Easy Snacks You Can Make With Peanut Butter
When you need a snack to tide you over until dinner, peanut butter is the perfect solution. Not only is it filling, but it’s not the diet disaster that some people assume it is (at least when consumed in moderation). Peanut butter has a healthy mix of fiber and protein, is packed with good-for-you fats, and delivers lots of vitamin E, potassium, and vitamin B6, according to Prevention.
While you could always slather some peanut butter on toast for a mid-day snack or pair it with a banana post-workout, those are hardly the only ways to eat this nutty spread. Peanut butter is surprisingly versatile, adding extra flavor to everything from smoothies to granola to hummus. Here are seven of our favorite snack recipes featuring peanut butter.
1. Homemade Spicy Peanut Butter
Making your own peanut butter at home is a breeze, provided you have a food processor. It’s also easy to customize with different add-ins, from the obvious (chocolate) to the slightly quirky, like the cayenne pepper and paprika in this for spicy peanut butter recipe from Kitchenaid.
- ½ cup shelled unsalted roasted peanuts
- ¼ teaspoon salt (use more or less to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
Directions: Place the peanuts and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process for 3 to 4 minutes, then scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue processing. Initially, the peanuts will form crumbles, then form a ball, and will finally turn into creamy peanut butter.
Once your peanuts are creamy, stop the processor and add the cayenne pepper, paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes. Continue processing to combine, then drizzle in the oil and blend just until smooth. Serve.
2. Big Cluster Peanut Butter Granola
Homemade granola is the perfect, easy-to-eat snack to sate your hunger on a long hike or while camping. This recipe calls for peanut butter, peanuts, and oats, plus maple syrup and vanilla. The result is a sweet, satisfying snack. Recipe from Pinch of Yum.
- 3½ cups rolled oats
- 1 cup salted or honey roasted peanuts
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup natural peanut butter
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ⅔ cup real maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup milk or almond milk
Directions: Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the oats, nuts, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, canola oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients, and stir until combined.
Line a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the oat and nut mixture onto the pan, and spread into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir. Continue baking for another 15 minutes until the granola is golden brown and dry to the touch. (Check granola before cooking time ends; you want it to be semi-soft, not totally dry.)
Remove pan from oven, and let granola cool for 2 to 3 hours. Sprinkle with a little salt if you like, then store in a tightly sealed container until ready to eat.
3. Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars
You’ll never want to buy granola bars at the store again once you try this recipe for homemade peanut butter trail mix bars from Sally’s Baking Addiction. In addition to peanut butter, they’re loaded with almonds, cashews, dried cranberries, and raisins. Best of all, they’re no-bake and will keep for up to two weeks in refrigerator.
- ⅔ cup whole almonds
- ⅔ cup whole cashews
- 1½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ⅓ cup ground flax
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
Directions: Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper. (Leave some extra paper on the sides of the pan so that it’s easy to remove the bars when done.)
Place the almonds and cashews in the bowl of a food processor, and process for about 10 seconds, until the nuts break into small pieces. Combine the oats, ground flax, crushed almonds and cashews, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and raisins in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together the melted peanut butter and the honey. Pour over the oat and nut mixture, and mix until all the pieces are coated. Spread the mixture into the parchment-lined pan, and press firmly so that you have an even, tightly packed layer.
Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Once the mixture has set, cut into 16 equal-size pieces.
4. Deep-Fried Bacon Wrapped Peanut Butter
These bacon-wrapped peanut butter balls hardly qualify as a healthy snack, but that doesn’t make them any less delicious. Nick at Dude Foods created this ridiculously awesome snack, which involves wrapping bacon around frozen cubes of peanut butter and then dropping it in the deep fryer (yes, it really is that simple). The recipe below makes 8 balls.
- 16 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
- 16 slices of bacon
- 1 egg
- Panko bread crumbs
- Oil for frying
Directions: Spoon peanut butter into an ice cube tray (about 2 tablespoons per cube), then freeze until hard.
Remove the frozen peanut butter cubes from the tray. Whisk the egg with a little water, and put some flour in one bowl and some panko bread crumbs in another bowl. Dip each cube in flour, then the egg wash, then the bread crumbs. Wrap with 2 slices of bacon.
Fill a deep fryer with oil, and heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Deep fry each peanut butter cube until the bacon is fully cooked. Serve.
5. Peanut Butter Drizzled Popcorn
Rather than drowning your popcorn in butter, why not top it with melted peanut butter? This spin on the traditional movie night snack is a delicious mix of sweet and salty that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Recipe from The Lemon Bowl.
- ½ cup unpopped popcorn
- ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
Directions: Pop the popcorn using your preferred method. Transfer to a large bowl.
Put the peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for about 30 to 40 seconds in the microwave until fully melted.
Drizzle the melted peanut butter over the popcorn, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with salt to taste, and then serve.
6. Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie
Power up after your workout with a peanut butter smoothie. The nut butter and milk provide much-needed protein while bananas and strawberries offer healthy nutrients your body needs. Recipe from A Cedar Spoon.
- ½ ripe banana
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup skim or 1% milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ cup crushed ice
Directions: If using frozen strawberries, transfer them to a blender and process until chopped.
Transfer all the remaining ingredients (including fresh strawberries) to the blender, and mix for 1 minute. Stir, then continue to blend until smooth. Serve.
7. Peanut Butter Hummus
Say goodbye to dull dip. This recipe from How Sweet It Is relies on creamy peanut butter to jazz up boring hummus for a savory snack spread you won’t be able to say no to. Serve with pita chips for an addictive, hunger-killing snack.
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Directions: If you like, remove the hull or skin from the chickpeas. Add the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor, and process until finely ground. Add the peanut butter, and process until combined with the chickpeas. Add the oil, and continue to process. (You may need more oil to get the hummus to your preferred consistency.) Add salt, pepper, and paprika, then pulse to combine. Serve with pita or cut veggies.
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