Do ‘nut’ miss this peanut butter recipe to boost your eye health!

09 September 2021

Author: Kate Green

peanut butter eye health

Celebrating our eye health!

 

Here at Optimax we love a ‘National Day of...’ as it gives us the perfect excuse to indulge in whatever food or activity is being celebrated on any given day. Monday 13th September is National Peanut Day, so we thought we’d mark the occasion by looking into the effects of peanuts on our eye health, and then sharing a recipe for arguably the best thing to come from peanuts – peanut butter!

 

If you’ve ever wanted to use improving your eye health as a way to validate eating delicious food, then this is the blog post for you.

 

How do peanuts benefit your eye health?

 

Vitamin E is a nutrient which is particularly good for our eyes and, luckily for any nut-lovers out there, peanuts contain lots of it! Studies over the years have shown that consuming enough vitamin E can help slow the progress of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as delaying the onset of cataracts. AMD affects your central vision, often appearing as a black hole in the middle of your visual field. While your peripheral vision remains unaffected, suffering with AMD means that everyday tasks such as reading or checking your watch become nearly impossible.

 

Cataracts occur when the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy due to proteins in the eye clumping together. This cloudiness results in dimmed colour vision and a foggy haze over your visual field, worsening with age. Cataracts can only be treated with cataract surgery, but consuming foods rich in vitamin E helps to protect against age-related damage to your vision.

 

Legumes (which, technically, is what peanuts are) also contain zinc. Increased levels of zinc are proven to reduce night blindness and further slow the progression of AMD. In fact, taking 40-80 milligrams per day of zinc could slow AMD progression by 25%. What better excuse is there to make your own peanut butter now?

 

Recipe for vision-boosting peanut butter

 

Now, let’s get onto the interesting part! Here’s what you’ll need for this super quick recipe...

 

Equipment:

  • Food processor or blender
  • Baking tray
  • Spatula
  • Jar or tupperware to store

Ingredients:

  • 400g shelled peanuts
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey (optional – ideal if you prefer sweet peanut butter)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of peanut oil (or another oil of your choice)
  • Salt to taste

 

  1. Place your peanuts onto the baking tray and roast them in the oven for 10 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius. When you take them out, they should be golden brown in colour and shiny with the oil they have released.
  2. While the peanuts are still warm, put them in the food processor or blender on a chopping If you want crunchy peanut butter, remove some of the nuts at this stage which you can add in later. If you prefer smooth peanut butter, keep blending!
  3. Blend for 4-5 minutes, regularly scraping down any excess from the side of the bowl with the spatula. When it looks smooth, add in your honey, salt and oil (entirely optional, but oil gives the peanut butter a creamier texture).
  4. Blend again for a final 30-60 seconds. At this stage, you can add any roasted peanuts you kept aside at the beginning to give your peanut butter a crunchy texture. Combine them with the rest of the mixture using a spatula.
  5. Scrape the contents of the bowl into your jar or tupperware, and your peanut butter is ready to eat!

 

We love peanut butter spread onto toast or rice cakes but the beauty of it is that it’s so versatile! We hope you enjoy your peanut butter and celebrate National Peanut Day in style on 13th September, safe in the knowledge that you’ve made something delicious which could also benefit your eye health.

 

Recipe inspired by and adapted from BBC Good Food, Pinch of Yum, The Kitchn, and our own Optimax team member knowledge.


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