Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Little Chat About Yogurt, Soup and PB2

Our local WalMart is such a tease. I got all excited when they started selling Oikos Greek yogurt a few months ago. I expected it to be there every week, in stock, just like all the other stuff our WalMart sells like frozen egg rolls and shelves of everything Jimmy Dean. But alas, when I went there Friday, it was gone. Nothing but pro-biotic somethingorother yogurts in its place. Damn you, foul temptress! It’s why when I spied Arnold’s Sandwich Thins the other day, I refused to get all hot and bothered because I know they’ll just be gone in a few weeks. I can’t stand the disappointment.

Anyway, when I purchased the second-string yogurt (Dannon fat-free plain, which isn’t as thick as Greek and has half the protein), I found what might turn out to be a yummy soup recipe. Who thinks to look for soup ideas on a yogurt lid? How serendipitous.

Since I had to type out the recipe (a foil yogurt lid isn’t the most sturdy recipe card), I thought I’d share it and see what you think. It might be the new recipe I try this week.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
12 servings

2 T canola oil (I’ll use 2 t of olive oil)
1 large sweet onion, sliced
2 t ground cumin
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 cups chicken broth (I’ll use vegetable)
1 ¾ C Dannon plain yogurt (I’ll use the fat-free and Greek, when I get my hands on some)
2 T chopped parsley or cilantro
¼ C toasted pumpkin seeds

Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add onions and cumin; sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes. Puree soup with 1½ C yogurt and parsley or cilantro. Serve each portion with a dollop of remaining yogurt and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

Nutrition facts (using fat-free yogurt): 120 calories; 4.5 grams fat (that’s with 2 T of oil); 6 grams protein; 15 grams carbs.

It might need some additions in the spice and garlic department, but I think this will be my new recipe for the week.

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Reader Nicole posted a comment in my last entry regarding the slaw recipe and PB2. She wants to know what PB2 tastes like and how it compares to regular peanut butter. I’ll try to describe it as best I can, but please feel free to add a comment regarding your own experience with PB2.

PB2 is powdered peanut butter made by Bell Plantation. It’s available in a few stores around the country, but mostly people order it through Bell’s website. The minimum order is four jars, so many people are hesitant to buy it in case they don’t like it. Fair enough. However, for people like me who adore (and I mean “can’t-have-it-in-the-house-or-I’ll-eat-it-all” kind of adore) peanut butter, PB2 is a godsend. Two tablespoons have around 50 calories and 3 grams of fat (1 WW Point).

You can make PB2 as thick or as creamy as you want since you add water (or jelly) to the powder yourself. You can also put PB2 in smoothies and other recipes that call for peanut butter.

If you’re looking for something that tastes exactly like Jif or Skippy, PB2 isn’t for you. You’ll have to be willing to alter your peanut butter tastes. Because PB2 is much lower in fat than regular peanut butter it has a much more raw peanut taste. Most people I’ve talked to say it only took them a few servings to train their peanut butter taste buds to the taste of PB2. I was in love from the first bite.

While I understand concerns about the cost (and would LOVE if my friends at PB2 would consider offering little sample packets to potential customers?? Just a thought.), if you’re a serious peanut butter addict like me, it’s worth the twenty-something dollars for a four-pack. I get the variety pack of three regular and one chocolate PB2 when I order.

Another way to get PB2 without the shipping might be to ask your local store to consider stocking it. Give the manager Bell’s website information and see what happens. The worst they could say is no, right?

So what are your thoughts on PB2?

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Note to January: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Sayonara, adios! I’m glad you’re gone. The days are a little longer, my mood is lifting…While I don’t like to wish time away, January, I’m very happy to flip your page up on my calendar.

24 comments:

  1. My jar of PB2 says, ingredients: peanuts, sugar, salt. In fact, 2T of PB2 has 94mg of sodium and 1g of sugar. Not a lot... but given the choice between the sodium/sugar in PB2 and the fats (healthy fats) in natural peanut butter with no salt/sugar, I usually go with the real thing. Even Jif has only 3g sugar.

    But PB2 has its place... I bought the 4 jars a long time ago, and I use it in smoothies or in oatmeal (yummy) when I don't have calories to spare on peanut butter. And I am going to make your slaw recipe today or tomorrow because I have PB2 and a half bag of broccoli slaw to use up :)

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  2. I use natural, no salt or sugar added peanut butter made by Meridian, which I buy in 1kg tubs. I have never even heard of PB2 until I read this post. For myself, I would Not use it because I think whole foods are better than processed ones, even if it's a supposedly 'natural' process.

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  3. I finally ordered some PB2 last week after reading your post, Lynn. What sold me was the calorie count - 53 per 2 Tbsp. vs. 190 per 2 Tbsp. of Jif (which is what I've always bought). I've been craving peanut butter for a while now, and did, in fact, have a serving of Jif on whole wheat bread, but I just don't want to *spend* that amount of calories on such a small serving. Here's hoping I'll like the PB2 - it should arrive here on Tuesday.

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  4. I use better that peanut butter? Sold at Tjoes. ITs interesting. Also re the yogurt I am all into Vit D the magic Vitamin--and taking a supplement but also eating foods high in calcium as that helps a great deal. All the calcium is sucked-drained out of the greek yougurt to make it so thick. So now I use the Dannon non fat and it does have the calcium in it plus protein. Just thought Id let you know about this food tip I received. Happy FEB! Whoo Hoo.

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  5. I'm lucky in that the stores near me carry several brands of Greek yogurt - Fage is my favorite. During my holiday travels, I practically had withdrawal symptoms . . . until I realized I could make my own. It's pretty easy - just set a colander in a larger bowl, line the colander with coffee filters, fill the colander with any plain yogurt, cover and set in the fridge overnight. In the morning, the bowl will be full of whey and the colander will be full of Greek yogurt!

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  6. I bought PB2 on your recommendation, and I like it very much. As a backpacker, I'm especially enthusiastic about lightweight foods and look forward to trying this food on upcoming trips. Peanut butter is a staple of backpacking cuisine; Bell Plantation should think seriously about marketing this product to backpackers.

    ~Shelley S.

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  7. Recipe looks awesome. I am going to have to try that. Just stumbled upon your blog and had to make a comment that it is awesome that you are blogging about maintenance! Something many of are still striving to reach. Congrats!

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  8. I wonder if I can get PB2 here in the UK.

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  9. Lynn, Wal-Mart did the same thing to me here in the Cincinnati are. Poop on them! However, I was there yesterday & noticed the Oikos logo on a different shape container. Yes, they tease us....and now try to confuse us. It looks just like all the other containers now (as far as shape goes). Above the Oikos label is a StoneyField Farms or Stoneybrook Farms or Stoneysomething Farms logo. They had vanilla & plain, but no honey (my fave).

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  10. Lynn, thanks for the recipe!!! Can't wait to try it. I don't know how much you get to DuBois but Martins carries Fage. It's in the end cooler by the organics. Also the poster that mentioned making your own greek yogurt...I think you have to find a plain yogurt without gelatin...Go Steelers!!!

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  11. Thanks for all your comments. Thanks, Ria, for the tip on how to make my own Greek yogurt! Beanie, I've been to Martin's several times! LOL It's a nice store, much nicer than what we have here in Podunkville. (And yes indeed, go Steelers! What a game!)

    Shelley, I hadn't thought about the backpacking advantages to PB2. Of course it would work well, being so lightweight. I know the PB2 people read my blog once in awhile, so maybe they'll see this :)

    Welcome, Lynn, to my blog! I also blog about maintenance over at Refuse to Regain (www.refusetoregaina.com).

    I'm sure they'd' ship PB2 to the UK, moonduster.

    Carla, I eat very limited refined foods, too, and appreciate your commitment to whole foods. I don't consider PB2 much more refined than "real" peanut butter since it's simply dried peanuts. I guess I look at it as there are worse things I could eat! LOL

    I also take a vitamin D supplement. I didn't know Greek yogurt sucked it out. But I'm so in love that I'll keep eating it once in awhile :) Thanks for the tip. I appreciate it!

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  12. Thank you for the info! Sounds like PB2 would be a nice addition to my panty, I'll be trying it out soon. Have a happy Monday!

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  13. DuBois isn't far from Podunkville ;) actually I would call it that, just a different type of Podunkville. LOL Next time you travel down the interstate don't forget to look for it. I think they may have the Oikos in the yogurt section too...

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  14. We get goat yogurt from the health food - Vitamin Cottage. Tween loves the vanilla goat yogurt even more than any flavored cow's yogurt. Never tried greek yogurt. Eating a strawberry goat yogurt as I type, actually.

    We buy Skippy Natural peanut butter, but was thinking about getting peanut butter powder for storing. How long does your PB2 store?

    Just started my diet (read: life change) last week and am already doing well. Please check out my blog at www.veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com - could use the support! Thanks. Vee

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  15. OKAY - think about living with KIDS and the PB2 - what would be the system? do you mix one serving at a time - or the whole thing and stir???

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  16. AND a while back I had several bloggers tell me that we were much better off using lowfat yogurt and cottage cheese (rather than non-fat) I don't remember the WHY exactly - but I did believe them and switched to low fat. We did stick with skim milk - but don't drink it plain - just use it for protein shakes and on cereal - thoughts????????

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  17. PB2 - it is so easy to cook with - no gloopy spoon to fight with (& who can refrain from licking the spoon)!

    Greek yogurt - yummy! I noticed our Walmart has done the same thing - sometimes Oikos is there, sometimes it's not. You can make regular yogurt thicker by straining out the whey (liquid). Put the yogurt in cheesecloth in a sieve and let sit covered til it reaches the favored consistency. I make my own yogurt from reduced fat organic milk so it doesn't have all the extras that come with packaged yogurt. If you drain it long enough, you get something like cream cheese. Yum!

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  18. I love PB2! I also love regular PB but the 140 calorie difference has me prefering the PB2. Like Lynn, I loved it the first time I tried it. I haven't tried the chocolate PB but I will next time.

    Vickie, in my home, we mix it as we use it since you make it as thick or as thin as you want it. No one likes it the same way in my home.

    Stacey

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  19. What I've noticed with Wal-Mart (aka Wally World) is that if you don't buy it right then and there, the next time you go, it generally is gone. Wal-Mart, when taking on a new product supplies just so many to each store in their target area.

    To everyone who is dieting, stay motivated. Motivation comes when you keep losing. Losing the weight gives anyone an incredible feeling of happiness and being proud.

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  20. Vickie, you have to make PB2 as you go along. If you make it in advance it gets dry. Also, as for the reduced-fat vs fat-free, I'm not sure why people would say to stick to reduced-fat. I think it's a matter of taste preference. I use RF for some things, FF for others. I hate cottage cheese and skim milk, so I'm not a good one to ask with that stuff. I use soy milk and almond breeze for milk and ff feta, rf swiss, things like that in the cheese department. Sorry I'm not much help!

    I'm going to try making yogurt cheese this weekend. The Volumetrics Diet book has some really good recipes that call for yogurt cheese (which is what a few of you recommended: strain yogurt overnight through cheesecloth).

    See ya'll tomorrow with a new blog!

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  21. Lynn, I make my own yogurt and strain it when I want Greek-style yogurt. It's really easy - heat 2 quarts of low-fat milk & 1 cup of dried non-fat milk to 180 degrees. Allow to cool to about 110-115 degrees. Mix with about 1/4 cup yogurt (after the first batch, save starter from your own yogurt). For the starter yogurt, you want plain, whole or low-fat. I use Stonyfield if I forget to save some. Once you've added the starter, keep at 110 degrees for about 4 hours.

    Ways to keep @ 110 degrees: Easiest - use a yogurt maker. Not so easy and time consuming - use a crock pot. You can probably only make 1 qt at a time as the mixture has to fit inside a bowl that will fit inside the crock part of the crock part. While the mixture is cooling, turn the crock pot on to low. Once the mixture has cooled and the starter has been added, pour into a heat safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place inside the crock put. Turn the crock pot off. Every hour, turn the crock pot on for about 15 minutes and then turn it off again. Do this until the yogurt sets - about 4 hours or so. I used this method until I broke down and bought a yogurt maker. I'm now spoiled and prefer my own yogurt to store-bought. And it's about 1/2 the cost!

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  22. Wow, call me ignorant, but I had no idea they made yogurt machines! I just looked them up on Amazon.com. Any recommendations, Maura?

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  23. I have the yogourmet kind. You'll be underwhelmed when you first get it - it's basically a plastic shell with a heating element and a tub for the yogurt. Add hot water to the shell, stick in the tub and forget about it for 4 hours. THAT part takes care of feeling underwhelmed.

    Here's the link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Yogourmet-104-Electric-Yogurt-Maker/dp/B000N25AGO/ref=pd_bbs_sr_5?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1233701549&sr=8-5

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  24. We don´t have PB2 here in Argentina. I´ve always been a peanut butter adict who could eat an entire tub at one sitting, but since I changed over to all-natural peanut butter which is nothing but raw peanuts made into a paste that has changed. I think it´s all the salt and sugar in peanut butter that made it so addictive to me. For months now, I´ve been eating a Tbsp (95kcals) of peanut butter with fruit as healthy, protein-rich afternoon snack and feeling no urge whatsoever to overindulge.

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