Ingredient Spotlight: Peanut Butter

Most of us here at Stonewall Kitchen, like millions of American school kids at the time, carried a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch almost every day. We never got bored with the simple goodness of Wonder Bread slathered in Peter Pan with strawberry or grape jam. Today, although most schools ban peanut butter products due to a high number of food allergies, the average child will still eat about 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before their high school graduation, according to the National Peanut Board.

In the United States, peanut butter and jelly are the number one use for both crunchy and smooth varieties of peanut butter. For most people, preparing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a ritual. The type of jelly and bread and the way the sandwich is cut are very important parts of the process. As adults, some of us may have experimented with new ways to make peanut butter sandwiches – favorite combinations we’ve come across include peanut butter and bacon, banana, honey, mayonnaise or pickles.

But peanut butter adds complex flavor to many other recipes which can be made with this nutritious ingredient or with other nut and seed butters. From the peanut butter chocolate chip muffins we feature below to spicy Asian noodle dishes and the timeless peanut butter cookie, there are loads of ways to incorporate peanut butter or similar spreads into every meal. And, as long as you have no peanut allergies, eating peanut butter can be good for your health! A couple of tablespoons are a good source of protein, vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folate and dietary fiber. Peanuts are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Modern peanut butter originated in the nineteenth century. In 1895, Dr. John Kellogg of the Kellogg cereal family patented a process for creating peanut butter and it developed into a product for people with poor teeth. In 1922, the Rosefield Packing Company in California solved the problem of oil separation and later marketed the peanut butter under the name Skippy, a smoother, creamier version of the coarse-textured pastes that came before.

Today, Americans consume more than 700 million pounds of peanut butter, or about 3 pounds per person, per year! Seventy-five percent of homes in the United States have a jar or two of peanut butter in the pantry. In fact, some reports claim that peanut butter is the most popular food in the country.

Make the transition into another school year easier (and tastier) with our sweet, Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Muffins with Chunky Peanut Butter. They’re delicious with a spoonful of jam in the morning for a great start to the day! For more great back to school items, check out our Back to School Essentials on our website, including our new snack sized Ultimate Snack Mix and other great additions to your child (or your!) lunch box.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Muffins

CoastalLiving_PeanutButterChocolateChipMuffin_G

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup Stonewall Kitchen Chunky Peanut Butter
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (or ¾ cup milk and ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice)
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chip chunks

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and peanut butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to mix.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl by whisking. On low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the butter and peanut butter mixture. Do not overmix.
  4. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks. Evenly divide the batter into the muffin pan. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Note: You may also substitute another nut or seed butter for peanut butter.

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