All About Peanut Butter

Peanut butter — a staple in many households — is much more than a delicious spread. It’s a versatile and nutritious food with numerous health benefits and a wide variety of uses. Let’s take a closer look at this humble nut butter, exploring its origins and current popularity, its health benefits, and creative ways to enjoy it. Additionally, we’ll highlight how you can use peanut butter to contribute to your community through initiatives like the SLO Food Bank’s Spread the Love campaign.

The History of Peanut Butter

While peanuts have been cultivated for thousands of years, the creamy spread we know today was developed in the late 19th century. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, known for Kellogg’s cereal, patented a process for creating butter from raw peanuts. It was initially marketed as a protein substitute for people who could not chew meat.

During World War II, peanut butter gained popularity as a high-protein ration for soldiers. Post-war, its popularity soared in the US, leading to the peanut butter we know and love today — which is estimated to be found in about 90% of American households! We even have a National Peanut Butter Month, celebrated in November and used to highlight the importance of peanut butter in our diets and its astounding versatility.

Today, peanut butter’s success has paved the way for other nut butters. Almond, cashew, and hazelnut butters are popular alternatives, each with unique flavors and nutritional profiles. These butters cater to those with peanut allergies or those seeking variety in their diets.

Health Benefits of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter isn’t just delicious; it’s also packed with health benefits.

  • Nutrient-rich: Peanut butter is a great source of protein, essential for muscle building and repair. It’s also rich in healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Peanut butter contains various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, contributing to overall health and well-being.
  • Weight management: Contrary to popular belief, peanut butter can be a part of a weight management diet. Its high protein and fiber content can lead to feelings of fullness, helping to control appetite.
  • Heart health: Studies have shown that consuming peanut butter can lower the risk of heart disease, thanks to its healthy fat content.

Ways to Eat Peanut Butter

Peanut butter’s versatility makes it a fantastic ingredient in various dishes. Here are some creative ways to incorporate it into your meals:

  • Breakfast boost: Spread it on toast or mix it into oatmeal for a protein-packed breakfast. Or give our Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats recipe a try!
  • Smoothies: Add a spoonful to your smoothie for a nutty flavor and extra protein.
  • Dips: Combine it with yogurt or honey for a delicious fruit dip.
  • Savory dishes: Use it as a thickener in soups or as a base for sauces in dishes like satay.
  • Baking: From cookies to cakes, it adds a rich flavor to baked goods.
  • Healthy snacks: Pair it with apples, bananas, or celery for a quick and healthy snack.
  • Desserts: You can satisfy your sweet tooth in a wide range of healthy desserts, like our Banana-Based Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream.

Spread the Love: Donate Peanut Butter to the SLO Food Bank

  • Nutrient-dense: Provides essential nutrients to those who may be nutritionally deficient.
  • Long shelf life: It can be stored for a long time, making it a practical food item for food banks.
  • Versatile: Can be used in various meals, offering flexibility to those receiving food aid.
  • Popular across age groups: Beloved by adults and children alike, peanut butter is a great addition to any family’s food supply.

How to Contribute

Participating in the Spread the Love campaign is easy:

  • Donate: Donate jars of peanut butter or other nut butter to the SLO Food Bank.
  • Organize a drive: Coordinate with your community or workplace to collect and donate nut butter.
  • Spread awareness: Share information about the campaign on social media to encourage others to participate.

Participating in the Spread the Love campaign is a simple yet impactful way to make a difference. Every jar counts in making a difference in someone’s life. Donate today and help the SLO Food Bank spread love and nourishment to those in need.

About the SLO Food Bank

We at the SLO Food Bank believe that everyone has the right to nutritious food. That’s why we work hard to ensure access to fresh food for everyone in our community. We structure our programs in a few different ways to make fresh produce more accessible and affordable for those who need it. We also promote food assistance programs like CalFresh, while also hosting food distributions in the most rural areas of our county, where a grocery store may be more than 50 miles away.

With our network of community partners in San Luis Obispo, we strive to alleviate hunger and to build a healthier community. If you’re in the area, check out our Food Resources Map to find food sources near you, or support our cause through volunteer opportunities or donations, if you are able to give. Donate today to help us bring health and hope to San Luis Obispo County!