Saturday, June 24, 2006

Required reading, a rant and a recipe

Be sure to stop by Jonathan's blog to see his take on the media frenzy over the obesity issue, which I've also written about. And then read fatfighterblogs for tips on kick-starting your weight-loss program. Good, basic stuff in there.

I picked up a jar of Skippy's new Natural Creamy "No Need to Stir" Peanut Butter a couple weeks ago. I've been using Smucker's, and find that stirring in the jar [I usually use a fork or a chopstick] or even stirring in a bowl doesn't do the job as well as dragging out the mixer. Seeing the "No Need to Stir" banner on the jar was the only hook I needed to get me to purchase it.

I was immediately impressed. I'm usually a crunchy peanut butter kinda girl, but the tiny little Kroger here in the Middle of Nowhere only stocked the creamy. The texture was smooth and, um, creamy, and it tasted great. A little sweet, but still peanutty. Definitely different from the kind I'm used to eating.

Half a jar and several days later I read the label. The second ingredient is sugar.

Well no wonder it tasted different! I'm trying to eliminate sugar from my diet, but the Spousal Equivalent isn't, so I told him the remainder of the jar was his and his alone.

I realize sugar is a 'natural' ingredient. But when I reach for 'natural' peanut butter, I expect it to be peanuts. Maybe a little salt.

I'm not blaming Skippy [or their parent company, Unilever]. Had I read the label at the grocery I would have put it back on the shelf. Maybe I should blame the graphic designer at the advertising agency who came up with the label. 'No Need to Stir' means no dragging out the mixer, no messy spatula or beaters, no stuffing the stirred stuff back into the jar, no clean-up. Wonder how many calories I burn doing all that? Heh.

Finally, my friend Marilyn, who comments here frequently and who also is successfully trimming down, sent me a recipe for Stuffed Peppers the other day that she thought might fit into my plan. It did, deliciously! It's from 1000 Lowfat Recipes, by Terry Blonder Golson. Use Amazon's "Search Inside" feature, and go to page 214.

It's not your mother's rice-tomato-ground beef mixture, but has a Middle Eastern flavor that both the Spousal Equivalent and I really enjoyed. I substituted red and yellow peppers for the green called for, and will definitely be making it again.


Stretchy said...

Hi Debbi,
This may not be helpful to you, but as a peanut butter lover, my switch to creamy and crunchy (no-stir) soy nut butter was surprisingly easy!
There is even a honey-nut flavor that is nice, and a chocolate flavored one that is just "kinda OK" (as compared to something like Nutella.)
I also like other nut butters, esp. almond, but there's that potentially messy stir factor again.
The soy nut butter very satisfying, and it doesn't need refrigeration.
The brand name is hilarious " I.M. Healthy "

Milinda said...

If your grocery store has one of those fresh ground machines filled with peanuts, you are set. I've found that this peanut butter doesn't separate. And it is just peanuts--no oil, no sugar.

Debbi said...

I'll look for the soy nut butter, Stretchy. Thanks for the tip. As for grinding my own, I think I could probably do that with the Cuisinart. Should have thought of that! I happen to have a can of peanuts in the pantry; I feel an experiment coming on.

Greta said...

Whole Foods near me has the contraption that Milinda mentioned. She's right. Right after it's ground there's no separation. I bring it home and pop it into the refrigerator and it never needs a stir. In addition, they have very small containers available so I can buy just enough for a taste of peanut butter without having an entire jar around the house tempting me. I love peanut butter on apple slices or banana slices.

Stretchy said...


My midwestern friends say try ADAMS no stir natural peanut butter (crunchy or creamy) it may be made by the Smuckers people. I have never seen it in NYC, but I will look upstate. I'd like to check out the nutritional info. and see if it needs refrigeration. (I forgot to ask)

Stretchy said...

Hi again... Today I found some tasty peanut butter, at a little Korean market SMART BALANCE. (I chose the crunchy style. I had a sandwich, it was good.)

No refrigeration needed, No stir.
Here is the ingredient list:
Peanuts, Natural oil blend with Flaxseed, Salt, Molasses.
2 Tbsp=7g protein
190 cals
no trans fatty acids
no hydrogenated oils
no refined sugar
1,000 mg of Omega 3's (77% of daily value)


Heart Beat Foods
Cresskill NJ

Stretchy said...

Oh, and PS

a 16 oz jar cost $3.49