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Fuel the Day

Boost Every Moment With Versatile Peanut Butter

/ -- (Family Features) Whether you're a fitness junkie, busy parent, sleep-deprived student or diehard sweet tooth, peanut butter is an ingredient that sticks for all of life's moments. With a healthy boost of protein and energy, peanut butter is perfect as an on-the-go snack, fuel for a workout, a reliable family meal or a decadent dessert.

There's no shortage of delicious ways to pack peanut butter into diverse dishes throughout the day:

  • Add peanut butter to your favorite fruit smoothie for a nutty new flavor.
  • Encourage children to experiment with the essential spread and go beyond PB and J by replacing fruit for the jelly or stirring peanut butter or peanut butter powder into their yogurt.
  • A simple peanut butter and honey sandwich makes a great on-the-go snack you can throw in your gym bag or tuck away in a drawer at work.
  • Add peanut butter to a sauce or salad dressing for an extra zip of flavor and protein.

Find more creative ways to enjoy peanut butter with these winning recipes from Southern Peanut Growers' annual PB My Way recipe contest, and explore additional dishes that celebrate this versatile ingredient at

Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Ben M., San Francisco, California
Serves: 2
4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sriracha
2 French baguette rolls (6 inches each)
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 cup white onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup purple cabbage
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

In small bowl, combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriracha. Mix well.

Spread sauce on both sides of bread then layer with cucumber, onion and bell pepper. Top with cabbage and cilantro leaves.

Graceland Mini Cupcakes
Recipe courtesy of Linda D., Coconut Creek, Florida
Serves: 36
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup light sour cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Filling:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Bacon Topping:
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 ounces low-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Heat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and lightly spray with cooking spray.

To make batter: In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.

In small bowl, mash bananas and add sour cream. Mix well and set aside.

Using electric hand mixer, beat butter, oil and sugar until incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs, egg white and vanilla. Mix until combined. Slowly add half the dry ingredients and mix until almost incorporated. Add sour cream and banana mixture and gently fold into batter. Add rest of dry ingredients until combined.

Spoon batter into lined cupcake pans. Bake 18-20 minutes and let cool.

After cooling about 30-45 minutes, use paring knife to cut small circle in middle of top of cupcakes and remove plug, creating a well about halfway down cupcake. Add peanut butter to piping bag and fill each hole. Set aside.

In medium bowl, dredge both sides of bacon slices in brown sugar. Place on foil-lined baking sheet; bake 10 minutes. Flip and bake another 6-8 minutes. Remove bacon from oven and place on plate to cool. Once cool, chop bacon and set aside.

To make frosting: In large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add confectioners' sugar and mix until well-combined.

Add frosting to piping bag. Pipe a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle with candied bacon pieces.

Peanut Apple Chicken Curry
Recipe courtesy of Jess A., Berkeley, California
Serves: 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 3/4 cups apple juice
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
cooked rice (optional)

To make sauce: In medium to large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, curry powder and scallions. Saute 1 minute.

Add peanut butter, vinegar, apple juice, coconut milk, brown sugar and cayenne. Bring to simmer, reduce heat and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil. Add onion and stir fry about 2-3 minutes until onions start to become opaque.

Add chicken and apples, and stir until chicken is cooked completely. Add peanut sauce and cook until heated evenly, about 2-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm over rice, if desired.

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Michael French

Photo courtesy of Southern Peanut Growers