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(Family Features) When it comes to getting energy from the food you eat, it's no secret that protein packs a powerful punch. However, research shows certain plant-based proteins, like peanuts, may carry additional benefits.
According to a Harvard School of Public Health study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, substituting plant-based proteins like peanuts for animal proteins and low-quality carbohydrates can result in lowering diabetes risk by 7-21 percent. Because peanuts are known as a low glycemic index food due to their slow digestion that causes sugar to gradually be released into the bloodstream, they can have positive effects on blood sugar control.
Find more nutritional information and ways to include peanuts in your diet at gapeanuts.com.
Chicken Pad Thai
1 pound chicken breastfreshly ground pepper, to taste1 tablespoon olive oil1 tablespoon honey2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce1 tablespoon peanut butter1/4 cup water1 medium zucchini, spiralized (about 1 cup)2 medium carrots, spiralized (about 1 cup)1 cup cooked pad thai stir-fry noodles1 cup bean sprouts1 cup thinly sliced cabbage1 lime, quartered1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, crushed2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Season chicken with pepper, to taste. In large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and cook chicken until fully cooked and juices are clear. Remove chicken from pan and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.To make sauce: In small bowl, whisk together honey, chili garlic sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter and water.Add zucchini, carrots, rice noodles and chicken to pan; pour sauce over and toss to coat. Toss in bean sprouts and cabbage. Serve with lime wedge, crushed peanuts and cilantro.
Nutritional information per serving: 295 calories, 12 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 792 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 27 g protein, 109% vitamin A, 46% vitamin C, 7% calcium, 10% iron.
Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
1/4 cup powdered peanut butter3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats2 teaspoons ground chia seeds1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/2 cup small banana, sliced1 tablespoon peanuts, chopped1 tablespoon peanut butter
In medium bowl, stir together powdered peanut butter, oats, chia seeds, coconut milk and vanilla extract.Divide evenly into mason jars or storage containers and refrigerate overnight.Before serving, add banana slices, chopped peanuts and peanut butter to each.
Nutritional information per serving: 280 calories, 12 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 135 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrates, 7 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar, 10 g protein, 8% vitamin A, 4% vitamin C, 35% calcium, 13% iron.
Baked Salmon with Peanut Butter Glaze
1 pound salmon1 teaspoon olive oilfreshly ground pepper, to taste1/4 cup peanut butter2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce1/4 cup 100 percent orange juice
Heat oven to 400° F and line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place salmon on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper, to taste. Bake salmon 15-20 minutes until cooked through.In small saucepot over medium-low heat, whisk together peanut butter, chili garlic sauce and orange juice, and cook until warm.To serve, pour peanut butter glaze over salmon.
Nutritional information per serving: 334 calories, 23 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 27 g protein, 8% vitamin C, 4% calcium, 3% iron.
Vegetarian Nourish Bowl
1 cup large, diced butternut squash16 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved1 medium red onion, large diced1/2 can (8 ounces) reduced-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained1 head garlic (about 10 cloves), peeled1 tablespoon olive oilfreshly ground pepper, to taste1 lemon, juiced2 tablespoons water1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce1/4 cup peanut butter1 cup cooked quinoa1 tablespoon finely chopped peanuts
Heat oven to 400° F and line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On prepared baking sheet, arrange butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, onion, garbanzo beans and garlic; toss vegetables in olive oil and season with pepper, to taste.Roast 30-40 minutes until slightly golden in color. Halfway through baking, shake vegetables or turn over to ensure even browning.To make dressing: Mix together lemon juice, water, Sriracha sauce and peanut butter.To serve, top quinoa with roasted veggies, crushed peanuts and drizzle of lemon-peanut butter sauce.
Nutritional information per serving: 323 calories, 14 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 308 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 13 g protein, 92% vitamin A, 197% vitamin C, 11% calcium, 28% iron.