Harness the Power of Peanut (or Not!) Sauce


My son and I have a rather intense relationship with peanut butter.

Because we (thankfully!) have no peanut allergies, we have embraced peanut butter in so many ways – both savory and sweet – that we tend to consume it at a rather alarming rate. Several jars a week is not unusual.

We eat it on graham crackers. We make peanut butter and banana sandwiches. We make peanut butter and banana and bacon sandwiches. We smear it on apples. We make peanut butter and jelly “quiche.” We make peanut marinades for grilled chicken. We bake cookies. We eat it straight up by the spoon.

But one of the most versatile ways we’ve found to enjoy peanut butter – spicy peanut sauce! – also happens to be lunch box-friendly. Even if your school is peanut-free.

Spicy peanut sauce not only is a delicious, rich and savory sauce that can be paired with so many foods, it also is easy to make, keeps well and is easily adapted to your preferences.

And don’t worry about the spicy part. While you certainly can crank up the heat, my version is more zippy and tangy than hot.

As for the peanut part? I’ve found that a totally delicious version can be made using peanut alternatives, particularly sunflower seed butter.


Kid-Friendly Spicy Peanut (Or Not!) Sauce

Start to finish: 5 minutes


1/2 cup peanut butter or sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


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