Dan here today. Peanut butter and I have had a long and tumultuous history. It all began early in grade school when I started packing my own lunches. In addition to my can of pineapple tidbits and my Jello pudding cup (or Dunkaroos if my mom had bought them for us recently), I had to come up with a sandwich. This proved a bit problematic. I needed something that didn’t have to be refrigerated, which pretty much left peanut butter and jelly as the only option. However, I was a bit of a picky eater, and I was horrified by the concept of jelly. I’m not sure why, exactly, but having to eat jelly seemed like a fate worse than death. This reduced peanut butter and jelly to a straight peanut butter sandwich, which meant that the sandwich would be a little dry and gummy.
This leads me to my crucial mistake. For reasons only my eight-year-old self knows, instead of selecting a soft, chewy bread like white or whole wheat to counteract the dryness of the peanut butter, I decided that the best kind of bread to use was rye bread, which has to be one of the driest, stiffest breads around. And, since I’m a creature of habit, I continued to eat the same sandwich, day after day, all the way through eighth grade, even though by the end I had to lubricate my throat with the pudding just to choke it down. By the time I went to high school and finally stopped making the sandwich, I had developed a strong gag reflex to peanut butter.
Fast forward to today. My peanut butter gag reflex is still pretty strong. Even with the right kind of bread, I can only eat a little bit before it starts to kick in. Unfortunately, peanut butter would be a great breakfast food for me because it’s convenient, has a lot of calories, and is a good source of fat and protein. That’s where Beth came in. She found a recipe for chocolate almond butter here and made a batch during one of her baking weekends. When I tried it, I discovered that chocolate can conquer anything, even a strong gag reflex. It was delicious, and I was able to eat a fair amount without triggering any unpleasant reactions. I highly recommend it to anyone else who, like me, has peanut butter issues. One note of caution: it has to be refrigerated and tends to solidify, so make sure to microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds before eating or spreading it will be quite difficult.
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