Many people loved getting pb&j sandwiches in their lunch box—even in dinner. That's when peanut butter turned into a guilt-ridden indulgence akin to candy bars, cookies, and cakes: diet disasters to be avoided at all costs. Here's why I was wrong:
It helps you lose weight
Calling peanut butter a diet food, with 180 to 210 calories per serving, may seem counter-intuitive. But it has the enviable combination of fiber (2 g per serving) and protein (8 g per serving) that fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer, so you eat less overall. Plus, there's nothing more indulgent than licking peanut butter off a spoon--and indulgence (in moderation) helps dieters fight cravings and stay on track.
It's got the good fat
Peanut butter is chock-full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. A recent study found that insulin-resistant adults who ate a diet high in monos had less belly fat than people who ate more carbohydrates or saturated fat. PS: If you're buying reduced-fat peanut butter because you think it's better for your waistline, save your money. The calories are the same (or even a little higher) thanks to the extra ingredients that are added to make up for the missing fat (including more sugar).
In a mixing bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, beat egg; blend in brown sugar. Combine flour, soda, and salt in a separate bowl; add to egg mixture a little at a time, alternating additions with the oil. Stir in vanilla and peanuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake peanut cookies at 375° for about 6 to 8 minutes.
Makes about 3 dozen peanut cookies.