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New Year, New Ways to Help the Environment PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 20:50

A New Year means fresh, new opportunities to make the world around you a better place. This year, make a natural difference in your own homes and communities by taking small, simple steps that can have a positive impact on the watersheds in and around our national parks.

Small Steps for a Big Impact From starting a recycling program within the office to setting up a community garden, there are many ways to bring about change to benefit the environment. Leading natural peanut butter brands - Smucker's(r), Laura Scudder's(r) and Adams(r) - are teaming up once again to support the national parks through a $100,000 donation to the National Parks Conservation Association's (NPCA) America's Great Waters Program.

From now until January 26, 2014, consumers can find a 25¢-off coupon on the shelves in their local stores towards the purchase of a jar of Smucker's, Laura Scudder's and Adams natural peanut butter. For every coupon redeemed by March 31, 2014, the brands will donate $1 to the NPCA. Protecting America's Treasures Through the America's Great Waters Program, the NPCA protects the nation's delicate water ecosystems that are critical to America's national parks.

From the Everglades to the Grand Canyon, water is central to the health of our national parks, driving regional economies, shaping land and sustaining daily life. Simple, Natural Recipes Make a Natural Difference in the New Year by choosing food and recipes made with purely delicious ingredients. Smucker's, Laura Scudder's and Adams Natural Peanut Butters are all made from simple ingredients - just peanuts and a dash of salt.

To find simple tips on how you can Make a Natural Difference in your own home and communities visit www.Facebook. com/SmuckersNatural- PeanutButter, www.Facebook. com/LauraScuddersPeanutButter, and

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Trail Bars

Yield: 12-18 bars
Prep time: 20 minutes

3/4 cup Smucker's Natural Creamy
Peanut Butter, stirred
1/4 cup honey
6 tablespoons water
1 cup chocolate whey protein
powdered drink mix
2 cups granola cereal with raisins
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

LINE 8-by-8-inch pan with foil, extending
foil up sides of pan.

PLACE peanut butter and honey in
microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on
HIGH 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave
an additional 30 seconds. Stir until
mixture is smooth.

WHISK water and powdered drink
mix until blended. Add to peanut
butter mixture. Stir until smooth. Stir

in granola and chocolate chips until

evenly moistened. Press evenly in
prepared pan. Chill 1 hour. Cut into
To press in pan, coat piece of wax
paper with no-stick cooking spray.
Place coated side down on bar
mixture. Flatten with hands. Remove
paper carefully.

Asian Style Lettuce Wraps with Chicken and Crunchy Pear

Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons grated gingerroot
6 scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
1 pound ground chicken, dark meat
1 tablespoon chili sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 large USA Pear, such as Red Anjou or Bosc, cored and
cut in matchsticks

Toasted sesame oil to taste
12 large tender lettuce leaves, such as bib, butter or
red leaf
Cilantro sprigs

In small bowl, mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water to form smooth paste and set aside. Warm peanut oil in skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic, ginger and white parts of scallion and stir-fry until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently until it breaks into small pieces and is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add chili sauce, hoisin, and soy sauce, stirring to combine and evenly distribute ingredients. Add reserved cornstarch slurry and stir until sauce is clear. Finish with reserved scallion greens, pear matchsticks, and a splash of sesame oil. To serve, place heaping tablespoon of filling in middle of lettuce leaf with few cilantro leaves, if desired. Wrap lettuce around contents, pick up with hands and eat.

History of Peanuts, Consumption, and Affordability

The peanut plant is generally thought to have originated in South America. Spread by European explorers, the plant eventually reached Asian, Africa, and North America. The current top three producers of peanuts are China, India, and the U.S.

The production of peanuts in the U.S. started to rise around the earlier 1900s. This can be credited to the growing popularity of peanut butter, peanut-based candies, and other peanut products, a need for more plant oils during World War I, and the research of Dr. George Washington Carver. Carver is considered by many to be the father of the peanut industry. He began his peanut research in 1903.

He suggested to farmers that they rotate their cotton plants and cultivate peanuts. While cotton depletes nitrogen from the soil, peanuts as legumes have the property of putting nitrogen back into the soil. For centuries through today, peanuts have been enjoyed in many culinary applications from Chinese to African to Western cooking. Used in stews, sauces, porridge, mixed dishes, boiled, or eaten out of hand; peanuts have continually nourished different populations providing an enjoyable flavor.

Millions of peanuts are grown and consumed around the world. According to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, China, India, the U.S., and parts of Africa grow the most peanuts. In the U.S., peanuts and peanut butter comprise over two-thirds of all nut consumption and they are considered an all-American favorite. Plus, peanuts and peanut butter are an affordable and readily available grocery option.

Peanut oil is also becoming a popular option in cooking because of its healthy fats and high cooking temperature (visit to see how it makes the best deepfried turkey!) There are also many non-food uses for peanuts using the shells, skins, and kernels. http://www.peanut-institute. org/peanut-facts/history-ofpeanuts. asp

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 17:44