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Pantry All-Stars: Peanut Butter

Teach your Little Sous that PB&Js are just the beginning.

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In our series, “Pantry All-Stars,” we put the spotlight on one of the ingredients we always have on hand for quick, kid-friendly meals. Next up: peanut butter!

Peanut butter is a real power player in the kitchen. It can be worked into both sweet and savory recipes, and, as a bonus, it’s relatively inexpensive. With 8 grams of protein for every 2-tablespoon serving, it’s also incredibly satisfying.

But there’s a whole world out there beyond PB&Js (even with our upgrades). We’ve picked our favorite peanut butter recipes to give you and your Little Sous new ways to love an old favorite.

Smoothies are a great place to start. Try bananas and oats, Greek yogurt and strawberries, and (of course) chocolate. To save time in the morning, your child can measure any non-frozen ingredients into a blender the night before and store the whole thing in the fridge. For breakfast, simply add the cold stuff and blend. Plan-ahead peanut butter overnight oats are another kid favorite, and they’re fun to make together at bedtime. (Say goodbye to morning stress!)

Most kids love dip, and peanut sauce is a nice change from ranch or ketchup. Try it with rice paper rolls or chicken satay, or even mix it together with soba noodles.

Looking for a sugar fix? Keep it easy with 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies. If you’ve got one cup of peanut butter, one cup of sugar, and an egg, you and your kitchen helper can have a tray full of peanut butter cookies in the oven in no time. Kids can stir the dough together (no mixer necessary), get their hands messy pinching and rolling the dough into balls, flatten them with their palms, and make those classic PB-cookie indentations with a fork. For more rolling fun that lets the kids take charge, try some no-bake peanut butter power balls as a grab-and-go substitution for commercial granola bars.

Spice things up with a West African peanut soup that combines peanut butter with ginger, garlic, chicken, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and hearty greens. Kids can smash the tomatoes with their hands, tear kale or collards into bite-sized pieces, and measure and add spices to the pot.

If anyone in your household is avoiding peanuts, the peanut butter in all of these recipes can be swapped for sunflower seed butter, though for savory recipes, we recommend a version without added sugar.

Did you know? Little Sous offers a monthly themed kids cooking box that will help your family connect in the kitchen. Check out our subscription options!