Peanut butter has long been a favorite nutritional tool of athletes and bodybuilders as an easy, delicious way to get healthy fat and protein into their diet. But, as hard as it is to admit, peanut butter has a few faults.
For one, peanut butter is surprisingly high in calories and can fairly quickly get out of hand. If you're watching your calories, this can be a pretty sneaky stumbling block.
And most of those calories come from fat, which some people may be uncomfortable with. Granted, the fat found in peanut butter is mostly the incredibly healthy unsaturated fats – which account for about 80 percent of the fats found in the food. Still, this may be a difficult thing to come to grasps with.
Plus, since most people think of peanut butter as a quick way to get protein, they tend to lose track of the amount of fat they're taking in. In reality, standard peanut butter usually contains about 16g of fat per serving – more than double the amount of protein.
Traditional peanut butter, then, isn't really that great a source of protein when you play with the numbers. Over the past several years, though, another option has quickly gained popularity: Powdered peanut butter.
What exactly is peanut butter powder and why is it useful? Here are 3 facts about the product to help you understand it better.
The Fat Is Removed
In order to convert peanut butter into a powder, the roasted peanuts literally have the fat and oil squeezed out of them. While not all of the fat is removed, this still produces a peanut butter alternative that has about 85 percent fewer calories than the standard nut butter.
This, however, can create a problem – which brings us neatly to the next fact you need to keep in mind.
Some Companies Cheat
Powered peanut butter still retains much of the signature peanut flavor you've come to expect but, since fat is a major contributor to flavor in general, it's a little different.
As is often the case, companies worry about how their customers will react to this and attempt to “fix” these differences. To accomplish this, they fall back on sugar and salt. What results, then, is a product that has less fat but more added sugar.
And, as modern research has shown, added sugars are a much more destructive dietary force than fat. Be careful, then, to select a powered peanut butter like Naked PB that does not cheat by using added sugar and salt.
Apart from its nutritional advantages, peanut butter powder is can be used in a variety of ways that would be difficult for traditional peanut butter. The powder, for example can easily be used in baking as a replacement for flour to add some protein to standard recipes.
In most recipes, the easiest way to do this is just to substitute 1/3 of the flour of peanut butter powder. If you're breading chicken, you can combine flour and peanut butter powder in equal parts as your coating.
Powered peanut butter is also easier to add to smoothies than the standard butter since it mixes so quickly. When making sauces and soups, you can also use the powder as a thickening agent that adds both flavor and protein to your recipe.