How to enjoy a healthy, long life? This Great Grandma’s solution depended on years of eating peanut butter while combining that classic spread on just about everything. Here’s her list of favorites:
Peanut Butter on Pickle Stalks: Use either sweet OR dill pickles for your puckering pleasure. She told me, “I like them both.” She buys her peanut butter, creamy not crunchy.
[NEW!] Peanut Butter on Whole Foods 365 Dates: Although one can use any date that suits that personal taste, mine happens to crave the WF brand 365. Stores have many choices of dates, but this particular brand ranks as my favorite by far. I would have never noticed it had it not been for her desire to basically put peanut butter on about anything. The 365 brand has a mellow sweet taste that is not over-powered by the date itself. Adding a spread of peanut butter on these tight little morsels makes for a perfect trail pick-me-up.
Peanut Butter on Buttered Toast: Bake in the oven. This is her favorite breakfast.
Peanut Butter on a Banana: She calls it “brain food,” which appears based in fact. Also one can consume this combo between two pieces of your favorite bread. Elvis grilled his peanut butter and banana sandwich, sometimes including bacon strips, too; not the healthiest these days, but many things weren’t known in his day. Fox News Magazine in an article The Truth About Peanut Butter by Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, states:
“Peanut butter is a great source of unsaturated fats and vegetarian protein…. Also, peanuts contain important B vitamins, potassium and Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant.”
Jeff Kildahl, Ph.D, Wellness Editor at Snowshoe Magazine, is writing his intriguing book with the promising title “SYNERGY: Keys to Optimal Health and Human Performance.” This is one book one can judge from the cover as shown here for the first time [below]. I asked him to take a moment and discuss his work through his “The Wholistic Edge“® philosophy, describing why he makes his own peanut butter, as you can too by using a grinder or press for this purpose.
Many grocers offer them along with the peanuts. This method will be, naturally enough, more expensive than commercial brands; popular brands have more natural varieties now that cut or virtually eliminate most of the sugar often contained in peanut butter. Still, Kildahl said, “I recommend one purchase organic peanut butter to avert the additives by commercial manufacturers. Most organics contain only nuts and a dash of sea salt. The best way to truly know what you are eating is to make your own peanut butter in a high-powered blender like Vitamix, Blendtec, or Ninja.”
“Wait, wait,” I asked. “What about Justin Bieber’s birthday note to Madonna recently that created such a stir; seemingly he called her his ‘Ninja.’ Does that mean she’s making him peanut butter?” His response to my innocent question feels inappropriate in a sports magazine, but suffice to say it was along the thought my thinking resembles small peanuts.
I pushed along and inquired about Resveratrol as this acid found print in Fox News Magazine. He explained, “Resveratrol is a polyphenic acid promoting vascular function via proliferation of nitric acid. Resveratrol is known for its protective qualities against cancer, cardiovascular disease, degenerative nerve disease, cognitive dysfunction, and viral infections. Resveratrol is also found in red grapes and red wine. The cost to one’s liver, brain, health, and vitality become concerns when red wine consumption is selected as the source because alcohol is a protoplasmic poison.” I discovered “protoplasmic poison” is not a popular cosmic cocktail, but rather a rather nasty substance that affects a human cell in a negative way over time. Kildahl further explained the many advantages of peanut butter.
“Peanuts contain plant compounds known as phytosterols that inhibit cancer cell growth. Betasitosterol lowers cholesterol and inhibits development of stomach, colon, lung, ovarian, breast, and prostate cancers. Peanuts also mitigate stroke, gallstones, cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s, and lowers blood pressure.
Peanuts are loaded with B vitamins such a niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, B-6, and folates facilitating blood flow to the brain to manifest brain health. Vitamin E (a-tocopherol, the preferable version for better absorption and assimilation) maintains the integrity of cell membranes by thwarting free radical invasions. Peanuts are crammed with minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc; these are bioactive components which control proper bodily functions among other benefits. Peanuts contain healthy carbohydrate, healthy unsaturated fat, and plat-based protein essential for growth and development. The issue is the ingredients added by manufactures to thwart the inherent benefits of peanuts including high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats and sugars.
Antioxidants found in peanuts are plant food nutrients known as phytochemicals/phytonutrients Antioxidants are also found in deeply colored fresh fruits and vegetables and other plant-based foods. These powerful nutrients convert destructive free radicals to harmless waste products. Antioxidants behave like scavengers to protect cells and tissue in the spirit of optimal health.
Free radicals are villains to your cellular health. A free radical is a highly unstable molecule thanks to a missing electron. Free radicals work harmoniously to rob electrons from stable molecules and wreak cellular havoc within your body. Peanuts represent a convenient and delicious way to kibosh oxidation.”
Well, that’s great! We don’t get to “kibosh” as much as we used to with busy schedules and so on, so any reason to do so needs consideration. Wait, Dr. Kildahl! Come back, don’t walk away; I was only making a joke. Uh, thank you; thank you very much. Now before you go, will you share one of those great recipes you find?
“Okay, here it goes. This is just one healthful version of delectable decadence using peanut butter that is raw, nutrient-dense, and gluten-free resulting in a succulent shake. It comes courtesy of Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Energy Cookbook. Start with six pitted Medjool dates (or blackstrap molasses), then add:
1 tbsp. cacao powder (or substitute cocoa or carob powder)
1 part gelatinized maca;
1 part cinnamon;
1 part ginger;
1 tsp. chia seeds;
1 part hemp protein;
1 tbsp. goji berries;
1 cup peanuts;
1/2 cup walnuts;
1 cup coconut water;
1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
2 cups ice cubes.” Then blend it like a hurricane, and drink it all up.
Peanut Butter on Tofu: A recent addition when a tub of tofu was left in her refrigerator.
Peanut Butter and Yogurt: Favorite flavor, vanilla, eaten spoon-style meaning a spoon full of yogurt dipped into peanut butter. Alternative: mix together.
Peanut Butter and Mayonnaise: Okay, relax; a little different but combined with bread as a sandwich, she claims it is “great.”
Peanut Butter and Raisins: She combines a “pinch” of raisins with a slab of peanut butter and eats it or makes a sandwich out of it. Many will recognize peanut butter and raisins on a celery stalk, popularly known since the 1950s as ants on a log.
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich: An old classic, but she adds her homemade jelly.
Peanut Butter and Crackers: No secret there, but she first smears the cracker with butter.
Peanut Butter and Apple Slices: A country favorite.
Peanut Butter and Hershey Bar: A kind of make-your-own Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Peanut Butter and a Cup of Cottage Cheese: “My daily lunch for decades when I was providing speech therapy in public schools.”
Peanut Butter Milkshake: Now we’re talking! Mix with your favorite flavor of ice-cream but hers is vanilla.
Peanut Butter Spread on Cookies: Improves the nutritional value, if any, of cookies, which means . . . more cookies. She likes to garden and swing a mattock, but perhaps you can work off the cookie calories by snowshoeing or completing one of those ultra distance trail or road events.
Peanut Butter and Fudge: See above; just enter a longer race.
Peanut Butter and Tomato: bet this is a new idea for you. She sprinkles Sweet’N Low on the tomato, adds the peanut butter and often combines with bread to make a sandwich. That means at times she eats the peanut butter directly on a tomato. Got tomato?
Peanut Butter and Hot Tomato Soup: Can’t sleep? She swears by this combo to stop those legs from twitching and get you right off to sleep. Can mix or enjoy “bite” style.
Peanut Butter Pie: Next time you have to take a dessert at an event or office social, try this:
Get a pie crust. Smear the bottom and sides with peanut butter.
Add a custard filling (instant pudding). Her favorite? Correct. Vanilla. Let set-up in refrigerator.
Her oldest son, Paul, an expert birder who lives next door, tills a perfect organic garden where they raise produce like Peaches ‘N Cream Corn along with cucumbers, okra, tomatoes, and zucchini.
Granny has no vices. What’s wrong with her? Clean living has aided this long, healthy life including resuming college at age 40 to finish her undergraduate degree and then adding a Master’s degree. Here is an excellent example of why never to accept negative comments; the very large university she ultimately attended told her she need not enter, she would not make it. A good example for the rest of us? You bet; as her youngest son, I’ve learned to pay attention to Pauline Harmon Smith and my brother, Paul Smith.
Kildahl left me with this comment: “The genesis of peanut butter is the peanut.” Pauline Harmon Smith gives us a vigorous life as a genesis for health.
What are your unique uses for eating peanut butter? Share them with comments for the article.
Photos of Pauline Harmon Smith courtesy of Paul Smith.