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.

pb1. 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.  pb_pickle4. 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
  • honey

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?