Many, many years ago we were part of a small group of friends that had monthly gatherings. There were four couples. One Sunday a month, we had dinner at someone’s house. One of the wives was very much into preparing dishes that were way, way outside the box. Things like pork kabobs with peanut butter. Not a peanut sauce, but actually brushed with creamy peanut butter. Not my thing.
Now I bring this up because today is National Nut Day. Yeah, my first reaction to National Nut Day is that I come from one crazy family. I’m sure most of us think our relatives are a little nuts. Mine are. As in under a doctor’s care, often medicated. So naturally, that was the first place my mind wandered. But no, it’s not the nutty people in our lives we should be celebrating today. It’s the importance of nuts.
Nuts are a highly prized food and energy source and are a primary source of nutrients for both humans and wildlife. Many of them are used in cooking, eaten raw, sprouted, or roasted as a snack food and pressed for oil that is used in cookery and cosmetics.
The fats found in nuts, for the most part, are unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated fats. Several studies have shown that those who consume nuts regularly are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease (CHD). It was in 1993 that nuts were first linked to protection against CHD. Since that time, many clinical trials have found that consumption of various nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, can lower serum LDL cholesterol concentrations.
One study has shown that people who ate nuts lived two to three years longer than those who did not. Those who were consuming nuts may have been eating less junk food leading to a longer lifespan. Let’s be honest – less junk food just naturally leads to a longer, often heathier life. I have a sister who subscribes to the notion that food is not meant for pleasure – it is fuel for the body, serving a purpose that need not be enjoyed. I am of the school that most things are fine in moderation. One cannot live on cookies alone, but an occasional cookie probably won’t kill you. That said, let’s celebrate National Nut Day with a batch of yummy Peanut Butter Cookies. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Cookies
1/2 cup Brown Sugar packed
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Butter room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
Sugar for pressing
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream brown sugar, sugar, peanut butter and butter together. Beat in egg and vanilla; continue to mix until fully incorporated. Set aside.
In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Whisk to blend.
Add dry ingredients to creamed butter in 3 batches, mixing well after each addition.
Scoop into balls using a cookie scooper. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.
Dip a fork in sugar, press Crisscross over each ball to slightly flatten cookie.
Bake cookies in the heated oven for about 9 minutes or until light golden brown.
Let cookies rest for 2 minutes on the baking pan, then transfer to a wire rack to fully cool.