I did it. I gave in. I caved. I bought a jar of Skippy, the epitome of heavily processed, trans fatty goo and my least favorite brand of peanut butter. The only saving grace was that I didn’t buy the original variety, which I think tastes over-processed, pasty and awful. [As a side note, I recently saw a food network tidbit about an independent company that rates commercially available foods and awards the winning company a gold label which they can proudly display on their product. Somehow, Skippy managed to win best tasting peanut butter, which leads me to believe that the test is rigged.]
The other day I was discussing peanut butter flavors in the comments section of Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and was reminded of the honey roasted flavor that Skippy makes. I used to keep a jar of crunchy honey roasted in my desk drawer at work. While I never liked plain Skippy, I refused to put the honey roasted Skippy on anything because it tasted so good by itself. I ate about 1/4 of the jar every day with a spoon, wishing that the jar was just a little bit deeper.
While I was in the store the other day gathering ingredients for the pie you see above, I realized that Trader Joe’s peanut butter was very runny (some jars even more so than others) and might not be the best choice for this recipe. I planned on using it anyways, but I decided to scope out the peanut butter aisle just in case something was on sale. Lo and behold, honey roasted Skippy was on sale for $2.50 a jar. Not as cheap as Trader Joe’s but not a bad price at all. Before I could even compute the price difference, the jar was in my basket. I proceeded to the nearest checkout, returned home and dug in. While I think my version of Honey Roasted Peanut Butter is superior, there is definitely something to be said for Skippy’s version.
So I think it’s time to take stock. As you can imagine, I’ve got a good bit of peanut butter in my kitchen. To be exact, my cabinet currently contains the following:
1 jar creamy honey roasted Skippy
1/4 jar Crunchy Honey Roasted Peanut Butter
1/4 jar Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
1/2 jar Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter
1/6 jar Maple Peanut Butter
1/2 jar *secret flavor* peanut butter (to be continued…)
1/8 jar Wild Oats creamy peanut butter (not as good as Trader Joe’s)
5 1/2 jars Trader Joe’s creamy peanut butter (5 unopened)
1 1/2 jars Trader Joe’s crunchy peanut butter (1 unopened)
1 jar almond butter
So I had my pick of which to use for this recipe. As it turns out, I used two different peanut butters this time around (including my new acquisition), each playing a different role.
1 banana, 1/8″ slices
2 packages (1 oz each) fat free instant chocolate pudding
2 cups skim milk, cold
16oz fat free cream cheese
2T honey (an afterthought, optional)
2oz dark chocolate, melted (an afterthought, optional)
Peanut butter, to drizzle
1. Place cereal (another cereal or graham crackers can be substituted) into a food processor or blender and process until fine crumbs are formed. Place the 2 1/2 cups crumbs into a large mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter and knead the mixture with your hands until well combined. Add the water, 1T at a time, until the mixture begins to stick together and a pie crust can be formed. Place mixture into a 9″ pie plate and press down and around the sides to form a pie crust. Refrigerate for about 2 hours until crust has hardened and formed.
2. Place sliced bananas on top of the crust as depicted below and drizzle melted chocolate on top (if using):
3. In a small bowl, whip the cream cheese with a spoon until very creamy. In a large bowl, whisk the pudding powder and honey (if using) into 2 cups of cold milk until combined. Add the cream cheese to the pudding mixture and whisk until well mixed. Pour into pie shell and refrigerate for 1 hour. You will have extra filling, so either eat it all like I did, or pour into custard cups and refrigerate.
4. When it’s ready to serve, get out your creamiest, runniest peanut butter (or microwave a small dish of it for 20 seconds) and scoop out about 1tsp with a knife and drizzle on top of each slice. Trader Joe’s creamy natural peanut butter works best here.
Final verdict: delicious! The crust was a little bit mushy, not in a bad way, but it is to be expected from a non-baked crust. It scooped out of the pie dish very well and never collapsed or made a mess. My version didn’t have the added honey or dark chocolate because it was perfectly sweet for me, but some people might like it sweeter. The sliced bananas add a nice touch, but make sure to slice them very thin. Instead of or in addition to the peanut butter drizzle, a spray of whipped cream goes very well with this dessert.
Health factor: While I didn’t computer the nutritional info, look at the ingredients and just picture what you’re eating. In 1/8 of the pie, you’ll be consuming about a half serving of a whole grain cereal, 1T of peanut butter and a serving of fat free pudding made from skim milk and fat free cream cheese. The filling alone is a great source of protein and along with cereal and a little peanut butter, this truly is not just a dessert. I had a large slice as part of my second lunch the other day. Considering how healthy this pie is, it is certainly a keeper. Now you can have your pie and your waistline too!