Peanut butter sandwiches are what my daughter can eat 3 times a day! My elder twin (that does sound weird in reading it, but technically she is 2 minutes older and takes serious pride in it) doesn’t really know if peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a breakfast or lunch meal and it really doesn’t matter to her as she can literally eat peanut butter out of a jar for lunch.
When your fussy eater starts loving a particular food, there are 2 ways you as a mom react to it:
- stock up on that particular food product so you never run out of it, and
- frantically research about it online to see what good (or bad) that stuff is actually doing to your kid.
I did the same. While I made sure there’s always a jar of this “delicious gold” in my pantry, I also did my homework to dig deeper in to the nutrition values that it brings along.
Is peanut butter good for my kid?
I was extremely relieved that this time at least my kid was binging on something healthy (although binging on anything, even peanut butter is not suggested and it is advised to be consumed in moderation). My Google search for nutrition values of peanut butter revealed that natural pure peanut butter is:
- rich in essential vitamins (vitamin E, vitamin B-3 and vitamin B-6),
- rich in minerals (like magnesium, zinc, phosphorous to name some),
- an excellent source of plant-based protein for kids and adults both.
The only thing that bothered me with store-bought peanut butters was the amount of sugar, salt and added preservatives, which pushed me to make my own peanut butter at home. Turns out it is as simple as licking a spoonful of peanut butter! And that’s just the beginning of it. Once I figured how easy it is to churn my own peanut butter at home, it pushed me to come up with different ways it can be consumed, other than between bread slices of course.
In this article, I will be sharing:
- How to make peanut butter at home
- Chocolate spread
- How to use the homemade (or store-bought) peanut butter in these recipes (some of which you can cook along with your young ones):
- Mexican mole (a simple version, of course)
- Thai peanut sauce
- Chicken satay
- Pad Thai for kids
- Indian curry with peanut butter
How to make peanut butter at home
It is pretty amazing how something as delicious as this peanut spread is actually so simple and easy to whip up at home. All in all, 3 to 4 ingredients and few minutes of mixer time and you get for yourself (and your little one) a jar full of homemade deliciousness!
For the basic natural version of peanut butter, you just need roasted peanuts, salt to taste, and oil. I highly recommend using peanut oil but if it’s not available where you live, go for vegetable oil. You might need to add a little more oil than prescribed in recipe for the right, creamier texture.
I would also recommend adding a little bit of honey to it. It helps in 3 ways: it compliments and enhances the nutty flavor of peanuts perfectly, gives a mild sweetness without adding sugar, and also adds to the shelf life of the final product.
If you wish to make flavored peanut butter, the easiest and most popular choice would be chocolate-flavored peanut butter (this comes really close to Nutella), which requires two additional ingredients: cocoa powder and powdered sugar in place of honey. Adding a pinch of salt takes the flavor and taste to another level.
Peanut butter recipes for kids from across the globe
Now that you have a jar full of your own homemade goodness, aka peanut butter, here are simplified, kid-friendly versions of some of the most popular international dishes, which are going to be an instant hit with your kids as well.
Simple mole sauce for kids
Mexican mole sauce is normally a complex recipe with lots of ingredients, but we have simplified it to save you time and effort.
Thai recipes: Thai peanut sauce, chicken Satay and Pad Thai
I live in Thailand and naturally 2 of my favorite quick to make dishes in my kitchen are chicken satay and pad Thai. The key sauce in both these recipes is the authentic Thai peanut sauce. You can easily enlist your kid to mix the sauce; mine loves to act like she is making a potion in her magic kitchen!
India: Indian curry
How can a list of international recipes be complete without a delicious rich Indian curry?