Did someone say peanut butter? If you're a peanut butter lover, get ready to lick your glass clean with our PB & G. No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to break up with peanut butter. Something about the flavor just awakens my tastebuds and keeps me coming back for more.
Call me crazy for trying to part ways, but it seems to be one of those hot topic foods these days. Foods come and foods go just like high-wasted jeans and shoulder pads. Wait. What? Shoulder pads are SO not making a comeback. At least, I hope not. Anyway, the point is that food has fads just like style. The big difference is that unlike clothing, food can come in and out of style for very valid reasons that we should educate ourselves on.
The controversy with peanuts is the increased toxin exposure. This is a valid concern, as conventional (non-organic) peanuts are rotated in and out of the same fields that grow cotton. Cotton crops are one of the most genetically engineered and heaviest sprayed crops in the world. Conventional cotton is genetically engineered to contain BT toxin, modifying it to withstand the heavy spraying of the highly carcinogenic herbicide Roundup. The chemicals used in conventional cotton and peanut fields have been linked with high inflammation, cancer, and infertility.
Peanuts themselves tend to be grown in warmer climates where there is a greater chance for fungal growth. For this reason, conventional peanuts are also sprayed with fungicides. Once a fungus begins to grow in the soil, it releases toxins called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins have recently been recognized as carcinogenic. Some research out of Cornell University has found direct links between aflatoxins and liver cancers.
Ever wonder why peanut allergies have become so prevalent and common these days? Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but it does make you wonder. In the past 15 years, peanut allergies have quadrupled in the United States. Robyn O'Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth said it best when she questioned, "are we allergic to food, or what's been done to it?"
So, due to current practices followed in the US when growing conventional peanuts, you will see that I have noted to use organic peanut butter in this recipe. As a general rule, I do not signify organic next to every item in my ingredient lists. While I choose to purchase organic as much as possible, I believe that as a consumer this is a choice that you get to make for yourself. However, there will be times when you do see that I suggest to buy organic ingredients and peanuts are definitely one of those items. Some folks in the health world choose to completely omit peanuts from their diet. For me, I have chosen to limit my exposure by mixing it up and eating many other nuts and seeds for their versatile health benefits. When I choose to eat peanut butter, I ensure that I'm buying a brand that contains one ingredient: organic peanuts. By definition, organic ensures that the peanuts I'm eating have not been rotated in with genetically engineered crops, nor have they been sprayed with the same cancer causing pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides as conventional peanuts.
Hopefully that didn't scare you away from trying this recipe. If you are able and choose to eat organic peanuts, there are some great health benefits to doing so. Unpolluted peanuts are a good source of fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin E, magnesium, healthy fat, and antioxidants. Not only is peanut butter tasty, it has health benefits too!
Note: please ensure that you are drinking this in a peanut friendly zone. School teachers, I'd leave this one for home consumption only. If want to partake in this smoothie but do not eat peanut butter, feel free to substitute with any nut/seed butter of your choice.
PB & G
Prep time: 5 min.
Makes: 2 servings
Note: double the recipe for 2 people, if using a portion for afternoon snack
- 1 ¼ cups unsweetened dairy free milk of choice
- 1 cup de-stemmed, chopped lacinato/dino kale
- 1 handful spinach (~1 cup)
- 1 frozen banana, chopped
- ¼ avocado
- 3 full Tbs. organic unsweetened peanut butter
- 3 Tbs. gluten free oats
- 1 Tbs. hemp seeds (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Prep: wash and spin-dry your greens the night before for a quicker start in the morning. Store in a sealed container in the fridge until you’re ready to blend.
Prep: peel and chop ripe bananas into quarters and freeze in an airtight container for future use. This way, you always have ripe bananas for future smoothies or baking. Frozen bananas add that creamy factor to smoothies and cut down on waste.
Storage: airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours.
Snack Attack: this will make enough for 2 servings, so save 8 - 10 oz. of this smoothie in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. This will come in handy for your afternoon snack. Shake before drinking.
Let us know how you liked this smoothie in the comment section below.
"AFLATOXINS : Occurrence and Health Risks." Cornell University Department of Animal Science. http://poisonousplants.ansci.cornell.edu/toxicagents/aflatoxin/aflatoxin.html.
Lu, Yanhui, Kongming Wu, Yuying Jiang, Yuyuan Guo, and Nicolas Desneux. "Widespread adoption of Bt cotton and insecticide decrease promotes biocontrol services." Nature News. June 13, 2012. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v487/n7407/abs/nature11153.html.
"Peanuts." World's Healthiest Foods. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=114.
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