The PR agency behind Jif peanut butter has a promotion where they’re asking for the best recipes that include Jif peanut butter. Okay, not a bad idea. When I got a copy of the query I responded that to me the real question is the quality of the food: two of my three children are on gluten-free diets.
To my surprise, they informed me that Jif actually is a gluten-free product. Now, before you say “well, yeah, it’s peanuts and oil”, you should know that just about all foods on the shelf now have the ambiguous “natural flavoring” and that’s often where gluten is hiding, as an additive or flavoring. As I’ve learned, if it doesn’t say “gluten free” you can’t assume that it is, even when the ingredients are listed and there’s nothing that’s obviously a gluten product.
Turns out that Jif, while gluten free, has more ingredients than you might expect:
The challenge with peanut butter, of course, is to keep it creamy even as the natural tendency of the peanuts is to have the oil separate and the nut butter to coagulate and eventually become this thick glop. I’ve tossed more than one jar of all natural peanuts-only peanut butter for just this reason, and bet you have too.
Nonetheless, they did send along some of the award-winning recipes from the last year they ran this competition and I figure that even if you don’t want to use a peanut butter that has added sugar (why they feel they need to add sugar, I don’t know) (well, I do know: American taste buds, but why parents would buy a peanut butter with added sugar instead of one that’s just peanuts, that’s what I don’t get) the recipes are fun.
I looked through the five on their list and one stuck out as being a really fun idea: Peanut Butter Kabobs, from 8yo Elisabeth from Newnan, Georgia.
Ready for this?
2 slices of high fiber bread
2 Tablespoons Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Smucker’s Squeeze Strawberry Jam
1 thinly sliced strawberry
1 whole strawberry
2-inch cut piece of banana
2-inch cut piece of celery
1 apple slice
1 wooden skewer
Peanut flax dip:
2 Tablespoons Jif peanut butter
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon milled flax seed
Â½ teaspoon vanilla
Spread the peanut butter and jam on one piece of bread and lay the thinly-cut strawberry pieces across the bread. Top with the other slice of bread and press down gently. Use a small cup or small circle-shaped cookie cutter to cut out four circles from the sandwich, thus making mini sandwiches. Layer the skewer, alternating between the circle sandwiches and the fruit and celery.
Peanut flax dip:
Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Serve Jif-kabob with dip on the side for the fruit and celery. Cut remaining pieces of fruit and celery to eat with the dip.
I don’t think we’ll use Jif in my household – I don’t think my kids need the extra refined sugar – but I do think we might just try this crazy kabob idea.
Still, I’ll leave you with this thought: how carefully do you actually read ingredients? How thoughtful are you about the foods you put into your own body and your kids bodies?