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Posted: 5:02 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013

Healthier peanut butter recipes you've never tried before

By Nick English

Greatist.com

It’s come to our attention that November is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month, which has given us the perfect reason to experiment with our favorite nutty spread. But who need's an excuse? It's delicious, high in protein, and full of fiber. Like most nut products, it’s also super high in calories, so try not to go overboard with the stuff. (If you can resist the peanut-y temptation!)

>>  For all 50 healthier peanut butter recipes, go to Greatist.com

The tasty spread often gets a bad rap because many peanut butter recipes feature loads of sugar and vegetable oils that are no friend to the waistline. But don’t worry —we’ve put together the be all, end all list of healthier peanut butter recipes that go easy on the empty calories.

For the healthiest possible nut butter, try to pick a brand without any added sugar, salt, or oil (look for varieties where the sole ingredient is peanuts). For the millions of people with peanut allergies, most of these recipes will work fine with a peanut butter alternative made from nuts or seeds. Grab a jar and mixing bowl and get ready to go to peanut butter heaven!

Breakfast

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes
Though this recipe uses PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter, it still deserves a top spot on our list — these pancakes are made from an amazingly nutritious mixture of coconut milk, chia seeds and Greek yogurt. All the healthy fats in the batter make for a rich (but healthy) breakfast that’s perfect for lazy weekend mornings.  

2. Peanut Butter-Apple Breakfast Quinoa
Quinoa just might be the perfect breakfast food. It’s high in fiber, carbohydrates, and protein, and is versatile enough to be used in sweet or savory dishes. This recipe combines quinoa with the classic duo of apples and peanut butter to make a breakfast that’s delicious, filling, and healthy.

3. Oatmeal Blueberry Breakfast Cookie
“Cookie” is a little misleading, since this breakfast treat is actually made from oat flour, cinnamon, applesauce, flax, and vanilla. But top it with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and fruit, and you’ve got an amazing, healthy breakfast that tastes just like dessert.

4. Peanut Butter, Strawberry, and Banana Quesadillas
Okay, there’s no cheese, but the peanut butter turns these tortillas into a decadent breakfast treat that’s about as healthy as quesadillas can get. Don’t forget thecinnamon — it’s packed with antioxidants and is virtually calorie-free.

5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
Throw some almond milk, chia seeds, oats, and cocoa powder in the fridge and leave it overnight. Wake up, add peanut butter, and enjoy — simple as that!

Lunch

8. Thai Peanut Soup with Grilled Peanut Butter Croutons
Half sandwich, half soup, this brilliant dish brings coconut curry and peanut butter together for the ultimate creamy, filling soups. The roasted sweet potatoes also add fiber and a layer of sweetness to this hearty meal.

9. African Peanut Stew with Quinoa
Here’s a stew that packs a serious protein punch. Mixing quinoa, lentils, and peanut butter, this vegan main has a long list of ingredients, but it’s fairly simple to whip up.

10. Vegan Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Substituting tortillas for lettuce leaves is an simple, cheap, and healthy way to lower the carbohydrate content of a traditional "wrap." While the wraps themselves are easy (and raw), the sauce requires a blender (or a strong stirring arm) to combine the coconut milk, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and peanut butter. It’s totally worth the effort.

11. Peanut Butter Chicken Chili
Peanut butter in chili? Heck yes. This recipe goes a step further than regular turkey chili by adding a hefty dollop of peanut butter to a one-hour simmer. The result is a rare, spicy-yet-creamy taste that makes this stew absolutely unique.

Desserts

19. Flourless Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownies with Salted Peanut Butter
Sweet potatoes in brownies? These airy, protein-rich treats just might change the way we think about vegetables for dessert. The peanut butter acts as a healthy “frosting,” and does a great job at balancing the recipe's sweet and savory qualities.

20. Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Pops
Here’s some frozen yogurt that’s actually healthy — blend Greek yogurt, peanut butter, honey, banana, and vanilla extract and pour the mixture into a plastic cup. Freeze, top with melted chocolate and peanut butter, and enjoy this spectacular dessert.

21. Peanut Butter Protein Fudge
Yep, even fudge can be healthy with the right recipe. This one combines oats, honey, protein powder, and peanut butter to make a simple, delicious “fudge” that’s practically a health food.   

22. Chocolate and Avocado Peanut Butter Pudding
Did you know you can make healthy desserts from avocados? The green fruits are full of fiber, vitamins, and enough healthy fats to add a rich, creamy dimension to just about anything. This unforgettable pudding is easy to put together and even easier to eat.

23. Peanut Butter Coconut Bites
Coconut is a great way to make a smooth, decadent dessert that packs a lot more nutrition than regular old butter or cream. Combine coconut with peanut butter and chia seeds, and you’ve got an amazing source of essential oils and omega-3s (and it’s pretty darn tasty, too).

Snacks and Spreads

35. Peanut Butter and Jelly Low-Carb Bars
Nothing makes us nostalgic quite like peanut butter and jelly, and this recipe manages to revamp the classic combo in snack form. Drawing on almond flour, coconut oil, raspberries, and chia seeds, these gluten-free bars are a surprisingly healthy treat.

36. Spicy Peanut Butter and Onion Bread
For a more savory snack, this bread recipe combines onion, herbs, chili, and peanut butter. The result is the perfect base for building a grilled cheese or a fried egg sandwich — we dare you to try it!

37. Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie
With no added sugar, this smoothie mixes berries, dates, vanilla, and peanut butter for a liquified version of everyone’s favorite childhood sandwich. We recommend sneaking in a little spinach, too — it adds extra nutrients and is impossible to taste.

38. Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Frosting
This sugar-free “frosting” really levels up your peanut butter and goes great on just about anything sweet. Try it on top of the chocolate muffins on the recipe's website or spread on toast for an afternoon snack.

39. Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars
These wheat-free bars are jam-packed with almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, flax, and dried fruit. All of these ingredients make them really high in calories, but they’re a great source of energy for outdoor activities.

40. Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites
With no added sugar and no baking, these pumpkin-packed balls are an easy way to enjoy our favorite Thanksgiving pie any day of they year. They’re a lot healthier than the real deal, and they carry a solid nutritional boost from the flaxmeal and oats.

41. Easy Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls
Popcorn is the unsung hero of post-workout snacks, chock full of protein, carbohydrates, and antioxidants. Though this recipe adds a few more calories via peanut butter, honey, and dried fruit, the per serve calorie count remains surprisingly low. 

42. Apple, Peanut Butter, and Granola Sandwich
This simple snack swaps out bread for a couple of thick apple slices to make an ingenious, low-carb, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that sandwich.

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