Ingredient of the Week: Peanut Butter

When choosing this week’s Ingredient of the Week, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake coming up with the recipes. What can be more simple than peanut butter? I think that was my problem. There were so many options for me to choose from that I had a hard time picking just three.

Peanut butter is one of my favorite foods. While this may be slightly gross and disturbing, my favorite way to eat it is straight out of the container by the spoonful. Sometimes I get creative and add some chocolate chips. Chocolate and peanut butter together is like Sunny and Cher for your mouth. They’re just meant to be as they glide down your digestive tract.

Anyway, bringing it back from the slightly gross turn that just took, peanut butter is also a great source of protein and healthy fats, and because it is so dense, it’s filling at the same time. You don’t need a lot of this high-calorie staple.

I would not recommend eating these meals all in one day, because for me at least, too much peanut butter can be a little hard on the stomach. But if you are feeling adventurous and anticipate lots of mountain-climbing in the days ahead, buy a full jar of peanut butter and go nuts. (Get it? Nuts? Although a peanut is technically a legume…)

peanut butter
Apple "doughnuts." | Photo by Samantha Wood


Apple “Doughnuts,” inspired by various posts on Tumblr

Total Time: 10 minutes, serves 1


1 apple

1/2 cup peanut butter

6 almonds

9 chocolate chips

1 pinch of chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon


Using a sharp knife that will cut through the core, slice apple horizontally so that you are left with four apple circles. Take knife and carve out centers, making a doughnut shape. Spread peanut butter on one side of each apple slice. Top one with almonds, another with chocolate chips, the third with walnuts and the fourth with maple syrup and cinnamon.

These apples are simple to make. The most time-consuming part is cutting them into slices and carving out the middle. Top with anything you desire. If you don’t want to use peanut butter, try almond or cashew butter. There are many ways to get creative with this healthy version of doughnuts. You may never visit Dunkin again.

peanut butter
The Twisted Elvis. | Photo by Samantha Wood


Twisted Elvis Sandwich

Total Time: 10 minutes, serves 1


2 slices of bread

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 banana, sliced

1/8 cup chocolate chips


Heat stove to high and butter both slices of bread on one side only. Place one slice of buttered bread in skillet, butter side facing down. Once the butter has begun to melt, take off bread and place other piece on, butter side facing down. Spread peanut butter on the plain side of the piece of bread that just came off the skillet. Top with banana slices. While the other piece is still on the skillet, spread peanut butter on side that is facing up, which should be the non-butter side. Be careful not to burn your fingers as you spread the peanut butter as evenly as possible on the bread. Top with chocolate chips. Place the banana and peanut butter piece on top of the chocolate chip piece and flip the sandwich with a spatula. Grill until both sides of the bread are evenly browned.

This sandwich is filling and delicious. I make it for my dad every time I come home. I call it the Twisted Elvis because the King was famous for his grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I gave the old favorite the royal treatment by adding some chocolate–I’m sure Elvis would approve.

peanut butter
Sesame Noodles. | Photo by Samantha Wood


Sesame Noodles adapted from The Healthy College Cookbook

Total Time: 15 minutes, serves 4


8 ounces spaghetti

1/4 cup peanut butter

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon white vinegar

3 stalks chopped celery


Cook the pasta according to package directions. While waiting for water to boil, chop celery. Combine the peanut butter, sesame oil and, and vinegar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, until the peanut butter begins to melt. Mix well. (If you don’t have a microwave, you can always do this in a skillet over low heat.) Blend the peanut butter mixture into the pasta. Add the celery.

You can either serve this warm or cold. I have had it both ways and they both taste great to me. Sesame peanut noodles are usually served cold at Chinese restaurants, but if you’re in the mood for something warm, you can eat this dish fresh out of the pot.

Bon appétit!

Samantha Wood

I am a foodie who loves chocolate, dogs and California. I hope to write for a food magazine one day. Let me know if you have any suggestions for Ingredient of the Week.

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