Peanuts aren’t paleo. Technically speaking, peanuts aren’t a nut but are a legume, and the paleo world shuns them. Read the Whole9’s Peanut Manifesto for a comprehensive look at why you should ditch peanuts. In short, peanuts contain lectins which are believed to have inflammatory properties allowing foreign proteins to disrupt the natural balance in our gut.
Since going paleo a few years ago we’ve tried other nut butters such as cashew, almond, and sun butter (made from roasted sunflower seeds). The truth is nothing compares to peanut butter, and ironically, I’ve never loved peanut butter more! Even from when I was a kid eating Skippy, I love peanut butter more now than ever before. Not because it’s the forbidden fruit (or legume) but because my taste buds have drastically changed since going paleo. Eliminating (or radically reducing) the amount of salt and sugar has allowed my taste buds to experience flavors in a new way. Carrots taste like carrots, peanuts taste like peanuts, schnozberries taste like schnozberries.
Brands like Skippy and Jif are loaded with sugar, hydrogenated oils (read here why you should cut out hydrogenated oils) and artificial flavors because processing takes away the peanut flavor. Even the “natural” jar has sugar. We buy Adam’s because the ingredients are peanuts and a bit of salt and tastes like roasted peanuts. In our house, we have eliminated 90% of the processed foods we used to consume, along with hydrogenated oils, sugar, grains, and dairy; we’re ok with keeping natural peanut butter. You’re all smart people; I encourage you to read up on peanuts and decide for yourselves.
Here are some cookies from one of my favorite baking sites, Elana’s Pantry. According to my almost 6 year old son who has grown 3 inches in the past 3 months and has only high water pants to wear, these are the best cookies ever. They also pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee.
Peanut Butter Cookies (click here for the original vegan recipe from Elana’s Pantry)
1 cup almond flour (I buy from Honeyville Grain)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup peanut butter (or almond, cashew, or sunbutter)
¼ cup honey (or pure maple syrup, not Aunt Jemima)
2 Tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine in a mixer, mix well. Spoon or scoop into 1 Tablespoon balls onto cookie sheet, flatten with fork. Bake at 350 for 6-12 minutes. Make a double batch because 1 batch isn’t enough.
Now that the danger of overnight frost has passed, we planted a box. I’m not sure if it’s too early for these particular veggies but Lowe’s had them so we bought them: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and romaine. We’ve not grown these before (except the romaine) so we’ll see what happens. The plan is to build another box and plant root veggies: beets, parsnips, and carrots. And we bought two pumpkin plants that need a home.
I know I’ve mentioned the next clean eating challenge before but it really is remarkable the changes you can make in 45 days. Not only will you drop pounds and pants sizes, but you’ll balance your gut and come to terms with some psychological issues with food (like I probably have with peanut butter). Changing the way you eat, as opposed to dieting, is sustainable and is a work in progress. Real food coupled with all of your hard work at the gym means feeling better and looking better naked.