnant lady who walked into a cafe asking for a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. Although he had never heard of such a thing, the owner decided to make two sandwiches: one for him and one for her. From that moment on, he became hooked. Reading this story spread the contagion to me. I’ve never been pregnant, but after a very long run, I crave nothing more than this combination of sweet, salty, crunchy, and creamy, all packed between two slices of bread. 4. Peanut Butter and Honey Open Faced. This special is reserved for weekends because it is messy, sticky, and a little too rich for a regular lunch. I gave up on containing the honey atop the bread: when the ratio of honey to peanut butter is perfect, drips are inevitable, and that’s the best part. When it appears that the meal has finished, the drops of honey-infused peanut butter splattered on my plate provide one last taste. I may have already said the prayer thanking God for blessing me with food to eat, and after finding liquid joy on my plate, I say the prayer anew!
5. Apples & Peanut Butter. Out of all the ways I love peanut butter, this is one that a French friend of mine thought most strange. However, I assure you, that this is an American classic. Sliced up apples with peanut butter on the side works with all types of apples. If the apples are too tart, I add honey to the peanut butter, and then together it tastes like a yet-to-be-invented flavor of Sour Patch Kids, my favorite sweet and sour candy.
6. Peanut Butter – Cocoa Truffles. When I want and don’t have Reese’s pieces, I remember that with basic household goods, something better can be created. Here is my recipe.
Mix and form into balls:
- peanut butter
- cocoa powder
Enjoy. If you are feeling like more of an Almond Joy, coat with shredded coconut.
7. Peanut Butter Trail Food: This is essentially a fortified version of the Peanut Butter – Cocoa Truffles in (6). Because these bars are now tasked with fuel rather than plain pleasure, I load them with additional ingredients including oats, black seed, flax seed, wheat germ, raisins, tahini, or whatever else I have that strikes me as energy-laden, motivational, and friendly with peanut butter.
8. Peanut Butter Stir Fry: A spoon of peanut butter in a stir fry with some soy sauce takes my meal from ordinary to wanna-be Thai in a way that I find extraordinary. 🙂 It is a quick technique to introduce new flavors to dinner.
9. Peanut Butter Shake: Blended peanut butter, yogurt, honey, and a banana makes a refreshing post-run energy drink. It’s like a cross between ice cream and a sandwich.
10. Just like that. Once I found myself illiterate on the other side of the world. I could not speak, understand, or read the language of the people, and until I met Muslims, I had a hard time finding halal food. I would play charades with servers, and when the food arrived, would sometimes see that the hand gestures for “no pork,” or “vegetables only” did not always mean what I had intended. I lasted about 48 hours on lettuce, and then I found a Safeway–that night I ate a jar of peanut butter, just like that. To this day, a spoon of creamed peanuts consistently tastes like home.
*If peanut butter is not your thing (allergies, fat content, etc.) you could still share in this love with an alternate that suits you: almond butter, cashew butter, soy butter, or another nut or non-nut butter.
What is your favorite way to love peanut butter?