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Healthy Alternatives to Peanut Butter

You will not find many people in the world that can tell you with a straight face that they do not absolutely love peanut butter. There isn’t much that can beat the nutty delicious goodness that comes tailored to your taste buds by ways of crunchy or creamy style. As a collegiette, I am a proud endorser of all things peanut butter. The classic PB&J, apples and PB, banana and PB sammies, chocolate PB cookie cheesecake… I mean the list is eternal. But take a look at the label and you’ve got yourself nothing but fat on fat on fat. Finally, when I came to terms with the unfortunate truth that eating PB out the classic Jiff jar with a spoon was directly correlated to my expanding waistline, I went on a hunt for an alternative.

So let’s talk about peanut butter’s third cousin, almond butter. Not as sweet and decadent, but still nutty in flavor. So why choose the almond over the peanut? The main answer is monosaturated fat. Butters are made by pressing nuts to create a pasty substance. The more fat in the nuts, the more fat in the butter, and excess fat goes straight to your buns ladies! In addition to significantly less fat content, almonds are an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, vitamins and protein, and also have been suggested to lower cholesterol and reduce risk for heart attacks. But even among the health benefits to peanut butter’s arch rival, two tablespoons of almond butter still equates to 180 calories and an extra 20 minutes on that elliptical. Also, almond butter is a bit pricey, the good organic stuff is 10 to 20 dollars a jar! But one day during my daily Pinterest surfing, I found this recipe from the blog Oh She Glows that actually cuts the almond butter with almond milk, thereby reducing the calorie content. I love it also because it makes the butter easier to spread, and well, it’s utterly delicious. But the best part is, that you can make a half of a jar or so at a time and store it in a tupperware in the fridge so that it is just as easy as pulling out the jar of PB, only you’re looking at basically half the calories. This recipe is an utter rockstar. Check it out here!

Now for you loyal PB lovers who refuse to detach yourselves from that turquoise beauty of a Skippy Jar, there’s still hope! I stumbled across this fascinating product called PB2. It basically is peanut butter with 85% of the excess fat squeezed out. The interesting thing is that it comes in a powder. You add one tablespoon of water to one tablespoon of powder, stir and you’ve got yourself peanut butter! PB2 is a bit earthier than and not as sweet as the real deal but it actually tastes pretty good. The best part — it is only 45 calories per serving. The only downside is that it really cannot be pre-made and stored like the almond butter recipe, but then again, prep time is only a minute or so. The company makes a line of different products and even has a chocolate version with the same nutrition facts. I’m not sure if you’ll find PB2 in stores, but they do sell their products through their website, and of course, prices are cheaper on Amazon.

Of course there is never a substitute for that oh-so-heavenly double peanut butter Reeses chocolate cheesecake. And there’s no shame in that! But ever since I started using these alternatives for my everyday PB&J, I’ve never looked back. They’re great options to make small healthy life changes.

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