How much do Americans love peanuts? Enough for every man, woman, and child to enjoy seven pounds of peanuts per year, based on the number of peanuts in the U.S. food supply.1
Maybe you crave the simple comfort of a PB&J sandwich, the energy boost of trail mix2, the spicy flavor of kung pao chicken—or all three. It’s a craving you can satisfy without guilt because peanuts are chock-full of healthy protein, fiber, monounsaturated fat, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds.3
Looking for tasty new ways to enjoy your old-favorite food? The suggestions below are sure to perk up your taste buds.
Start Your Day off Right
Research shows that eating peanut butter with your breakfast may help curb your appetite for hours afterward.6 For a super-easy breakfast shake, put 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 cup of fat-free chocolate milk, a banana, and a few ice cubes in a blender and whir until smooth.7 You’ll find more inspiration in these breakfast recipes.
Reimagine Your PB&J
You can’t improve upon peanut butter and jelly slathered on a slice of whole-grain bread. As any 4-year-old (or 40-year-old) can tell you, it’s perfection. But for a change of pace, lightly grill your sandwich. Or add sliced bananas and strawberries, thinly sliced apples, or grated carrots.5 Planning to bring the sandwich along while hiking, biking, or kayaking? Squash-proof it by using a folded tortilla in place of bread.4
Toss Peanuts in Your Salad
Peanuts mix well with celery, apples, pears, dried cranberries, and grated carrots in a salad. Let your imagination—and whatever you have in your fridge—be your guide. To make coleslaw instead of salad, use all those ingredients, but swap in chopped cabbage instead of salad greens.8, 9 To make a creamy dressing, mix ½ cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt and 1 tablespoon of orange juice.9
Grab an Afternoon Treat
A snack rich in protein and fiber provides sustained energy and helps you fend off the dreaded afternoon slump.2 Know what fits that description? Surprise: It’s peanuts—eaten alone, in trail mix, in a nut bar, or as peanut butter on whole-grain crackers.3 Another option: Make a dip from ¼ cup of creamy peanut butter, ½ cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt, and 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Enjoy with raw fruit and vegetables cut into dippable pieces.10
Expand Your Peanut Horizons
Peanuts play a prominent role in cuisines around the world.3 For example, satay—marinated, grilled pieces of meat or chicken on skewers served with peanut sauce—comes from Southeast Asia.11 Stir-fries and noodle bowls with peanuts are also rooted in Asian cuisines.13, 14 And many variations on peanut soup hail from Africa.12 You can find a multitude of recipes for these foods and more on cooking websites and apps. Check out our suggestions here.
Treat Your Sweet Tooth (In Moderation, of Course)
Peanuts are a key ingredient in many delectable sweets and desserts—peanut butter cookie, anyone? For a healthier twist on s’mores (no campfire needed), check out this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Bars. You’ll find more mouthwatering suggestions in these recipes for baked goods and desserts.
- “Peanuts: Per Capita Availability, by Type of Product.” U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-availability-per-capita-data-system/food-availability-per-capita-data-system.
- “Eating to Boost Energy.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/eating-to-boost-energy.
- “Peanuts as Functional Food: A Review.” S.S. Arya et al. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2016, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 31-41.
- “5 Snacks for Your Bike Ride.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. eatright.org/fitness/exercise/exercise-nutrition/5-snacks-for-your-bike-ride.
- “Peanut Butter ‘n Fruit-wich.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://fns.usda.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/peanut-butter-n-fruit-wich.
- “Acute and Second-Meal Effects of Peanuts on Glycaemic Response and Appetite in Obese Women with High Type 2 Diabetes Risk: A Randomised Cross-Over Clinical Trial.” C.E.G. Reis et al. British Journal of Nutrition. 2013, vol. 109, pp. 2015-23.
- “Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie Recipe.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/recipes/chocolate-banana-peanut-butter-smoothie-recipe.
- “Apple and Celery Salad.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/food-distribution-fdd/apple-and-celery-salad.
- “Confetti Slaw.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/confetti-slaw.
- “Creamy Peanut Dip.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/creamy-peanut-dip.
- “Chicken Satay.” American Diabetes Association.” diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/recipes/2012-10-chicken-satay-foodie-recipe.html.
- “Shorba (Lamb and Peanut Soup).” U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/shorba-lamb-and-peanut-soup.
- “Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry.” American Heart Association. https://recipes.heart.org/recipes/1106/szechuan-chicken-stir-fry.
- “Asian Noodle Bowl.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/food-distribution-fdd/asian-noodle-bowl.