The affection I have for PB2 is real. I feel like I owe it something.
For many years, my life was a cycle of toomuchpeanutbutterinonesitting –> stomachachefordays –> that’sitI’mquittingpeanutbutterforever –> omgImissitsomuch –> Icanhavejustalittlebit –> nopeIwannaeatthewholejar –> repeat.
I tried many tricks to overcome this addiction. I would make CCK’s banana butter, or Happy Herbivore’s nutty spread, or Oh She Glows’ ABU (made with peanut butter), but ultimately, all of those tricks required me to buy peanut butter. None of the recipes require you to use a full jar of peanut butter at once, which meant I would have a half a jar of undiluted peanut butter calling my name.
The thing about PB2 is that the fat is taken out. Most people would say–and I would agree–that it is flawed thinking that PB2 is “healthier” because the fat is taken out. However, the fat in peanut butter is what makes it so good. So addicting. So easy to enjoy by the spoonful (after spoonful after spoonful after spoonful) until the jar is empty and you feel sick. The high concentration of fat caught me in The Pleasure Trap, and I couldn’t escape it. I had daily stomach aches from my inability to put down the spoon. Although I make light of my peanut butter addiction on this blog, in reality it brought me much grief and pain on a daily basis.
Not only does PB2 allow me to enjoy peanut butter flavor without igniting my pleasure-seeking desires, but I have to actually make it each time I want it. When I put PB2 in my oatmeal, I have to physically mix up a serving of it. I can’t just go back for another spoonful. I have to make more. It’s not that hard, and I’ve done it before, but there’s a huge difference between opening up the jar for another (and another, and another, and another, and another) spoonful of peanut butter, and stirring up one more serving of PB2 and realizing you don’t actually want/need any more than that.
Because I’m sure people will comment on it, I want to clarify that removing peanut butter from my diet required me to add fat and calories to other parts of my day. Although my peanut butter has been replaced with PB2, I still top my oatmeal with tons of nuts (now more than I used to). I still eat a ton of avocado. Et cetera.
Please do not use PB2 as a low-fat or low-calorie substitute if you have a healthy relationship with peanut butter. I didn’t; that’s why I needed a change. Eating food in its natural form is always the best option. (But I recommend trying PB2 either way since you can use it for cool tricks like on popcorn or in place of flour when baking.)
As a full-fledged PB2 lover, here are three hacks I’ve learned:
- Add extra liquid to make a PB2 sauce. It’s perfect for pancakes. Sometimes I even mix in maple syrup for a PB2 version of my Maple-Nut Sauce.
- Add a drop of almond extract for “AB2.” While we wait for the almond version of PB2, this is the best we can do. Is it a spot-on replica of almond butter? Obviously not. However, since I can’t be trusted with a jar of almond butter (Exhibit A), I found this pretty darn satisfying. Note that I said a drop. It does not take much.
- Mix in coconut butter. I found out–after purchasing a jar–that I do not enjoy store-bought coconut butter. It’s very greasy and unpleasant–more like oil instead of butter. Thus, I keep my jar of coconut butter in the fridge, where it hardens. When I make my PB2, I scrape out about a 1/8 tsp of coconut butter and mix it into my PB2. The result is fabulous–not only do you get a bit of the fat back, but you get some lovely coconut flavor, too.
Anyway. THESE PANCAKES.
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 1/4 cup PB2
- 1/2 cup's worth of zucchini, preferably peeled
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- rounded 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Combine milk and vinegar in a small bowl or cup and let sit for ten minutes.
- While waiting, prepare Chocolate PB2 Sauce by whisking it all together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Put all pancake ingredients (including milk-vinegar mixture) in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add extra liquid if necessary (just a tsp or so at a time). It should have the consistency of paint. :)
- Heat a griddle pan over medium low heat.
- When griddle pan is ready, spray with nonstick cooking spray (it only needs a little bit!), and use a large spoon or a small scoop to pour pancakes onto the griddle. I made small pancakes, so I used a large soup spoon, and it worked perfectly. Generally, don't go any bigger than 1/4 a cup, but I find that too big still.
- When bubbles have formed at the top of the pancake, flip over and cook for another minute. Repeat until all the batter has been used!
- Serve with syrup (I recommend fruity syrups) or fresh fruit. I used strawberry syrup and pomegranate arils.