Opinion: Peanut Butter- The Perfect Pantry Staple

Libby Shively McAvoy
Photo byEnvato Elements Purchased Image License GEUCDA5V2B

Think beyond PB&J, the possibilities using peanut butter are endless. Peanut butter not only tastes great, but it is multifunctional, and affordable. If you are allergic to peanut butter, you can also substitute almond butter, sunflower butter, or any peanut-free butter. Peanut butter has an extended expiration date and stores well at room temperature. It is high in protein and dense in nutrients making it an essential pantry staple, particularly in uncertain times.

Non-Edible Ways to Use Peanut Butter

  1. Setting mouse traps. Mice love peanut butter as much as cheese. A tiny smear on a traditional trap is all it takes. If using a glue trap, place the smear of peanut butter in the middle of the trap.
  2. Gum remover. Shout out to all the moms who laboriously try to get gum out of their child’s hair; now, you can rub the gum along with the hair around it with peanut butter. Let it sit for several minutes. The oils will loosen the gum and make it easier to pull out. The hair can then be wiped with a towel before washing.
  3. Bird Feeder. This is a great project to keep children busy but also therapeutic for adults. Find a pinecone or even a large stick and rub it thoroughly with peanut butter. Then roll it in birdseed. Hang it up outside for hours of enjoyment.
  4. Remove remnants of stickers. You know how annoying it is to try to remove the sticky labels on produce. Rub peanut butter on it, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and it will wipe right off. This works on produce and also glass.
  5. Disguise the Dogs Medicine. Get half of a spoonful of peanut butter and press their pill in the center. Be careful not to get too much peanut butter because it can get stuck to the roof of your dog’s mouth and become a choking hazard.

I love the versatility of peanut butter. I cook with it and use it in both sweet and savory recipes.

My Favorite Sweet Recipes Using Peanut Butter

No Bake Energy Balls

1 1/2 c. oats

1/2 c. peanut butter (I prefer creamy)

1/4 c. local honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. mini M&M’s

  • Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate for an hour. Then lightly oil your hands to prevent them from sticking to you. Roll into bite-size balls and place on a cookie sheet.
  • Freeze for two hours. Then remove and place in Tupperware. Store in an air-tight container for up to three days — mine never last that long.
  • These were a staple for my daughter’s water polo team. Everyone loved them.

No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

1/2 c. butter, softened

2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 c. creamy peanut butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 c. oats

  • Place the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in peanut butter, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Stir until smooth, then add oats.
  • Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet. Let sit at room temperature until cooled and slightly hardened.

Reese Brownies

1/2 c. butter

1/3 c. peanut butter

1 large egg

1 c. light brown sugar

1 T. vanilla extract

1 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 baking dish with foil. Spray with cooking spray or rub with butter to prevent sticking.
  • Melt the butter and let cool slightly. Then mix together with the egg. Add peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and chocolate chips.
  • Mix the wet and dry ingredients and pour them into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20–25 minutes.

My Favorite Savory Recipes Using Peanut Butter

I love to make Vietnamese Spring rolls and a spicy peanut dipping sauce to go along. Please click this link for the recipe. You can use shrimp, chicken, or any protein you desire. I often prepare the veggies and place them in individual bowls and let my guests make their own rolls. It is really fun.

Easy Peanut Ramen Bowl

3 T. peanut butter

2 T. soy sauce

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 T. Siricha sauce

1 T. sesame oil

1 3oz. package ramen (seasoning packet discarded)

1/4 c. chopped nuts ( I use cashews)

2 thinly sliced green onions

2 T. chopped cilantro

the juice of

one lime

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, mix all ingredients except Ramen. Place ramen in boiling water and cook for three minutes or until soft. Add hot drained noodles to the other ingredients and toss to coat.
  • If I have fresh carrots and peppers, I top them with shredded carrots and julienned peppers.

Thai Peanut Brussel Sprouts

3 c. Brussels, cut in half

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

juice of one lime

1/3 c. creamy peanut butter

red pepper flakes to taste

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 T. rice vinegar

1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Toss Brussel sprouts in olive oil and sprinkle with salt — Roast at 475 for ten minutes to create a nice browned effect. Reduce heat to 400 degrees.
  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Toss the browned Brussels in with the remaining ingredients. Return to the backing dish and bake for another ten minutes. Serve with rice.

Final Thoughts

I hope you are now motivated to stock up on peanut butter. It is great on celery, smoothies, shakes, and bananas. You can put peanut butter in banana bread for added protein. I love the versatility of this delicious ingredient.

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Libby is a Personal Development and Relationship coach specializing in emotional intelligence. By blending motivational speaking, leading yoga and wellness retreats, and writing, she has mastered the art of living her best life while helping others.

Cincinnati, OH

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