Whether you head to the cottage, a campsite, or a friend’s backyard, Summer long weekends are the time to unwind without the stress of a full-blown intricately-planned vacation. For me, these mini holidays truly epitomize the ideals of balance –for just a few days at a time, there’s less technology, social media, blogging, emails, and treadmills, and more quality time, home-cooking, leisurely walks, sitting around and late mornings. That extra day feels like just enough of an indulgence that I don’t need to feel an ounce of guilt, and the same philosophy applies with my long weekend eating habits.
I find that when in the city on a regular busy work-week, a lot of us tend to eat our kale salads throughout the week, and then spend our weekends overdoing it on greasy bar food and drinks. In contrast, during those long lazy weekends, it’s all about taking pleasure in the state of happy moderation. I say that a healthy light supper meal of grilled salmon and salad is well suited to be followed by a sweet treat for dessert, and a late night snack by the fire. When I get to do the cooking, I can make sure that even my indulgences are packed with nutrient-dense ingredients, like my go to- peanuts.
Who doesn’t adore the goodness of peanuts and peanut butter? So many of us were reared on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, were rewarded with peanut butter and chocolate, and were taught to carry an ounce of peanuts in our purses (or murses for my male readers- you should keep peanuts on hand, too!)
We all know peanuts and peanut butter are crazy addictive, which is probably why we forget that they can be super nutritious for us too. But peanuts are a natural source of heart-healthy plant sterols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also pack the trifecta of hunger-busting goods with their fibre, protein, and good for you monounsaturated fats. Seriously, you pop in a handful of peanuts at that 3 PM dip, and it will be smooth sailing all the way to dinner. And the good food news doesn’t even stop there- from bone-building magnesium to energy-providing B vitamins, to antioxidants like vitamin E and more – there are plenty of reasons to add peanuts to your long-weekend shopping list.
And while an ounce (about 28 nuts) of dry roasted unsalted peanuts makes for a no-refrigeration-needed snack, I figure I’d share three other fun ways I’ll be enjoying these nutty gems this weekend.
First up is that salad I was talking about- a super speedy Campire Couscous side that’s perfect to accompany grilled steaks, chicken breasts or pork loin. The addition of peanuts here add a delicious crunch to contrast the supple grains and chewy dried fruit.
Dessert will be Peanut Butter Cup S’mores because there’s always room to improve everyone’s favourite Summer sweet with creamy dreamy peanut butter and mini PB cups. This is not every-day food which makes it an even better special treat!
Finally, I plan to curl up by the fire with this Spicy Peanut Popcorn – a whole grain snack that has the perfect balance of savoury, sweet and heat, and a satisfying crunch from the peanuts.
Check out the recipes below from the Peanut Bureau of Canada and let me know what your favourite long-weekend meals and snacks are! You can find more great recipes like these ones online so definitely check it out!
Peanut Butter Cup S'mores
- 1/4 cup peanut butter 60 mL
- 8 graham cracker wafers
- 12 cups mini peanut butter
- 4 marshmallows
- Spread peanut butter over graham cracker wafers. Place 3 peanut butter cups on top of the peanut butter of 4 of the crackers.
- Toast marshmallows over fire to desired golden brown colour. Place 1 toasted marshmallow on each cracker with the peanut butter cups. Top with second graham cracker wafers. Squish together to form s’mores.
Disclaimer: This post was developed as part of an Ambassador program with Peanut Bureau of Canada, however, as always, all opinions are genuine.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.