Women is...: Debra Root Mrs. Peanut Butter

Debra Root Mrs. Peanut Butter

who she is: Founder and CEO of Malibu-based Mrs. Malibu Foods Inc., Root invented Mrs. Malibu's 92% Fat-Free Peanut Better, a low-fat alternative to peanut butter.

the nut of the matter: Root's peanut product contains 2.5 grams of fat per 2-tablespoon serving, whereas regular peanut butter contains 16

the spread: Mrs. Malibu's Peanut Better is available in health-food stores nationwide, and Root recently inked a deal with the Kroger supermarket chain to sell her product throughout the United States

mother of invention: "Just before I gave birth to my daughter, I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and promised myself that I wouldn't have another until I was pregnant again. Well, two years later, I couldn't wait any longer and since there was no fat-free peanut butter on the market, I decided to make one myself."

in the lab: Root, who has a master's degree in nutrition, spent about a year experimenting with ways to take the fat out of peanut butter. "One day I realized, I've got something here! So I trademarked it."

family matters: A former Miss Oklahoma and professional singer, Root relied upon family and friends to raise the $400,000 she needed to get herself going. "Once I had invented a fat-free peanut butter, I had to figure out how to manufacture it. I had to buy $250,000 worth of equipment."

the grind: Root's been at the peanut game for the past four years, but still handles most of the day-to-day duties herself, including in-store demos and trade-show trips. "I feel like a one-woman army. If anyone had told me how hard it was, I never would have believed them!"

in the works: "I'm looking into getting my own cooking show aimed at kids. Kids love to cook, plus it's a great way for them to learn fractions!"