Peanut Butter: Smooth versus Crunchy

Let the arguments commence!

It’s almost as controversial as chocolate versus vanilla, more scandalous than hot versus cold, and much more interesting than fat free versus whole fat debates. People have opinions, and they all must be heard!

american pbI’m not entirely qualified to write about this dilemma, as I was only introduced to peanut butter at the age of 16! Yes, my parents deprived me of such delectable food until my mid teenage years. In their defense, I was raised in South America, Brazil specifically, where peanuts are abundant, but no one ever thought of making butter out of them. They did however add them to the food processor with sugar, amongst other ingredients, to make “paçoca”. If you are a proud member of the “peanut gallery” (ha! Pun intended) add that food to your list of “must-try-before-I-die” because it is simply divine!

However, I will proceed by first looking at the question of nutrition, since after all, that is something I am qualified to talk about. Looking at the numbers, crunchy peanut butter has the slight edge since it has a tiny bit more fiber, folate and less saturated fat than smooth. But in the end, both kinds are winners because that they are a great source of plant based protein, have lots of vitamin E, and they are an awesome source of B vitamins, as well. So whichever side of this debate you are in, rest assured you have already made a great choice!

Now in terms of practicality, I am a working mother .  I have two kids under the age of 6.  I  have  to pack lunches, make snacks, and often prepare last minute party requests. I believe I am also a qualified observer. The smooth just works better. Now, no offense to you crunchy-siders, but how do you get it to spread it on a soft slice of whole grain bread without ripping it to shreds? Or better yet, how do you get it to blend it so effortlessly into a yogurt parfait, or smoothie for a quick breakfast favorite? So there you go this one goes to the creamy peanut butter fans.

In the end, it seems like a split debate in which we are all winners. I personally prefer smooth for everyday use, but I am known to appreciate the crunchy for recipes such as muffins, cakes and stir-fry dishes. So, I rule a tie; let’s take a break from this exhausting and delicious controversy and enjoy an American Classic peanut butter and __________ sandwich (fill in the blank with your favorite pairing, oh boy… I think I just started a new debate!)

… life is short, laugh out loud!

 

Carolina Lima Jantac, MS,RD,LD

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