Online news and social media have an abundance of food and nutrition related story topics. At times, it can be difficult to discern facts from trendy fads. The increase in interest in how foods can improve our health and help achieve our lifestyle goals represents one of our generation’s positive attitudes. It works if you can focus on science and study-based recommendations and dismiss bogus and sometimes money-influenced dramatic headlines.
A recent study is the perfect example of reliably sourced information we can follow and even celebrate, since the results amount to good news for all peanut lovers out there. This study published by BMC Medicine from the Imperial College London School of Public Health looked at twenty population studies, encompassing their meta-analysis, totaling over 820,000 study participants. The large data set allowed them to not only draw conclusions about more common causes of death, such as heart disease and cancer, but they were also able to draw conclusions about respiratory diseases, diabetes and kidney disease.
Researchers found that high intake of peanuts and other nuts reduced the risk of respiratory disease mortality by 24%, and diabetes by 32%. Peanuts only, although other nuts also showed some positive impact, were shown to effectively reduce the risk of stroke and kidney disease. The study speculates that up to 4.4 million premature deaths in North and South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific may have been attributable to peanut and other nut consumption ranging below 20 grams per day. This offers supports for major public health impacts, including increasing the dietary recommendations for nut consumption to decrease chronic disease risk and mortality. Just 15-20 grams of peanuts, approximately one tablespoon of peanut butter is all it takes to reap major health benefits!
Of course, we can eat nut butters right out of the jar anytime for our daily dose of nutrient filled energy food; however, making these Pumpkin Muffins Tops (below) will satisfy your cravings for something sweet. The recipe includes only half a cup of sugar – you can substitute stevia baking sugar or coconut sugar instead. These muffin tops won’t be overly sweet, but when combined with peanut butter, the natural sweetness of the peanuts really shines through. Using whole wheat flour and pumpkin puree helps you increase fiber intake and boosts naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in each muffin top.
As you well know, our recipes strive to only use ingredients that will help you achieve your daily nutrient goals! Try making these and storing some in the freezer to enjoy throughout your busy week too. They keep well in an airtight container for up to 60 days.
Pumpkin Muffin Tops
¼ cup of Once Again American Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter
2 whole eggs
1 cup of puree pumpkin
½ cup of sugar (or 3 tablespoons of stevia baking sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, stevia and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter, lightly beaten eggs, and pumpkin. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until a homogenous mixture is achieved. Do not over mix to avoid creating very dense muffins instead of light and fluffy ones. Drop 1 tablespoon dollops onto a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until edges turn golden. Store muffin tops in an airtight container for up to five days.
Study: Aune D, Keum N, Giovannucci EL, et al. “Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.” BMC Med 2016;14(207)