“Hello. My name is Sharon, and I am addicted to peanut butter.” Yes, it is true. I cannot hide behind the empty peanut butter jar any longer. It is one of my strongest weaknesses. Some people love their steak, some love their potatoes, and I love my peanut butter. If I had to choose what to take with me on a deserted island, I would choose peanut butter. Ok, I’m sorry, I would choose to take my husband. If he found out I’d choose peanut butter over him, he might never forgive me. That, or he’d never let me buy another jar of peanut butter ever again, and that is one risk I am just not willing to take.

I have loved peanut butter for as long as I can remember. My babysitter fed it to me as often as possible when I was a child. I had been born prematurely, so I think she felt obliged to my parents to try and get me to grow and fatten up a little. She alternated lunches of peanut butter and butter sandwiches with macaraoni and cheese, buttered noodles, and hot dogs. Not the healthiest fare; especially when you think of the number of fat grams in a peanut butter AND butter sandwich! I have never been overweight in my life though, so I guess all my running around outdoors as a child burned off all those tasty calories. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to start choosing peanut butter sandwiches over any other meal when asked what I wanted for lunch.

My mom made my lunches when I went to grade school. She tried to sneak in an occasional turkey sandwich, but I think she gave up on that pretty quickly when I told her I was trading them for peanut butter and jelly with my friends at lunchtime. I would do whatever it took to get my hands on one of those sweet, creamy sandwiches. One time, I even traded Halloween candy for a friend’s sandwich. What can I say? I was desperate and in need of a fix!

As a professional adult, I have diversified my palate, but I still need my regular peanut butter injections to keep me happy. Today, I savored a more sophistocated version of my childhood sandwich; peanut butter and honey. On the side, I did what any responsible adult would do, ate a salad to make me feel less guilty for eating such a sweet treat for lunch. If it’s not on a sandwich, I find other ways to sneak in some peanut butter each day. An occasional peanut butter english muffin with breakfast. Some peanut butter smeared on my apple for a healthy snack. My personal favorite is just an open-the-lid-and-dip-a-finger-in-the-jar for a quick taste. I can get away with this any day, since my husband despises peanut butter. He says, he ate so much pb&j growing up as a child, that he is totally turned off from the sight or smell of it. “Good!” I tell him. “More for me!”

Today’s simplest pleasures with peanut butter:

*peanut butter and jelly (or banana, or raisin, or honey) sandwiches

*peanut butter ice cream or fro-yo

*peanut butter cookies or no bake cookies

*peanut butter on apples (or carrots-thanks em!, or celery, or bananas)

*peanut butter mixed into smoothies

*peanut butter smeared on wraps, english muffins, hamburger buns, or bagels

*peanut butter fudge

*peanut butter and chocolate brownies

*peanut butter mixed into oatmeal

*peanut butter as a dip for crackers, pretzels, or crunchy breadsticks

Feel free to share your guiltiest pleasures with peanut butter, or recipes under the comments section!