March 1, 2024

ALBANY, Ga., Dec. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The holidays are often stuffed with calorie-laden foods that traditionally aren’t the healthiest. However, there are ways to eat healthy and lite without giving up flavor and satisfaction. This December, The Peanut Institute has assembled a collection of holiday recipes that provide tasty alternatives to classic dishes.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the pitfalls of holiday eating but making a few thoughtful substitutions can make a difference,” says Samara Sterling, Ph.D., a nutrition scientist and director of research for The Peanut Institute.

Peanuts and peanut butter are a smart choice since they’re packed with important “ingredients” for health and wellness. A single serving of peanuts delivers 7 grams of plant-based protein, 19 vitamins and minerals, including niacin, vitamin E and folate, plus fiber.

In addition, thanks to their nutrient-dense make up, studies have found that regular consumption of peanuts and peanut butter can help lower blood pressure, protect against cancer and support brain and heart health. 

To incorporate peanuts and peanut butter into holiday eating, The Peanut Institute is offering a heaping serving of recipes.

Appetizer Ideas

“A smart strategy for the holidays is to start with a healthy appetizer,” says Sterling. “Beginning with a lighter item can help satisfy hunger and cravings that often lead to overeating during a meal.”

Sweet and Spicy Peanuts are a perfect appetizer that’s quick and easy to make. Coated with a mixture of honey, cumin and chili powder, they have a bit of zip to awaken the taste buds.

To weave veggies into a pre-dinner snack, try Peanut Peach Salsa. Red pepper strips, carrot disks and celery sticks eliminate the need to dip with deep-fried tortilla chips.

Super Sides

There are also a variety of side dishes that lend themselves to wise choices.

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin-Citrus Peanut Sauce delivers fiber and healthy fats – a duo that provides satiety and a feeling of fullness that can forestall mindless consumption. 

With crunchy broccoli and peanuts, a Smoked Peanut Broccoli Salad delivers mouthfeel along with plenty of flavor. The recipe is doubly good since combining peanuts with other healthy foods can have a synergistic effect — meaning eating more of them together can enhance their benefits. Plus, this dish uses red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing.

Delicious Desserts

Finally, there’s no need to skip dessert.

Enjoy seasonal flavors with Pumpkin Mousse with Peanut Praline Topping. This low-calorie treat calls for pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices to create an amazing aroma and taste. 

To eliminate the oven, try Haystack No Bake Cookies that feature bright and cheery holiday colors with white chocolate and dried red cranberries. Along with peanuts, the recipe has just four ingredients and takes no time at all to make.

“This year, when you’re thinking about holiday foods, don’t forget about peanuts. While most people don’t know this fact, peanuts actually stimulate peptide YY, a hormone that decreases appetite – something that can go a long way to avoid overindulging,” adds Sterling.

For more recipes, light cooking ideas and health and nutrition facts, visit The Peanut Institute’s recipe page or follow The Peanut Institute on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Based in Albany, Ga., The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization supporting nutrition research and developing educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles that include peanuts and peanut products. The Peanut Institute pursues its mission through research programs, educational initiatives and the promotion of healthful lifestyles to consumers of all ages. As an independent forum, The Peanut Institute is uniquely positioned to work with all segments of the food industry, the research community, academia, consumer organizations and governmental institutions.

SOURCE The Peanut Institute


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