Now more than ever, health and wellness are on everyone's mind. To support your immune system, it's important to follow a healthy diet that includes vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. One easy way to get plant-based protein is from peanuts and peanut butter.
Peanuts are known as a superfood because they deliver significant nutritional value in a small amount. One serving of peanuts is an ounce or approximately 35 peanuts and a serving of peanut butter is two tablespoons. Just one serving of peanuts delivers seven grams of protein, 19 vitamins and minerals, fiber and heart-healthy fats.
"Studies conducted in the United States and around the world reveal that eating peanuts regularly helps prevent disease, improves life expectancy and delivers positive effects throughout the body," says Dr. Samara Sterling, a nutrition scientist and research director with The Peanut Institute.
"When you have foods such as peanuts and peanut butter that deliver plant protein, fiber and healthy fats, you're making a smart choice that will keep you feeling full and help power you through the day," Dr. Sterling adds.
Peanuts not only contribute vitamins and minerals, but they provide energy and help support muscle repair, she emphasises.
Peanuts can also be good for your mind as well as your body.
"When you break down the nutritional structure of peanuts, they have a unique combination of vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds, including arginine, resveratrol, niacin, vitamin E and coumaric acids, that can contribute to cognition and mental health," explains Dr. Sterling.
A study published in 2021 in the journal Clinical Nutrition suggests that peanut and peanut butter consumption may improve cognitive function and reduce stress, based on data from healthy young adults.
Adding peanuts and peanut butter to your diet is easy.
Peanut Butter Tart with Chocolate Crust and Strawberries:
1 cup Medjool dates, seeds removed
1 cup peanuts, unsalted
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons water
4 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup strawberries, diced
Chopped peanuts for garnishing
1. Combine the dates and peanuts in a food processor, and blend into small pieces.
2. Add cocoa powder, brown sugar and water into the food processor and blend until it takes a dough form.
3. Press crust into the base of a pie tin, working up the edges.
4. Place crust in the freezer while you combine filling.
5. For pie filling, combine remaining ingredients in the food processor or mixer. (Make sure cream cheese and butter are completely softened before mixing.) Blend until all ingredients are incorporated and creamy.
6. Fill pie crust with the filling, smoothing out the top. Garnish with chopped peanuts and strawberries.
7. Refrigerate until set. Serve cold.