Wednesday, January 30, 2013

PB2 Review & Coffee

By way of a mini update...I've been doing well, though the recent bitterly cold, grey, weather has really acted as a demotivator on leaving my house and getting to the gym. Today we are enjoying 50+F weather, but it's still yucky and grey and blah outside. Since it's warm, though, I'm going to put on some bright colored clothing, find some fun fast music on my ipod, and head out for a walk in about 10 minutes.

I've been pushing myself to stay on track with the water intake, vitamins, and protein and have been doing decently, though there is room for improvement. To that end, I've been drinking the Nectar Of The Gods: Coffee. Yes, yes, coffee has no nutrition. But I'm drinking decaf, so I can count it as a glass of "water" for the day and I've been turning it into Protein Coffee. What is protein coffee, you say? I'm glad you asked! It's a beverage phenomenon that I had not heard of prior to bariatric surgery and my stalking of various weight loss surgery message boards.

In essence, it's coffee with Things Added to it to make it high in protein. Things like protein mix. Some folks have all-out recipes for it and make a sort of warm coffee smoothie with stuff like sugar free flavor syrups, milk, protein powder, cocoa powder, etc. I haven't yet ventured into such high tech territory, but I have been adding a scoop of vanilla protein powder to my coffee with a dash of FF nondairy creamer in the mornings. It tastes a little like a vanilla latte and has been helping me get in my protein each day, since I suck at mornings and my appetite is basically nonexistent since surgery. I've been meaning to buy a tub of chocolate protein powder and I'm looking forward to a mocha in the mornings. I'll let you know how it tastes. ;-)

On to the review!

PB2 is another one of those things I had never heard of prior to the WLS message boards. It's essentially the byproduct of making peanut in, it's the flattened (pressed) remains of roasted peanuts after they squash them to extract the oil. Then they grind it up to a fine flour consistency, add a little sugar and salt for enhanced flavor, and sell it by the pound. It's roughly 85% fat free and around 45 calories per 2 T. serving. In other words: Much better for me than regular peanut butter. I bought some a week or so ago and my first foray into using it resulted in the Nutter Butter Smoothie.

Yesterday afternoon I had a mood for a peanut butter type snack and decided to test out the PB2 according to package directions. I put 2 T. in a small bowl and added a little water. The package says to add 1.5 T. water, but I didn't measure. I just added a little and then mixed, then added a little, then mixed...until it formed a peanut butter-like paste, which I spread on apple slices.

The Verdict: It needs fat. (kidding...sorta) It tastes peanutty, but it's a bit sweeter than regular peanut butter (I only ever buy the natural peanut butter, though, so it may be similar in flavor to something like Skippy, that has added sugar) and has a slightly...floury...taste. I'd say it tasted a little chalky, but the flavor wasn't quite so pronounced and the word "chalky" has a definite pejorative connotation that doesn't really fit. The peanut flavor is less prominent than in regular peanut butter, but I expect that's due to the absence of fat. The consistency was similar to a smooth homogenized peanut butter, but a bit less sticky and it worked well for scooping up with apple slices.

I don't know that I'll be using it as a spread very often (though it's better than no peanut butter when the craving strikes), but considering that real peanut butter is just too high in fat and calories to justify eating on regular basis, I can see PB2 sticking around in my kitchen. I wonder how it would be for a peanut dipping sauce for some baked tofu nuggets? Something along the lines of a Thai peanut sauce....hhm.... wanders off to contemplate the possibilities

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