All too often relegated to children’s snacks and smoothies, peanut butter is a powerful ingredient that can bring richness, great texture and sweet nuttiness to everything from soup to ice cream. In fact, just a tablespoon of this economical staple is often all you need to add a ton of flavour to everyday foods. Read on to see just how versatile peanut butter really is.
1. Tastier tomato soup Add Moroccan-style flavours to classic tomato soup with chili powder, ground cumin, chickpeas and a spoonful or two of peanut butter to taste—both chunky and smooth varieties work well.
Tip: Look for extra-ripe tomatoes on the discount shelf at the grocery store—they’re often very juicy and perfect for tomato soup.
2. Nutty hummus As a substitute for tahini, smooth peanut butter makes hummus super rich and subtly sweet. Simply replace tahini with an equal amount of peanut butter in your favourite recipe.
Tip: Allowing the flavours of the hummus to meld in the refrigerator for even a few hours will make a big difference on how it tasts on pitas and carrot sticks.
3. Easy snack bars Peanut butter makes an excellent binder for homemade snack bars, such as our No-Cook Peanut Butter Protein Bars, made with quick oats, bananas, protein powder, and chia and hemp seeds. Take these to the gym instead of splurging on post-workout smoothies.
Tip: Whip up these bars without the goopy mess by freezing peanut butter in handy 1-cup (250 mL) portions.
4. Nice noodles Use peanut butter to create a rich and satisfying sauce for Thai-style noodles. Our Rice Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce recipe combines smooth peanut butter with Asian chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic to coat noodles, vegetables and ready-made rotisserie chicken.
Tip: Any meat or vegetable you would enjoy in a salad works equally well in a noodle bowl topped with peanut sauce. Use up odds and ends from your fridge to reduce food waste and help you make the most of your budget.
5. Company-worthy pork In our Peanut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin, crunchy peanut butter, Dijon mustard and chopped kettle-cooked peanuts create an irresistible, savoury crust for this wallet-friendly cut of meat.
Tip: For DIY lettuce wraps, serve this pork sliced along with large lettuce leaves, sticky rice, hoisin sauce and sriracha.
6. Better burgers Boost the flavour of veggie and meat burgers, and even tacos with our three-ingredient Spicy Peanut Butter Burger Topper—you can also dip your fries in it.
Tip: Adding rolled oats to your homemade burger patties is a great way to stretch ground meat further.
7. Unbeatable brownies Stirring peanut butter into brownies makes a good thing even better. Try it out with our Spicy Mexican Peanut Butter Brownies, prepared with a dash of cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Tip: Reserve some melted peanut butter to swirl through the batter just before baking for a marbled look.
8. Waffles with wow Adding a generous spoonful of melted peanut butter to waffle batter makes the result richer and denser—the perfect base for fruit topped with maple syrup or even chocolate sauce.
Tip: Avoid sputtering (small eruptions of very hot liquid) by melting peanut butter on low in the microwave or on the stovetop, stirring frequently and adding a little warm water if needed.
9. Awesome ice cream Homemade dairy-free ice cream is yours with just two ingredients: smooth peanut butter and chunks of frozen banana. Simply purée both ingredients together in a food processor to create a creamy and soft frozen dessert in seconds. Alternatively, chocolate–peanut butter combo lovers will go bananas for our salty-sweet Peanut Butter Cup Sundaes, which are topped with a sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt.
Tip: Before freezing bananas, always peel and then pop them whole or in pieces into a resealable bag. This will save you a lot of time, effort and mess when you’re ready to use them later on.
10. Irresistible cookies No cookie jar would be complete without a batch of classic Peanut Butter Cookies. Our recipe uses whole-wheat flour for a slightly denser biscuit, while roasted peanuts provide extra nutty flavour and crunch.
Tip: Storing natural peanut butter upside down helps reincorporate any separated oil. Just place your jar on a paper towel in the cupboard to catch any leaks.