Ahhh, peanut butter. Peanut butter is truly, truly something special. Let me be your personal guide and point you down the right road of peanut-buttery goodness. Depending on whether you are a Skippy or Jif kind of person (because most likely you are either one or the other), you have to know the basics of peanut butter. While these brands advertise their regular peanut butter to be healthy, you will notice that they each have 8 grams of protein and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. If you’re a trying to make the healthier choice, choose the natural peanut butter offered by these brands. Some advice? Stay away from hydrogenated oils like they are the plague.

So, what do you do? I, myself, am a Jif kind of guy, and Jif has made a natural peanut butter that is very healthy and damn near the nectar of the gods. This specific peanut butter is made from 90% peanuts, sweetened with sugar and molasses (less than 2%) and contains palm oil, which acts as a natural and healthy preservative. Okay, okay enough with the boring crap, lets get into the good stuff! Here are my top 5 healthy peanut butter combo’s that will change your life.

1. Apples + Peanut Butter

Okay, yes this is a major flashback to 3rd grade. Yet I am nearly 21 years old and eat apples and peanut butter almost every day. It is an awesome and incredibly delicious way to get protein, carbs, healthy fats and natural sugars into your body.

Pre-Workout Foods

Photo by Tiare Brown

2. PB + Whole Wheat Tortilla + Granola 

This gem of a snack is awesome to take on the go. It is an easy morning breakfast that ensures you get the carbs, fats and protein essential to start your day. Fold it up like a soft shell taco and, boom, you’re good to go. I love this snack because of how versatile it is. You can replace granola with some fruit or anything that your heart desires.

Peanut Butter

Photo by James Tedesco

3. Frozen Banana + Peanut Butter

If you are looking for a healthy, refreshing and delicious snack, this is it. Have one of these bad boys on a summer day and you’ll be set. Cut the banana down the center to make a sandwich or in slices to make bites. Add dark chocolate chips to enhance the awesomeness. I love this snack because it is easy, super quick and a healthier substitute for that Ben and Jerry’s “Half Baked” ice cream that is just sitting in your freezer. You can find other peanut butter and banana recipes here!

Peanut Butter

Photo courtesy of 36thave.com

4. Cashew-Peanut Butter Smoothie

Okay, when I found this recipe on the internet, I knew I wanted it…bad. Having just tried this excellent smoothie, I knew I absolutely had to share it with the world. Seeing that this smoothie is calorically dense, I would recommend having this after a long hike or before an extended period where you know you will not eat for a while. It is super filling and full of healthy fats and carbs you burn throughout the course of your day.

Peanut Butter

Photo courtesy of Lushious Eats

5. PaleoPorn.net’s Granola Bar

This morsel of everything good in the world is the perfect snack for anytime of the day. Now, peanut butter is not the main ingredient, but it plays a key part in this bar. Like the smoothie above, this bar is calorically dense and perfect for any adventurous situation. I cannot say enough about this granola bar. It is extremely healthy, rich and delicious. Although it is somewhat of a process to make, I guarantee you that it will be worth every second of your labor.

Peanut Butter

Photo by James Tedesco

Whatever your peanut buttery needs may be, remember to make sure to use natural peanut butter. Trust me, your body and your wallets will thank me later. Stay healthy my friends!