Today is a day to celebrate, for today I bow to the humble nectar of a wonderful legume: the peanut.
January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day, and I rarely travel without a small container of creamy satisfaction when I’m training. It is my daily protein go-to while rebuilding my training plan, particularly for an Ironman. For a while, I had eschewed peanut butter on the paleo model, for the peanut is considered more of a bean than a nut. But I caved. It’s difficult to avoid something so simply wonderful, and almond butter just doesn’t do an apple justice.
However, I hadn’t realized that it was NPBD until after I had already started to prepare the sweet and sour chicken dish that resulted in a cornstarch nightmare across my counters. Had I known, I would’ve made the peanut butter chicken recipe that’s sitting atop my bookmarks, waiting its turn as I continue my streak of a new dish every night.
(While I lingered with the flu for 10 days, I came up with a new stretch that didn’t feature working out—make a new dish every night for a month, courtesy of Food Network magazine.)
But anyway, I decided to observe this holiday by having a tablespoon of natural wonder, accompanied with two Hershey miniatures. Divine.
Out of curiosity, I searched for some interesting tidbits on the most loyal of foods and was duly impressed. The National Peanut Butter Board (How does one secure a position with this organization?) provided a most impressive list:
· It takes about 540 peanuts to make one 12-ounce jar. (Sounds rather believable.)
· There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches. (Sounds rather impressive.)
· The average kid eats 1,500 PB&J sandwiches before graduating from high school. (Sounds like a boring diet and perhaps why so many kids are obese.)
· The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year. (Sounds like I’m below average.)
· Women and children prefer creamy, while most men opt for chunky. (Sounds like I’m objective because I relish both.)
And my favorite statistic of all: Peanuts contribute more than $4 billion to the US economy each year. (Sounds like we need to find a cure for peanut allergies. Imagine how we can help stimulate the economy.)