Show of hands: Who here has eaten peanut butter straight from the jar?
We get it: Sometimes it’s late and you’re tired and sticking a spoon straight into the tub is pretty much the most satisfying thing on the planet. But you know what else is satisfying? Peanut butter teamed with pretzels, powdered sugar and chocolate, for one.
That’s just one of the recipes Food Network and Cooking Channel chef Kelsey Nixon created to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day on March 1st. Nixon, the author of Kitchen Confidence and host of Kelsey’s Essentials, shows off the spread’s versatility with 5 easy, addictive snacks.
Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip
“For an easy — and healthy! — dip to serve alongside fresh fruit, you can’t beat the combo of Greek yogurt, peanut butter and honey,” Nixon says. Why? It’s extra creamy without being too sweet. To make it, mix ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter and 1 tbsp. honey. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Mini Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes
“Kids go crazy for these bite-sized pancakes, yet every time I make them for my son, I end up eating more than him!” Nixon says. Mix 1 ripe banana, 1 tbsp. peanut butter and 1 large egg until fully combined. Pour 2-3 tbsp. batter onto a hot griddle or non-stick pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side. Top mini pancakes with fresh banana slices and serve as a snack or as a healthy option for breakfast.
Savory Peanut Sauce
This is terrific as a dipping sauce for satay or as dressing for a crisp Asian salad or slaw. It’s also great tossed with cold spaghetti noodles, especially when topped with cilantro and chopped peanuts, Nixon says. Whisk together ½ cup creamy peanut butter, ½ cup water, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, juice from 2 limes, and 1 tbsp. sugar. You can adjust the consistency by using more or less water.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls
“If you need to curb a sweet and salty dessert craving, look no further!” Nixon says. This bite-size, no-bake dessert “comes together in no time.” In a food processor, combine 1 cup pretzels, ½ cup creamy peanut butter, ¼ cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp. softened butter. Form mixture into 1-inch balls and freeze for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, melt 6 oz. of milk chocolate. Dip chilled peanut butter balls in chocolate and transfer to the refrigerator to chill until set.
Peanut Butter Dessert Cream
This fluffy cream goes with “just about any dessert,” Nixon says. “It’s like a peanut butter whipped cream that can be used to top everything from ice cream to cake or brownies – and I dare you to not lick the bowl clean!” To make, combine ¼ cup heavy cream, ¼ cup creamy peanut butter, ¼ cup powdered sugar, and ¼ tsp. vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and beat for 1-2 minutes using an electric mixer.