The Peanut Butter Wars: Natural Peanut Butter or Not

This isn’t exactly a recipe but I thought I’d write about peanut butter. Chris and I recently discussed peanut butter and I was shocked to learn that she eats Jif peanut butter. I don’t know why but I thought nobody bought regular peanut butter anymore. I said I only eat natural peanut butter and that my favorite is Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter.  Of course, there are lots of different brands of peanut butter and I’ve just selected the ones that we discussed. Your peanut butter might be a bit different.

Ingredients

Here’s a photo of the ingredients in Jif:

Yes, it says:

Made from roasted peanuts and sugar, contains 2% or less of: molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils (rapeseed and soybean), mono and diglycerides, salt.

I also see that this label reveals that the J.M. Smucker Company now owns Jif as well as their natural brand.

Here’s a photo of the ingredients in Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter:

Natural Peanut Butter

It says:

Ingredients: Peanuts, contains 1% or less of salt.

You can buy an unsalted version but I usually don’t.

Here’s the rest of the label:

Natural Peanut Butter

Nutrition Facts

Let’s compare the nutrition facts of these two peanut butters:

Natural Peanut Butter

 

So, not all that different except that the sugars are increased due to the sugar being added to Jif. For some reason, the protein changes slightly too.

That Darn Oil or Mixing Natural Peanut Butter

So why doesn’t everyone buy natural peanut butter? Because of the darn oil that separates from the peanut butter. You buy a jar of peanut butter and to use it, you first have to mix in that oil.

I used to do this with a spoon and I’d end up with the peanut butter all over my hands. It was a mess.

Then I would flip the jar over while it sat in the pantry waiting to be opened. Every so often, I would put the jar upside down and then later put it right side up again. That did actually help with the oil somewhat.

One day I was pondering some of the mysteries of life and wondered why nobody had ever invented a tool to mix the oil into the peanut butter. I had an ah-ha moment and decided to try something. It worked and now I mix my peanut butter this way all the time.

I take my hand mixer and insert one beater. I then hold the peanut butter jar firmly (the firmly part is important), insert the beater and turn the mixer onto low. It works great. The peanut butter is mixed without spilling all over the counter, jar, and my hand. This isn’t hard and it works great.

Here’s a demo of mixing peanut butter with a mixer:

I forgot to include a shot of the finished product so here it is:

Blended peanut butter

I’ve mixed peanut butter in both glass and plastic jars. Either way, it’s fine. You do have to make sure you hold the jar firmly and start the mixer on slow.

Some time we can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of almond butter vs. peanut butter. All I’ll say right now is that my stirring method works for almond butter too. It probably works for any kind of nut butter.

I know there are lots of other peanut butters out there. Does anyone have a brand to recommend that doesn’t have anything other than peanuts and salt added that doesn’t have to be stirred?

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