Friday, September 12, 2008

That's just nuts!

So I just had some friends in Houston call up, asking advice on how to weather (tee hee) the upcoming hurricane. You see, I was one of the unfortunate souls living in Florida during the insane 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. And because I was a reporter at the time, I couldn't just pack up my car and flee to a less dangerous region, like all of the sane people. Noooooo, I had to stick around and actually, you know, report on it. Thankfully, though, I was in newspapers and not broadcast. I'd hate to have been one of those TV types who had to basically chain themselves to a tree to get the "real" effect. Back to the point...I told my friends to board up their home, fuel up the car and stock up on water, booze and dry foods. Which means LOTS of junky snack items and PB&J sandwiches. The funny thing is, I LOVE peanut butter...and the junky snack food items. But after the first wave of storms in 2004, I actually got to the point where I couldn't even look at a peanut butter and jelly sandiwch, bag of cheetos or sleeve of cookies (I KNOW!!) because I got so tired of eating them. But, what else can you do? We essentially had no power for a month. Plus, even when the stores and restaurants reopened, the fresh food items were quickly bought out - meaning lots of bare shelves in the dairy and produce sections. Sigh.
But luckily, my love for peanut butter has since been restored. You just know I've been celebrating National Peanut Day today!!! I've already had a PB&J sandwich and just might have to get a spicy Asian peanut dish tonight.
What?? It's not like it's not good for you. Peanuts and peanut butter contain more than 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients ― like protein, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese ― and have zero cholesterol and no transfats.

Want more? Here are some nutty fun facts for ya.

* Peanuts are not actually nuts at all! They are legumes, like beans, peas and lentils.
* Americans eat 3 pounds of peanut butter per person every year. That's about 700 million pounds, or enough to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon!
* Peanuts may be a favorite food, but we've found many uses for their shells too! You might find peanut shells in kitty litter, wallboard, fireplace logs, paper, animal feed and sometimes as fuel for power plants!
* Two peanut farmers have been elected President of the United States: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
* One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.

Finally, because I'm such a nice person, here are a few low-calorie, sucralose-sweetened peanut-based recipes to try out. Hope you love them. And good luck to anyone out in the Texas area. BE SAFE AND STAY DRY!!

Sticky Sweet Peanut Brittle

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bites

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