In honor of National Peanut Butter Day, let’s talk about why peanut butter is such a good food for runners. First off, though, I know that a (probably large) handful of you are like, “I’m allergic to peanuts”, “I can’t eat legumes”, “I only eat sunflower seed butter”, and such. We aren’t hating on you, know this. You can skip ahead to the recipes and substitute your favorite nut butter alternative! Also, National Cashew Day is November 23, so we’ll talk to you then.
Enter, Peanut Butter.
You’ve probably heard that peanut butter is full of fat, and it is… good fats! Peanuts are mostly made of fat, then equal parts carbohydrates (with fiber), and protein. Although technically a legume, not a nut, research suggests that they hold the health power of nuts by helping lower the risk of heart disease, as well as some other positive benefits.
For runners particularly, though, we love the fact that peanut butter makes us feel full a little longer due to the fat and protein content. Morning runners can find that extra energy to push through to the end of the run, and afternoon runners have a snack that tastes light but provides enough energy to get them past the afternoon funk. The protein in peanut butter gives a boost to our muscle recovery process, and carbs are just basically really important to keep our bodies going.
Now let’s dive in to some ways we think you should eat your peanut butter.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats
- ½ cup quick oats
- ½ cup almond milk or other
- 2 Tbsp pb
- 1 Tbsp chia seed or ground flax seed
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder or chocolate recovery beverage
- pinch of salt
- handful of blackberries
Combine all ingredients in a mason jar or any container with a lid. Let sit in the fridge for 8 hours, or overnight.
Spicy Noodles with Peanut Sauce
- 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp chili-garlic paste (or, to taste)
- 2 gloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 lb linguini noodles
- Sesame oil
- Stir fry veggies, sautéed or roasted
- Green onions, chopped
- Roasted, salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Prepare noodles according to package directions. Toss in sesame oil when cooked and drained.
Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until warmed.
Toss the peanut sauce and noodles together until the noodles are coated in the sauce. Top with veggies (if desired), and then sprinkle the green onions and peanuts on top.
Quick Peanut Butter Quinoa Energy Bites
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
- Optional: chopped blueberries, chopped pecans, granola, mini chocolate chips
Combine quinoa, peanut butter, sweetener, coconut, and any additional fruit, nuts, etc., that you’d like to add. *Note: don’t add too many mix-ins, or the bites won’t stick together. I suggest adding a small handful at a time until the consistency is right.
Roll into small balls and refrigerate for about half an hour. I have a tiny cookie scoop that works perfectly to spoon the bites into mini muffin tins, as pictured. This is by far the fastest and cleanest way, and the same result can be accomplished using two teaspoons.
Stash them in baggie to take with you on the go, or just grab a few for breakfast on the way out the door!
Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich
*I know what you’re thinking. Trust me, I thought the same. My coworker insisted it was a delicious combination… and I won’t lie to you guys, it was actually really good. For the less adventurous, swap out the pickles for bananas, or go classic with jelly.
- 2 slices of your bread of choice
- 2-3 long pickle slices
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
Make the sandwich. Eat it.
Peanut Butter Graham Cracker
Juli is known around Running Warehouse for her vast knowledge of running product, from shoes to hydration to nutrition to… well just about anything running related. With a background in food science (Read: Bachelor’s degree and an addiction to scholarly journal articles on exercise nutrition), she’s also a trail lover that fiends for long runs in beautiful places.