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One Way to Get Peanut-Butter-holics to Put Down the Jar
Fortunately, there's a new product that makes that choice a little less stark. I recently heard about Just Great Stuff organic powdered peanut butter from Betty Lou's, a Oregon-based company that makes healthy snacks. Powdered peanut butter sounds like the kind of thing that would appeal mostly to astronauts and Boy Scouts, and I was initially uninterested--until I heard that it has 93 percent less fat than traditional peanut butter, and that it comes in chocolate flavor (I should admit here that in those moments when I've needed extra, um, inspiration, I've been known to dip spoonfuls of peanut butter into powdered hot chocolate). Two tablespoons of this stuff has only 40 calories and 1 gram of fat (but only 4 grams of protein versus the 8 grams in the same amount of regular peanut butter).
The ingredient list sounded tame enough: peanuts, coconut sugar (from the coconut palm flower), alkalized Dutch cocoa powder, vanilla powder, Stevia extract and sea salt (all organic). To make the peanut butter buttery, the instructions say to mix 2 tablespoons with 1 tablespoon water and stir until smooth (this creates a slightly watery consistency, so I advise starting with a teaspoon of water and adding more to thicken to your taste). With water, what had started as a bitter-tasting, crumbly powder (not the kind of thing you'd eat from the jar) became a chocolately, peanutty, just-slightly-gritty paste that made me think of Nutella's yoga-teaching, NorCal-dwelling cousin. I loved it, both plain as well as spread on bananas and whole-wheat toast, and I imagine it would be great in smoothies, too. Best of all, I found that the act of mixing and stirring broke my peanut butter trance so I didn't eat it in mindless mass quantities. For a classic PBJ sandwich, I'd still opt for the real deal, but this surprisingly tasty alternative allows me to have my peanut butter (in the house), and eat it, too.
Make your own peanut butter
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.