Peanut butter can add a variety of health benefits, flavors, and textures to smoothies. Some of the top reasons to add peanut butter to smoothies include:
Peanut butter is a good source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Just two tablespoons provides 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Peanut butter delivers vitamins E, B3, B6, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and more. The healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in peanut butter can help reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
Many smoothies are fruit-based and low in protein. Adding peanut butter to a smoothie boosts the protein content, making it more filling and nutritious. The protein can also help sustain energy levels for longer after drinking the smoothie.
Peanut butter contains mostly heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats. These types of fats can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease and stroke when consumed in moderation and as part of an overall healthy diet. The fats also help you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K from the smoothie.
Peanut butter contains 2 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoon serving. The fiber makes you feel fuller for longer, aids digestion, and helps feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. Getting more fiber can also reduce spikes in blood sugar levels.
Peanut butter has a creamy, nutty, irresistible flavor that enhances the taste of smoothies. It pairs perfectly with both sweet and savory smoothie ingredients. Just a spoonful of peanut butter can take a fruit smoothie from boring to gourmet.
The oil in peanut butter gives it a creamy, smooth texture. Adding a couple tablespoons to a smoothie imparts creaminess that improves the mouthfeel. Peanut butter allows you to create thick, rich smoothies without needing ice cream or other high-fat dairy products.
Peanut butter has an innate sweetness that comes from the peanut oils. Just a small amount can help sweeten up a smoothie naturally without needing to add sugar or other sweeteners. The sweetness balances out bitter greens or tart fruits.
Peanut butter blends extremely smoothly into both fruit and vegetable smoothies. Other nut butters like almond or cashew butter tend to stay a bit grainy or clumpy when blended. The ultra-smooth texture of peanut butter leads to thick, creamy smoothies with no unpleasant chunks.
Thinner, watery smoothies can be unappealing. Peanut butter thickens up the texture, making smoothies feel more substantial and satisfying. The richness of peanut butter helps give smoothies a milkshake-like consistency.
Peanut butter acts as a binder in smoothies with lots of add-ins. Things like nut pieces, oats, seeds, granola and chocolate can separate or sink to the bottom. Stirring in peanut butter helps bind everything together for smoothies that stay blended from the first sip to the last.
Peanut butter works well in both fruit- and vegetable-based smoothies. It pairs tastily with berries, bananas, apples, citrus fruits, kale, spinach, carrots, cocoa, vanilla and many other smoothie ingredients. There are endless combinations possible when you add peanut butter to smoothies.
How Much Peanut Butter Should You Add to Smoothies?
As a general guideline, aim for 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter per smoothie. This provides a good peanut butter flavor and nutritional benefits without overpowering the other ingredients. Start with 1 tablespoon, then increase to 2 if you want a stronger peanut butter presence. Here are some tips for getting the peanut butter ratio right:
- Use creamy or crunchy peanut butter. Avoid powdered peanut butter as it doesn’t blend as smoothly.
- Add the peanut butter first and blend to break it down before adding other ingredients.
- Consider the other strong flavors in your smoothie. Berries can handle more peanut butter than subtler fruits.
- Sweeten to taste after adding the peanut butter to account for its natural sweetness.
- Thicker, frozen smoothies can handle more peanut butter than thinner, freshly blended ones.
- For extra richness, try blending the peanut butter with the liquid base before adding other smoothie ingredients.
Choosing a Peanut Butter for Smoothies
You can use any peanut butter variety in smoothies, but some work better than others. Here are tips for selecting the right peanut butter:
- Avoid powdered peanut butter as it doesn’t blend smoothly. Opt for creamy, crunchy or natural peanut butter.
- Creamy peanut butter blends easiest, while crunchy provides some texture.
- Natural peanut butter works well but may require extra sweetening as it isn’t as sweet.
- Look for peanut butter with just peanuts and maybe salt in the ingredients. Avoid added sugars.
- Organic peanut butter retains more of the peanut’s nutrients but isn’t essential.
- Consider unsweetened nut butters like almond or cashew butter for variety.
Popular Peanut Butter Smoothie Recipes
Peanut butter pairs deliciously with many smoothie ingredients. Here are 10 popular peanut butter smoothie recipes to try:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
Blend banana, milk, chocolate sauce, peanut butter and ice.
Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie
Blend banana, yogurt, milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter and chocolate chips.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie
Blend strawberries, banana, yogurt, milk, peanut butter and jelly.
Thai Peanut Smoothie
Blend spinach, ginger, almond milk, peanut butter, lime juice and chili sauce.
Peanut Butter Apple Smoothie
Blend apple, yogurt, cinnamon, vanilla, peanut butter, banana and ice.
Peanut Butter Green Smoothie
Blend spinach, banana, peanut butter, almond milk, vanilla and ice.
Peanut Butter Oat Smoothie
Blend oats, yogurt, banana, cocoa powder, peanut butter and milk.
Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie
Blend mixed berries, yogurt, peanut butter, honey and ice.
Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie
Blend banana, peanut butter, protein powder, milk and ice.
Vegan Peanut Butter Smoothie
Blend tofu, peanut butter, soy/almond milk, banana and cocoa powder.
Health Benefits of Adding Peanut Butter to Smoothies
Drinking smoothies with peanut butter can provide many benefits beyond just great flavor. Here are some of the top health perks:
Peanut butter boosts the protein content in smoothies. Getting adequate protein promotes muscle growth and maintenance, satisfies hunger and aids metabolism.
The mono and polyunsaturated fats in peanut butter help reduce LDL cholesterol and risk of cardiovascular disease when consumed in moderation. They also boost absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
High in Fiber
Peanut butter contains soluble fiber that helps you feel fuller longer by slowing digestion. Fiber benefits digestion, heart health and blood sugar levels.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Peanut butter delivers hard-to-get nutrients like vitamin E, niacin, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and more. Adding it to smoothies helps meet your daily needs for these vitamins and minerals.
Peanuts contain high levels of polyphenol antioxidants. These compounds can help protect cells from oxidative damage that may lead to disease.
Aids Weight Management
The fiber, protein and healthy fats in peanut butter help promote satiety and a feeling of fullness. This can prevent overeating and support weight management goals.
Potential Downsides of Peanut Butter in Smoothies
While peanut butter has many benefits for smoothies, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:
High in Calories
Peanut butter packs nearly 100 calories per tablespoon, mostly from fat. Adding multiple tablespoons can lead to excess calorie intake.
Contains Added Sugars
Many commercial peanut butters have extra sugar added. The sugar adds calories and should be limited in the diet.
May Cause Allergic Reaction
Peanuts are among the most common food allergens. People with peanut allergies must avoid peanut butter containing smoothies.
Peanut butter contains sodium, ranging from around 50-200 mg per serving. People restricting sodium may want to limit intake.
Can Contain Trans Fats
Partially hydrogenated oils high in trans fats are sometimes used to keep peanut butter from separating. Trans fats should be limited as much as possible.
High in Omega-6 Fats
Peanut butter is high in inflammatory omega-6 fats compared to anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Balance intake with more omega-3 rich foods.
Is peanut butter good for you?
Peanut butter can be part of a healthy diet in moderation. It provides nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamin E, niacin, magnesium and more. The healthy fats also benefit heart health. Look for natural peanut butter without added sugar.
Is peanut butter OK on keto diet?
Peanut butter can fit into a keto diet in small amounts as it is low carb but relatively high in calories. Stick to 1-2 tablespoons per serving and account for the carbohydrates. Avoid peanut butters with added sugars.
Can peanut butter help you lose weight?
Peanut butter is high in protein and fiber, which can help boost satiety and manage hunger. This may support weight loss when paired with an overall healthy diet and active lifestyle. However, peanut butter is still high in calories, so portions must be controlled.
Can dogs eat peanut butter?
Yes, peanut butter is safe for dogs to eat as long as it doesn’t contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener toxic to dogs. Opt for plain, unsweetened peanut butter. Give dogs peanut butter in moderation and avoid chunks that may lead to choking.
Is powdered peanut butter good for smoothies?
Powdered peanut butter isn’t ideal in smoothies. It doesn’t blend as smoothly and doesn’t impart the same rich, creamy texture. Powdered peanut butter is best used for things like sprinkling over oatmeal or yogurt.
Peanut butter is a nutritious and delicious addition to smoothies. It provides protein, healthy fats, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Peanut butter boosts the nutrition of smoothies while adding a creamy, indulgent flavor and texture. Stick to 1-2 tablespoons per serving to keep calories in check. Experiment with different peanut butter smoothie recipes to find your favorites.