Three things (August 12th-18th)

This week, it’s all about food.

1. PB2

IMG_20130816_082411_908I noticed when this first appeared on the shelf with all the nut butters a few years ago. I wished that it had been around when I did my AT thru hike, but didn’t understand the point of it other than as a lighter way to carry peanut butter on backpacking trips. I imagined reconstituted sub-par peanut butter with a weird texture, certainly not worth the saved fat grams.

But then, a few weeks ago I read an article from Ace Fitness that mentioned the high protein/low calorie aspect of powdered peanut butter (45 calories and 5 grams of protein in 2 Tbsp.) The article suggested sprinkling a little on yogurt or cereal to add peanut butter flavor along with some added protein. That sounded like a wonderful idea, to me. I hadn’t thought of using it that way.

So I bought some. I’ve been putting a couple scoops in whatever cereal I’m having for breakfast. It’s like having cereal in a peanut butter milkshake. That might not sound like a good thing to you, but I think it’s pretty fantastic! Everything tastes better with peanut butter. I’ve also been using it to make peanut butter chia pudding.

If you love peanut butter as much as I do, I highly recommend PB2!

2. Whole GrainΒ  Peanut Butter Banana Muffins.

The cool, fall weather we had for a few days last week got me in the mood to do some baking. I had a couple of over-ripe bananas and wanted to experiment with using PB2 in some muffins.

IMG_20130816_095743_267I used this recipe, but made several changes.

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oat bran (I used 1/2 cup oats and 1/4 cup almond flour)
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (I used PB2)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup and sprinkled a little on top)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 bananas didn’t quite make a cup, so I added canned pumpkin to make up the difference)
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk plus)
1/3 cup canola oil (I used a mixture of natural peanut butter and canola: mostly peanut butter)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional) (left these out, but did add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla)

They were delicious! I love the texture. I think it’s due to the high (healthy!) fat content.

I wanted my muffins to be big enough that I would be satisfied with just one, so I made 7 instead of the 12.

banana muffin nutritionThe nutritional breakdown above came from the Calorie Count website. I use it all the time to figure out the nutritional profile of my recipes. I like it because it allows you to customize. So, for instance, for this one, I was able to set the yield at 7, since I made 7 muffins.

3. Coffee

IMG_20130822_115832_211Earlier this month, I sent out this tweet:

I drink a lot of coffee. I have no intention of giving up my favorite morning beverage.

I follow the ongoing debate over whether or not this is a healthy habit. I tend to focus on the studies that tout the health benefits and dismiss the ones that question those benefits.Β I think that’s human nature. We gravitate toward anything that validates our own preconceived notions.

Based on all the studies I’ve read, I’ve pretty much concluded that coffee isn’t bad for you. But, there’s been this nagging little voice in my head that won’t leave me alone. It keeps whispering the word “moderation.”

The latest study, referenced in this USA Today article proves that the little nagging voice probably knows what it’s talking about. This study shows that for people under age 55, four or more cups of coffee a day is linked with a higher risk of death by all causes.

Kind of reminds me of the study that came out last year stating that long distance running was tied to a higher risk of death.

I don’t like these studies. I want to run lots of miles fueled by pots and pots of steaming hot, delicious coffee.

As much as I don’t want to accept that drinking a ton of coffee and running for hours at a time will not lead to a perfect bill of health, I have to admit that I’m not surprised.

Everything in moderation, right?

I’m planning to try to reign in my java habit. Tomorrow.
Or maybe next week.

*I’ve decided to discontinue my Three Things on Thursday post. Because frankly, It’s a lot of work and I’m not excited about it. If I’m not excited, you must be bored to tears. So, I’m doing everybody a favor here.

Anybody else love peanut butter as much as I do?

Are you a coffee drinker?

Are you a coffee drinker?

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7 Responses to Three things (August 12th-18th)

  1. I am peanut butter AND coffee obsessed. As a runner, I figure it could be worse πŸ˜‰

  2. Jen says:

    Jody was just telling me last week about her (superfast marathoner) sister eating powdered peanut butter. The universe wants me to try this πŸ™‚ Or perhaps it just doesn’t want me to get stuck on my other new discovery, the “cookie butter” – Biscoff! Mmmm…

  3. Meagan says:

    By “AT thru hike” do you mean you hiked the entire Appalachian Trail?

    We enjoyed the same unseasonably cool weather last weekend as well. Unfortunately it has gotten hot here again. I imagine it has for y’all, too. It’s still not too bad, considering it’s August, though.

    I am a coffee drinker and I love my morning cup of black coffee. I drink one travel mug of coffee per day, which amounts to two standard-sized mugs of coffee. On Sundays I allow myself two travel mugs worth of coffee, as a special treat πŸ™‚

    • Meagan,
      Yes! I hiked from Georgia to Maine in 2003. Met my husband along the way πŸ™‚
      I love my coffee black, too. I just drink too much (6-8 cups every morning!)
      Sounds like you have your coffee habit under control.

  4. Ahhhh….I can’t wait for fall. I just picture myself in a cute cozy coffee shop wearing skinny jeans, boots, and a scarf, sipping coffee and enjoying a warm muffin! We’re clearly on the same wavelength. πŸ™‚ Those muffins sound yummy! I haven’t tried PB2 and can’t picture it. I love PB but can’t imagine it powdery. I’ll have to try it! Thanks for sharing!

    • I can’t wait for fall, either! Bring on the crisp, coffee-sipping, muffin-enjoying mornings πŸ™‚
      PB2 is awesome if you think of it as peanut butter flavoring. It’s not a substitute for the actual stuff.

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