For those who misesd it or need a brush-up, here again is my Peanut Butter 101 class. It’s an introductory course designed to help you get the maximum enjoyment out of your peanut butter (or any nut butter). Whether you’re looking to switch to all natural peanut butter that actually tastes like peanuts or learn how to vastly improve your storage techniques, this is the place to be! While the focus on this class will be some basic definitions and how to manage your natural peanut butter collection, don’t be misled! The tips and tricks outlined here aren’t just for newcomers – peanut butter veterans may learn something too. Take it from an expert: these tips for storing, stirring, and eating your peanut butter will decrease effort, stress and messiness while increasing shelf life and boosting your satisfaction. For all those that tried to move to “natural” peanut butter and failed – this is for you! If you have any peanut butter tips of your own, please comment below and I’ll include them in the next class!

Basic Definitions

Standard Peanut Butter (also called Regular) – This is what most of you grew up with. You’ll generally find two varieties available – creamy (smooth) and crunchy (chunky) – but no matter which you choose, the peanut butter itself is usually a very fine grind resulting in a creamy, silky texture. Generally speaking, creamy peanut butter has a red lid and crunchy peanut butter has a blue lid. According to FDA regulations, a product must contain at least 90% peanuts to be considered peanut butter. Standard peanut butter generally has at least additional 3 ingredients besides peanuts: salt, sugar and vegetable oil. The type of salt or sugar may vary but the vegetable oil is usually either partially- or fully-hydrogenated to prevent oil separation. Skippy, Jif and Peter Pan are the most common brands in the United States.

Natural Peanut Butter (also called Traditional or Old Fashioned) – As the name suggests, this type of peanut butter is much more natural and contains just 1 or 2 ingredients. The first ingredient is roasted peanuts and the second ingredient is salt, although sometimes you’ll find unsalted natural peanut butter in which case the only ingredient is roasted peanuts. In the past few years, natural peanut butter has become much more dominant in the marketplace. While you still find only two varieties of natural peanut butter, creamy and crunchy, you will notice much more variability between different brands and manufacturers. Some brands use a fine grind resulting in a very thin consistency (such as Trader Joe’s or Kirkland) while others use a coarse grind resulting in a delightful gritty texture (such as Peanut Butter Boy or Appomattox). The coarser grind helps prevent oil separation, and since I prefer the texture, I prefer this type overall. Our brand in particular has a very thick texture which helps minimize stirring. Specifically the Crunch Power variety has very little oil rise to the top. The Super Smooth variety has a little more oil rise to the top, but not as much as other brands. In my opinion, natural peanut butter should be considered just “peanut butter”, because that’s precisely what it is. Those regular peanut butters (Skippy, Jif, etc..) are really a processed peanut-based product – perhaps they should be called “Peanut Paste” to avoid confusion.

No-Stir Natural Peanut Butter – This type of peanut butter was developed to cater to those who are trying to go “natural” and eat foods with less chemicals, but still love the taste, consistency and ease of regular peanut butter. Instead of hydrogenated oil these products use palm oil as a stabilizer which, despite being natural, still may not be all that good for us. Other than that, most brands still use some form of salt and sugar to recreate the “Jif experience”, but often up the ante by using either evaporated cane juice or some type of organic sweetener. No matter what they claim, I have yet to find a “No-Stir Natural Peanut Butter” that actually requires no stirring. Even Skippy Natural usually has oil on top when you open a new jar, and if you’re accustomed to stirring your peanut butter to get it extra creamy (like I do with all peanut butter), the oil will separate even more. So while the palm oil helps the oil separation, it does not totally prevent it.

Natural Peanut Butter Techniques

e.g. – Peanut Butter Boy or Homemade

If my name was “The Peanut Butter Prophet”, I would bet that natural peanut butter is the future of peanut butter. Already, in the past few years, natural peanut butter has become drastically more popular. The problem is that many people expect it to be just like the jar of Peter Pan they grew up with. It’s not. Many people dislike “natural” peanut butter because it’s difficult to stir – because if you don’t stir well enough, when you reach the bottom you’ll discover a hard, inedible substance. Some manufactures recommend refrigerating natural peanut butter so the oil doesn’t separate as much – this works, but then the peanut butter is impossible to spread since it’s so thick. Well here is the Peanut Butter Boy’s (or Prophet’s) tried and tested method to manage and utilize your natural peanut butter:


1. Store your shiny new jar of natural peanut butter upside down. This will allow the oil to rise to the bottom of the jar, making it easier to stir when you open it.

Upside Down

2. When your old jar of peanut butter is finished, fetch the new jar and turn it right side up.

Empty ☹Full ☺

3. Open up the new jar and stir well using a butter knife and/or a spatula. I use the spatula to get any of the bits stuck to the side and bottom and the butter knife to mix and chop the bits up. Also add salt at this point if the peanut butter is unsalted (optional, about 1t kosher salt per 16oz jar). If it’s too difficult to stir or the jar is really large, dump and scrape out the jar into a large bowl or tupperware and mix it in that.

Stir well!

4. Once it’s well mixed, dump half into the old empty jar and keep half in the new jar (or any sealed container). Put one of the containers in the fridge and keep the other one in the cabinet. When the one in your cabinet gets low, take the one out of the fridge to let it thaw overnight.


5. By splitting 1 jar into 2 half-jars, less oil will separate between uses (because there is less oil in each jar now) and even when it does, it will be much easier to mix since the jar is only half full. Plus, the remaining half in the fridge will stay fresher longer. Remember to save some of the empty peanut butter jars, they are great for this purpose as well as making your own flavors!

Filed in Other, Peanut Butter

161 Responses / Leave a comment »

  1. Chuck says:

    It’s funny- eating more peanut butter actually is one of my new years resolutions…

    What, if any, nut butters do I need to store in the fridge? They don’t say I need to… But they don’t say that I shouldn’t either.

    Love the Peanut Butter class idea haha

    • Nick says:

      No nut butters need to be store in the fridge. The nut butter will last longer when store in the fridge but the same goes for any other oil (olive, grapeseed, canola, etc..).

      The only difference could be if the nut butter has some additions that need to be refrigerated, but that should be obvious =)

      • Sidney says:


        Organic & Raw seed and nut butters should be stored in the refrigerator and after opened have a shelf life of 20-days. Unopened have a shelf life of up to a 1year.

        • Brittany says:


          • Nick says:

            I have never heard that either Brittany. Sidney is very intense about her nut butters, but I’m not sure where she gets some of her info. I’ve had to delete a few comments that had a few unsubstantiated claims. It’s worth looking into though.

            • Iti says:

              According to Adams peanut butter site, the naturals may be store either way, air or frig but use by the date on the jar.

  2. Debbie says:

    What a great little class!! I hope I pass! Are you going to have a quiz at the end? ;-)

    Loved the info about the different colored lids. Great trivia & good stuff to know anyway!!

  3. Juli says:

    I have found 2 other methods that work well for stirring Natural PB:
    1-) Empty the jar of PB into a bowl. This allows you to really break up that chunk of dried up PB that can form at the bottom of the jar and really get a uniform consistency. I find that the jar can be too small to really allow you to mix well.
    2-) Use your food processor. A food processor is great for many reasons. First, it will make short work of even the most stubborn chunks of dried PB at the bottom of a jar. Second, if you wish, you can totally change the consistency and taste of your PB after some quality time in a food processor. If you happen to have a thick natural PB but prefer a runny one just leave it in the food processor until it reaches the desired consistency. Also, by leaving the PB to process for a while you will get a more robust and deeper peanut flavor. I have “saved” many PBs that lacked a rich peanut flavor by simply throwing them in the food processor for a few minutes. One of my favorite FP methods is to take a jar and process just until mixed and remove about 1/2. I then process the rest of the PB until it is super runny. Then I combine the two for a runny PB with a coarse texture.
    If you love natural PB a food processor can be your new favorite kitchen appliance.

    • Nick says:

      Wow, I never knew that about the food processor. A deeper peanut flavor? Is that because after a while, the heat from the food processor slowly roasts the peanut butter? And I love runny coarse peanut butter but it’s hard to come by – I must give this a shot! I think I definitely do need a follow up class soon, mind if I use your tips? Thanks!

    • Jenni says:

      Thanks Juli for the food processor tip. I switched first to brand name natural peanut butter with the 3 ingredients and the family had no problem adjusting to the taste. But tonight I bought my first only peanuts peanut butter and was a little put off by the thick texture. Just finished processing in the FP and now the texture is perfect. Don’t think the kids will be able to tell now!!

  4. Laura says:

    Interesting Fact: The lid colours are opposite in Canada – ie red is for crunchy, and blue is for smooth! It’s funny what changes when you cross the border!

    • Nick says:

      Really? You backwards Canadians =).

      But see, now if you ever come to the US and get some peanut butter, you may leave with the wrong kind! Although, next time I go to Canada I’ll probably be totally lost. Luckily the label should still be in English!

      • Diana says:

        Are we that backwards in Canada? It’s probably cuz we keep saying “sorry, eh?” ;)

        I wanted to add to Laura’s point…only because I’m a Peanut Butter freak. Egads!
        In Canada red is for crunchy, but it’s green that’s for smooth, and blue lid can be for light or natural, but it depends on the brand.
        Canada used to have their own Peanut Butter company called Squirrel which was bought out by Skippy, where the US company renamed their PB’s for their Canadian customers as Skippy the Squirrel! But I also found out that Squirrel historically had red lids for smooth and blue for crunchy. This is long before the US buy out. Even when PB was sold in tin cans, Squirrel brand used blue fonts for crunchy and red fonts for smooth! But I’m not sure when things changed. Skippy the Squirrel PB now uses red for crunchy, and BLUE, not green for smooth. Maybe to save money, so that they don’t have to make an extra coloured lid for their Canadian customers. I don’t know!? But that’s the only exception I’ve found. All the other PB’s I’ve seen use the red/green for crunchy/smooth determination.

        Now another interesting fact…Canadians consume more Peanut Butter per capita than Americans. Sorry?! :D
        Here’s the source:

        Oh…I love your site!!!

        • Nick says:

          Wow, you certainly know a lot of peanut butter history! I’m still not sure I believe that Canadian consumption of PB is greater than Americans….that just…doesn’t seem possible. Maybe I need to bring my peanut butter to Canada!

          • Diana says:

            Hehehe, thanks…but in all honesty I’m just fascinated by vintage ads and I’ve come across a few Squirrel tins that defied the usual red for crunchy and green for creamy. So it got me curious.
            You should bring your Peanut Butter to Canada. It’s a very inventive idea of no-stir natural PB.

  5. gigi says:

    I found your blog a few weeks ago and I love it! Its always nice to find a fellow PB fanatic :)
    Your tips are wonderful by the way

    • Nick says:

      Thanks gigi! I’m glad you stopped by, I always love finding new PB addicts =).

      If you have any tips or recipes of your own to share, let me know!

  6. Wendy Kresha says:

    Ok, Mr. Peanut Butter Prophet,

    For some reason I thought knew everything there was to know about Peanut Butter! Turns out I was wrong!!!!! I am going to turn my peanut butter jar upside down right now.

    You have changed my the peanut butter part of my life and for that I thank you.

    Thanks for the smile, have a great one : )

    • Nick says:

      Hahaha, you didn’t really think you knew more than The Peanut Butter Boy (Prophet), did you? =) I think you’ll love the upside-down jar method, it really helps, especially for those jars that have been tucked away for a while.

      But hey, if you have any tips of your own, let me know so I can include in my next class!

  7. Rachel Eddington says:

    First of all, thank you for existing. I absolutely love this site.

    Secondly, I’ve been really curious recently to try the other “butters” around (like almond butter and sunflower seed, etc,) but I’ve tried a so-called “almond butter” that was absolutely horrendous. Do you have any experience trying these other types? Are they worth my time and money or should I just stick with PB?

    • gigi says:

      Im not as experienced as the PBboy but here are my opinions on the other butters
      Almond- only the raw kind taste good the roasted is junk. or the ones from gonutsco which are habit forming.
      Sunflower seed- kinda savory. I’ve had this jar in my fridge for about 4 months and its not even half gone while PB lasts me about 4 days
      Cashew- Bland but super creamy
      Hazelnut Chocolate- delicious, way more nutty than nutella and far less sugar.
      Peanut Butter is number 1!

      • Nick says:

        Strange. I responded to Rachel without even reading your reply first – it’s almost identical! It seems we’ve had very similar experience fellow PB addict =).

        • gigi says:

          hmm…maybe we both a need a 12 step program lol

          Right now I’m hooked on Trader Joe’s peanut flour. Its a great replacement for flour in baking recipes, its more nutritous and makes everything taste like PB. I want to try to make bread with it for a double PB sandwich :)

          • Nick says:

            Hah, yes that might help us.

            I am too! I bought it online the other week and I’m loving it in protein shakes and I even made some very thin and delicious crepes with it! I went to TJs this past weekend to pick up more but completely forgot to get some!

    • Nick says:

      Rachel – First of all, thank you for the compliments =). I have some strong feelings on other nut butters so let me give you a quick background – my favorite nuts to eat are almonds (and brazils), but my favorite nut butter is obviously peanut. I have tried many other nut butters but there is always something missing. Many almond butters are not good in my opinion, but I think that is partly because many brands don’t add salt. I love salt, and if I have an unsalted peanut butter, I always add salt to it. So your first step to trying a new nut butter (that lacks salt) is to add some. Secondly, certain brands are better than others. Many people swear by “Barney Butter”, one of the more popular almond butter brands.

      As far as other nut butters go, cashew butter is interesting: I hate cashews but the cashew butter I tried was very runny, creamy and pretty good. But it was very expensive and I wouldn’t spend the money on it (I was sent a jar to review).

      I tried sunflower butter as well, and while interesting, it had a very strange aftertaste – sunflower seeds have a very slight bitter aftertaste and the sunflower butter I tried took that bitterness and multiplied it times 10. Also, expensive.

      But almond butter is persistent – it’s everywhere. It can be expensive, but it can also be delicious. If you want to start out cheap, find a Trader Joe’s and I would recommend trying the Almond Butter with Flax Seed – I actually haven’t tried it, but I’ve had the peanut butter with flax seed and it’s really good. It’s also pretty cheap at Trader Joe’s too. Also, I recommend trying one of my favorite flavored nut butters (peanut or any other) of all time: Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter. You can check it out here: Naturally Nutty. They have some other great flavored nut butters, but this one is the best. Also, Justin’s brand Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and Chocolate Almond Butter are absolutely out of this world. I should point out, however, that I generally don’t eat flavored nut butters: 99 times out of 100 I reach for plain nut butter first.

      So I suppose the take away from my experience – stick with peanut butter. It’s cheap, versatile, and will give you the best consistency and flavor of any nut butter. But if you want to experience some incredible flavored nut butters, try the ones I mentioned above.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions or want any other suggestions and thanks for stopping by!

      p.s. – It seems Gigi is right on track with my thinking too. In fact, she pretty much summarize exactly what I did….strange…

      • Holly Ellerton says:

        My favorite natural almond butter is the self-serve grinding machine at Whole Foods markets. I do not like their pre-packaged jars of almond butter and I have found Barney’s to be way too sweet. I prefer plain unsweetened, salted nut butters.
        I have also made my own almond butter with my food processor… Takes about 10-15 minutes…

        • Nick says:

          I haven’t actually tried the self-serve almond butter at Whole Foods. I typically don’t like pre-package almond butter either, and Barney’s was definitely too sweet! Plain, unsweetened, salted nut butters is the way to go Holly! That’s why I think you’ll love PBB brand!

  8. Your idea to split the jars is brilliant!

    • Nick says:

      Why thank you =). I have spent many hours with my trusty peanut butter jars and have picked up quite a few tips along the way! Hope it helps you save some time too!

  9. cbubi says:

    Dear Nick ,
    recently I cam up with an idea to start peanut butter production with my wife and we think we will be the first in our country ( we are from Europe).I saw some peanut butter grinders mad in China.What is your opinion about it.What kind of peanut is best for PB and is it thru that is better to use unsheald peanuts because skin can reduce fat from peanuts so there will be no or less oil separation on top. Why is important to heat the PB paste while production. Best regards

    • Nick says:

      Hey there,

      So, I don’t know much about peanut btuter grinders but I think you’ve got a great idea to start a PB company in Europe. I’m actually hoping to start a PB business and sell in Europe someday as I think there is a market for it.

      Most peanut butter is made with blanched peanuts, which is a process to remove the peanut skin before grinding into peanut butter. Some peanut butter manufacturers leave the skin on to make their peanut butter, which is called “unblanched”. It may help the oil for separating but it gives it a very different flavor (a little bitter). I like the flavor, but not everyone does.

      Heating PB in production – I know that peanut butter sets better (less oil separation) when it is set at a higher temperature, so that is probably one reason. But also, the peanuts are roasted at a high temperature and by keeping it at that temperature, my guess is that it’s easier to grind, and allows for a smoother, creamier texture.

      You’ll have to keep my updated on your progress – I’m intrigued!

      • cbubi says:

        Nick ,
        thank you very much for answering.I have one more question.What kind (sort) of peanut is best for peanut butter.When i grind peanuts which are from Chine there is no that nice smell like JIF or SKIPPY has.On fortune thats the only one in our country.And of course as soon as i start i will info you.
        Best regards!!!

        • Nick says:

          Ah, I forgot to answer that one! The best and most common peanuts used in peanut butter (in the US, at least) are Runner Peanuts.

    • Sidney says:

      Love this topic! Love PB Boy and really hope he doesn’t mind me chiming in! ;)

      That’s SO awesome that you want to launch a PB company in Europe? Where exactly? Have you considered becoming a Distributor of a US company first before venturing into manufacturing? It’s very expensive and you will have to import from US (which I can help you with as I have a good friend who is the top US Organic Valencia farm. 600 acres of beautiful organic valencia peanuts.

      Which leads me to suggest that if you do wish to press forward with PB production, consider two routes:

      1. Handcrafted (like we do).
      2. Spending BIG BUCKS on BIG equipment to handle the demand.

      1. Get your hands on custom-built grinders (like we did).

      ORGANIC VALENCIA PEANUTS. The best. The only peanut that grows in a dry-heat climate in New Mexico and has NO MOLD. Very important. I can hook you up with a US farmer (see above).

      • Jamie says:

        Sidney, I would love to get the name of your organic valencia farmer friend if you are still willing to share!

    • Masha says:

      Hey there,

      Have no clue when the comment was posted… Anyhow, how did it go along with your venture? I’m doing my research on starting nut butter production in my country too. No one around has any clue so it’s a bit tough. Can we chat on that?

  10. Ethan says:

    have you ever tried whole food’s grind-it-yourself honey roasted peanut butter> i grew up a skippy kid, but this stuff is afreakinazing! its outstanding on sandwhiches but hard not to eat just by the spoonful..

    • Nick says:

      Of course I have! That’s why I refuse to buy it anymore. It’s the greatest invention in peanut butter history and while I generally have my peanut butter addiction under control, that stuff puts me over the edge!

      • Ken says:

        Hi Nick,

        We were also hooked on Wholefoods honey roasted peanut butter. We also use a food processor to finely cream it.

        Unfortunately, they changed the mix (Vendor??)Now, it tastes and looks much darker roasted with less honey. Would love to find a way to replicate the old lighter mix.

        Do you think the recipe you have for Trader Joe’s peanut butter with honey added comes close? And ,do you have any suggestions for adding honey to the mix. Whenever we have tried to add honey to ground peanuts in the processor it dries the whole mix out.

        Thank you very much and welcome any suggestions.

        • Nick says:

          Oh really? I guessed they are sourcing different peanuts for the grinder – that’s too bad! You’re right, honey really stiffens up the peanut butter, so you have two choices:

          1. Use a really runny peanut butter (like Trader Joe’s) and add honey slowly to make sure it doesn’t get too stiff.

          2. Use any kind of peanut butter, perhaps Whole Foods 365 Creamy (since it’s coarse, if you like that kind), and add just a touch of honey, but mostly sugar to sweeten it.

          I would try number 2 first. Because if you look at the ingredient label for honey roasted peanuts, you’ll see that sugar is usually listed before honey, which means there’s more sugar than honey. And they use regular honey roasted peanuts in that machine anyway.

          It’s strange you bring this up though, because I just got a new jar of Whole Foods 365 Crunchy (my go-to favorite peanut butter) that has a fancy new label and noticed that the peanut butter tastes different! It’s darker than before because I think they left the skins on the peanuts, which is fine, but different. And it’s thicker too, almost too thick. I dunno, I think they’re making some poor choices over there at Whole Foods….

          • Ken says:

            Thanks Nick,

            I really appreciate your suggestions and will definitely give them a try.

            By the way, my understanding is that the southern region of Whole Foods at least is supplied by Hampton Farms and they supply both loose and ground nuts. I suppose its possible your jar and my local Whole Foods for grinding have that same vendor and I’ve heard that they have a history of inconsistancy, but I could be talking out of turn. Hopefully, the issue is temporary and will be resolved soon…and they get their original mix back.

            Thanks Again.

    • Janet says:

      Prior to that pb salmonella scare a while back a few of may favorite organic nat’l peanut butters were gone from the shelves. They were organic brands made with valencia peanuts. One was Trader Joe’s (with the green cover), and the other, believe it or not, was Costo’s Kirkland brand. When it went missing and I asked at TJ’s, I was told that because of the economy, some farmers were switching to cotton crops. Costco had the same explanation. I LOVE my pb, but I have not yet since found a pb I love. I’m getting so tired of trying one brand after another (even throwing out some), with still many to try. And I HAVE tried Whole Foods’ grind it yourself pb a few times, and to be honest… didn’t care for it. I like my pb refrigerated, and WF’s was way too hard. I have a few in my cabinet I haven’t tried yet, and more on the stores I still have to try. I’m thinking pb made with valencia peanuts are what I’m missing but can’t find a pb made with them anywhere. I’ve looked online but the prices are ridiculous. I’m getting tired of this search. Any suggestions?

      • Nick says:


        Are you afraid to go back to those old brands? Because I know the Kirkland brand is back on the shelves, I’ve been enjoying it. Not sure about TJ’s since I don’t typically buy organic, I buy the regular creamy one (orange label).

        What are your requirements? Does it have to be organic? Valencia peanuts definitely offer a different flavor, but if it’s a strong peanut flavor you’re looking for, it’s probably more associated with the product using unblanched peanuts. I assume you prefer it salted and with no added sugar. Give me some constraints and I’ll see what I can recommend =)

  11. Lauren says:

    So helpful :D Maybe you’ll be able to use these tips when you start your own pb company! I’ll take any free sampled ;)

  12. Fathi♥PB says:

    Great site…just what a PB addict like me needs. For me PB is a meal and a really good one too!
    As for the tips..TFS. But in the process of changing jars can contamination occur? how can you prevent this?

    • Nick says:

      I completely agree! Peanut butter is often associated with a knife (for spreading), but I truly believe that the classic spoon is the new peanut butter symbol!

      Contamination is always possible, even by just opening the jar to the air! You could wash/sterilize the empty jar, but let me tell you – I’ve been doing this for years – reusing jars (without washing it), mixing the natural PB with a knife, licking the knife, mixing some more, split it into two jars, lick the knife some more, etc… Plus I never put the jars in the fridge since I go through it so fast. So out of all the times I’ve done that, I’ve never once seen any problems with contamination/mold nor have I gotten sick. I think you’ll be just fine =)

      • Fathima says:

        Thanx a lot! Cos I’ve been wanting to try make my own flavoured PB from one of your recipes. Where I am right now,Qatar, most stores only carry the regular “creamy” and “crunchy” and “honey”.
        BDW of the known brands like “Jiff” “Skippy” and “Peter pan” which would you say is the best for mix n match?

        • Nick says:

          Did I forget to respond to this sooner? Sorry!

          Whatever brand is the smoothest/creamiest will work the best to make flavors. Probably Peter Pan.

  13. Lindsey says:

    Are you a member of the peanut butter of the month club? It is by far the best gift I have ever received and I have renewed it for myself for the last 2 years. You get 2 jars of peanut butter delivered every month – usually one plain type and then one flavored. Some are more well-known brands, but some are very obscure. None of the Jiffy, Skippy, etc. store brands though.

    • Nick says:

      You know, I used to be. My sister got me it as a present for a year and it was AWESOME. Then the president of the company contacted me and said he wanted to put me on a “lifetime” membership in exchange for a mention of the club every time I reviewed the peanut butter. Again, awesome deal. But then after about a year, it stopped coming and he never responded to me again, so I’m not sure what happened. I miss it though, I should’ve asked for it for my birthday which passed 2 days ago =/

      • Sidney says:

        I’ll send you one Peanut Butter Vanilla and a jar of Peanut Butter Chocolate.

        Organic. No salt. No added sugar. Clean.

        You’ll love. :)

  14. Fathima says:

    This peanut Butter Is Really Nice

  15. LuBird says:

    Awesome ideas and discussions. Was just out tooling around looking for some recipe ideas, and here I am learning about stiring and storing. I will, though, have to share that I like to get some really nice Bakers’s Chocolate – melt nice a smooth and mix into a half a jar of PB. Then I still have my regular PB delight for anytime, and now a decedant treat for those “must have chocolate” moments! Try it on a warm bagel or crackers.

  16. Wendi says:

    Cool site!! “Peanut Paste”. Love the term and will stand behind you if you lobby for that!

  17. Bryan says:

    So buy buying Skippy, Jif, Natural PB is pretty much pointless? (when it comes to being natural). So you advise someone seeking natural pb to just stick with smuckers? If not, which brand of natural pb should I get?

    • Nick says:

      Yup. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the term “natural”, you can still get some questionable ingredients in any “natural” product.

      Smuckers is a fine natural PB to buy if that’s all you can find, but my 2 favorite brands are Whole Foods 365 Natural Creamy/Crunchy and Trader Joe’s Natural Creamy (salted). They are also 2 of the cheapest brands of peanut butter on the market. If you can’t get to those stores then Krema, Cream-Nut and Crazy Richard’s make a good product too, it’s just more expensive.

      There’s always homemade!

  18. Paul Chau says:

    Most helpful article. The Dutch called it peanut cheese in the 50s & 60s. Keep up the good work!

  19. autumnthing says:

    I wanted to share that honey will change the consistency of peanut butter so that it doesn’t separate.

    I take a regular 32oz jar, preferably organic since toxins are concentrated in fats, scrape it out into a bowl, and add between 1/8 and 1/4 c honey, preferably local and minimally processed to get the most health benefits. I stir it well with a butter knife and put it back in the jar.

    Of course, you could also add cinnamon, salt, vanilla bean, or any number of other flavors, too. This method aerates the PB and adds bulk, displacing a tasty spoonful or two (that won’t fit back in the jar) to reward your hard work ;)

    I grew up on Peter Pan PB and that’s the flavor and consistency I crave. This method helps me get really close w/out the additives.

    • Nick says:

      I agree, that’s a great way to get a good flavor and nice consistency. Honey really thickens the peanut butter and makes it harder for the oil to separate. It’s a win-win situation!

  20. Helen says:

    Hello; Peanut Butter Prophet!
    Love your site! I have to say that this is a great reference, even for us old natural PB users.
    I started the two jar system and this morning noticed mold on the lid on one of my jars. I threw it out but wondered if I should have just cleaned it off the lid? Thoughts?

    • Nick says:

      Thanks Helen!

      Hmmm, how long have you been re-using those jars? Unless you’ve had that jar for 2+ years, the mold that developed is probably from some kind of contamination: maybe a dirty finger that was stuck in the jar or a piece of banana that got lodged in the cap. Either way, you could have simply washed the lid and reused it. You just want to make sure you wash it really well to eliminate all the contamination and kill all the mold. The other option is to simply buy another jar of peanut butter and eat it quickly to use as your new empty jar =)

  21. Chris Pavoni says:

    Any idea when kirkland natural pb will be back on the shelves at Costco again. Was my favorite until this salmonella problem with their manufacturer Sunland.

    • Nick says:

      I have no idea Chris! I was bummed when I found out Kirkland brand was affected. I went there recently planning to get 6 jars – not sure what I was thinking, I knew Kirkland was manufactured by Sunland!

      If I hear anything ill let you know!

    • Sidney says:

      It’s back on the shelves in natural and organic.

  22. layla says:

    I was always worried about my health being affected by eating too much peanut and nut butters (3 jars a week) but i have heard that nuts and peanuts can actually benefit health even in large amounts. Your site makes me feel better and still be able to keep my addiction going strong. All your info is very interesting

    • Nick says:

      Stay strong Layla, peanut butter is some healthy stuff! The only thing that could be of concern is the large amount of calories in peanut butter, so weight gain is a possible, but heart-wise you’ll be good! Welcome =)

  23. Brian says:

    Ha! My unbreakable plastic jar of Peanut Butter broke, well the lid that is when it fell off the counter. I put some aluminum foil over the jar & secured it w/a tight fitting rubber band. Should I abandon my jar @ this point?

    • Nick says:

      Haha it might be time to abandon it, use a spatula to scoop everything out and put it in a new (or old) empty jar. Or just buy another jar of the same brand and use the new top for now (because there is probably a seal that will keep the new jar sealed).

      Good luck!

  24. Chris says:

    I use my Champion Juicer/grinder to make fabulous nut butter – coarse and creamy at the same time!

    Leaving the juicing screen in place, I get a large can of mixed nuts and start feeding it through. I put a smaller bowl under the juicer screen and a larger bowl under the end where the coarse nut butter comes out. The creamy nut butter comes out to about 25% of the total. There are a few tablespoons of nut butter to clean out of the beast at the end, but it fills a few 8 0z. jars that last as long as they last. Awesome on toasted sourdough bread.

    • Nick says:

      A juicer can make nut butters? I didn’t know that! And two at once? That’s insane! You could always mix it all together for a creamy/coarse mixture – my favorite!

      And nothing at all is lost in the process?

  25. Deborah says:

    Several years ago I bought a stand mixer. For the big–80 ounce–jars of peanut butter we buy from Costco, the stand mixer is the easiest way to stir the peanut butter, especially if your fingers and wrists are going as are mine. My husband and I have probably used the mixer more for peanut butter than anything else.

    • Nick says:

      Haha wow, that’s a great idea. 80oz though? You mean the double-pack of 40oz jars, right? You open both at once? You guys must go through a lot!

      I love how mixing peanut butter is the stand-up-mixer’s #1 job. You could always try dumping the peanut butter into a bowl and using something like a big whisk or a mezzaluna if you get sick of cleaning the mixer. But then again, there’s nothing better than licking the mixer and the bowl clean!

  26. Kevin says:

    I’m a PB fanatic. I have been as long as I can remember. I’ll eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. But, I have a question to throw out. My daughter gets commodity PB(along with other snack foods) given to her from her school. But, this PB tastes dreadful. I mainly use it for cooking. I was wondering if there is something I could do to make the PB taste better. Why does it taste worse than Skippy, Jif or even Great Value?

    • Nick says:

      Hey Kevin, I feel your pain – that stuff is awful! They come in little squeeze packets or singe-serving cups?

      The terribleness probably comes from a number of factors. My guess is the peanuts are barely roasted, they add too much stabilizer oil and either don’t add enough sugar or add too much sugar. My suggestion would be to save up all the packets until you have about 1-jars worth, or 1 pound. Squeeze them all into a blender and blend it for a few minutes – the longer the better. The blending will heat up the peanut butter and slowly add a more roasted flavor. Then, you can add some sea salt if it needs salt, pinch of sugar if you like, or even some more peanut oil to make it runnier.

      Another option is to take a 3/4-full jar of your favorite peanut butter and fill it with this crappy peanut butter, then mix it all up to mask the taste, and add some salt/sugar as needed.

      And finally, you could simply use it in recipes (particularly ones on this site), like Dark Chocolate PB Banana Bread, Chocolate PB ‘Ice Cream’ or Peanut Butter Chili (a personal favorite).

      Good luck!

  27. Tina says:

    Last year I read this article on Weight Watcher’s web site. I thought they were crazy but sure enough the research says a fungus that grows on organic peanuts CAN kill you! Guess I’ve been lucky but now I DO refrigerate my organic peanut butters. See information below.

    WW web site article “The skinny about nut butters.”

    Organic (Peanut Butter):
    Nutritionally, organic is comparable to conventional peanut butter with the exception of sodium if there’s no salt added, but there are other factors to consider. Peanuts are prone to a fungus that produces a carcinogen called aflatoxin, which continues to multiply even in the jar. The fungicide-free peanuts in organic peanut butter may have higher levels of aflatoxin than conventional, especially if the jar’s been on the shelf for a while, but organic farmers claim that their farming methods naturally reduce the amount of fungus to begin with. In other words: The jury’s still out. If you do buy organic, make sure you’re buying from a store with a high turnover and refrigerate it immediately — cold retards aflatoxin’s growth. A recent study found the highest levels of aflatoxin in freshly ground peanut butter from health food stores, so buy jarred to be safe.

    And from Wikipedia “…Aflatoxins are toxic and among the most carcinogenic substances known.”

  28. Tina says:

    If you ever have a chance, give Landis peanut butter a try. They make it with the thin red shell on the nut. I grew up on it and went to the factory on a second grade school trip in the 1960’s. They must be Valencia peanuts because it has a nice natural sweetness but a unique texture.

  29. Funny that your site exists and I do not know about it. I am a codger who has been a vegetarian since 1965. So for me Peanut Butter is a life essential – but I try to NEVED eat those brands that include shit in their product. I have used the comparison between cheese and say Velvita – which is a “milk product” not a cheese. Skippy is a peanut product not a Peanut Butter. Gosh I have Soooo much to say… Well first Laura Scudder’s has been there for me from the beginning and she does not get her due. It says on the side “just peanuts and salt, that’s all” what else do you need or want? And IT IS GREAT TASTING TOO. It does separate but big deal – put it upside down on the shelf turn it over stir with a large serving fork but finish with butter knife to get at the edges of the bottom. I refrigerate because I think peanut butter tastes better cold. But it doesn’t last long enough to separate again if you want room temperature. A note of importance for vegetarians:for peanut butter to be a complete protein it needs wheat germ. My Indian Guru has a recipe where you mix peanut butter raw or roasted wheat germ and honey (the honey balances out the bitterness of the wheat germ) I am not a huge fan of that stuff (sorry Guruji – but in his ashram around the world you will always find it in the fridge.) For me I just make sure I spread the greatest food on the planet on -WHOLE GRAIN BREAD – the coarser the better (Trader Joe’s California Protein Bread is always in my fridge). Other nut butters are great but really cannot compare to PB. But you can modify PB a bit by mixing some other nut butters with the PB. One last thing I prefer making my own with a Champion Juicier but just recently tried and failed miserably at buy unshelled raw peanuts dry roasting and shelling and grinding – the result did not look or taste like Peanut Butter as I know it. But I SHALL PERSAVER. Thanks for being there. Peace and Love, Michael-Patrick.

    • Nick says:

      Hey Michael-Patrick,

      Thanks for the comments! Peanut Butter is the best nut butter, but there is always room for tree nuts (just not in butter form, in my opinion). Laura Scudder’s is one of your faves? You must be on the west coast – I only remember seeing Laura’s when I lived in California for 2 years.

      I agree that the only thing you need are peanuts + salt especially because, like you, I eat it way too fast for the oil to separate much. That being said, I just released my own brand of peanut butter called, you guessed it, Peanut Butter Boy. We use unblanched peanuts for more flavor, no sugar and only 100% sea salt. But we also add just a touch of sustainable Palm Oil to help prevent the oil from separating, and it does an excellent job! You can check it out here: Peanut Butter Boy Store

      Making your own from scratch is tough! I’ve never done it from raw peanuts – I’m sure it takes a lot of practice to get it right!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  30. michael-patrick says:

    I will have to try PBB, but i have never minded separation and in fact have felt something missing if it doesn’t. Like you said i am a left coaster (LA before SF now) and have tried them all but find Laura Scudder’s to be the best. Trader Joe has a new one: Organic Peanut Butter but i passed it up to buy roasted and salted peanuts to grind my own. Thanks for getting back to me.

  31. Miriam says:

    Why is it that I don’t seem to have to stir Trader Joe’s pb? It’s very tasty despite being very runny. I haven’t noticed any separation. It’s messy if I use too much but this probably helps me keep the calories down. LOL.

  32. Georgina says:

    Hello, peanut butter boy!

    I was surfing in the net trying to find the differences between peanut butter and peanut paste but without suceed, I guess.
    The thing is that I just bought natural peanut paste, but in the store they told me is peanut butter… Is from Africa, has oil on top, and on the ingredients list they just listed 100% roasted peanuts, no salt, no sugar, no nothing else.
    And when I move it slightly to one side… like 45 degree angle, for example… the paste moves too!. So to me looks kinda runny.
    I pretend to use it for asian dishes, but I also want to eat it like I normally eat my regular peanut butter, as a spread, in my oatmeal or just a spoonful of it.
    I tell you all of this because I haven’t finished yet my old jar and I don’t want to open this new one now. Do you know the this peculiar type of peanut butter, paste or whatever? :D

    • Nick says:

      Hey Georgina! I’ve never had this “peanut paste” from Africa, but I think I need to get some. What you have there is pure ground peanuts, with no fillers. It’s probably finely ground since you say it moves from side to side (not sure where you live, but if you’ve ever had Trader Joe’s creamy peanut butter, I bet it’s similar).

      The thing is, peanut butter SHOULD be 100% peanut, but nowadays people consider peanut butter to be this creamy brown paste with salt and sugar that covers the actual peanut flavor. What you have is probably quite delicious! You may want to add some salt and stir up, but otherwise dig in! It’s probably quite similar to this:

      Hope that helps!

  33. Karl says:

    Hi, thanks for this informative blog.
    I have a kind of ‘opposite’ question, sometimes I find the peanut butter is too runny. How can I force the excess oil to settle on top so I can discard it and make the pb thicker? How long should it take?, I have had the jar out of the fridge for two days with no result. Thanks!

    • Nick says:

      Hey Karl,

      A few things: first, the peanut oil is quite healthy, so I wouldn’t discard it – if anything, save it for cooking! Second, by keeping it in the fridge it should already be thicker. Have you tried using it right out of the fridge? Is it thick enough for you?

      If you insist on removing the oil – in order to get it to rise, you need to put it in a warmer environment. Put it on a windowsill that gets a lot of sun, or on top of the water heater, or on the stove when the oven is on. That will help the oil rise much faster.

      Hope that helps!

  34. Jamie says:

    Love it! I’ve actually bought natural peanut butter a few times but (embarrassingly) ended up getting rid of it because the oils grossed me out. I didn’t know that non-stir peanut butter existed.

  35. Stinehall says:

    I wanted to make a suggestion regarding almond butter. Boneys/Henrys/Sprouts/Frazier Farms makes a chocolate almond butter that is just almonds and dark chocolate. I don’t spread it on anything… I just eat it by the spoonful and I think it is pretty darn good! BTW, my favorite PB is the Kirkland Natural PB. I confess to eating that by the spoonful too! I guess I am a PB junky.

  36. tim says:

    btw – theres no trans fat in partially hydro oil found in the ‘non’ natty peanut butter

  37. Mary says:

    I love your idea about turning the jay upside down so the oil is at the bottom of the jar.
    Another practice that makes mixing easier is to gently warm the PB in the jar thoroughly in a microwave. It takes only 25-35 seconds on high, although I usually do it slightly longer on 50% power to be safe.
    Don’t forget that if companies are adding cheap, unhealthy hydrogenated oil, they are also removing the healthy unsaturated peanut oil and selling it separately at a huge profit!

    • Nick says:

      Thanks Mary! I like the microwaving idea, never thought of that…especially if it’s been sitting for a while and the bottom is hard.

      As for removing the peanut oil – I’m not too sure about that. I don’t think peanut oil is removed and replaced with hydrogenated oil in regular peanut butter, but that’s definitely the case in “reduced fat” peanut butter. Never buy that stuff!

  38. dg says:

    have does pb&co dark chocolate dreamscompare to skippy dark spread? I so prefer pb&co to nutella(which has oily mouth feel due to the palm oils)

  39. dg says:

    that’s actually- how does… Swype is great when I watch!

    • Nick says:

      Haha, well I still think PB&Co is superior for taste. It just feels and tastes more natural than the Skippy one. The Skippy one has a good flavor, but the texture is still too “plasticky” for me. And similar to regular Skippy, it’s missing any actual peanut taste!

  40. dg says:

    thanks for info, I was going to try skippy chocolate even though I am full out addicted to pb&co dark chocolate dreams- have admitted my problem- last jar lasted 4 days (just me and a spoon)

  41. Jude says:

    Well, call me Crazy, but I prefer to pour the oil OUT. I like my peanut butter au natural as I eat it mostly on apples, celery and Wasa crackers. I like it very chunky and yes I like the dry stuff in the bottom of the jar. It’s like the inside of a peanut butter cup. It’s so heart warming to know there are so many peanut butter afficianos in the world.
    Peace and Peanut Butter~~>:<

    • Nick says:

      You are crazy! That’s some good oil you’re throwing out! At the very least, save the oil and use it to cook/fry with. It’s excellent for frying veggies or baking potatoes. Otherwise, I agree with you – I like the hard stuff on the bottom of the jar. It’s like having 2 products in 1 jar, sometimes I dig to the bottom for a snack, other times I stick to the top of the jar if I need it to spread.

      • Jude says:

        OMG. How could I have been so shortsighted? Excellent tip about the oil. I’m usually frugal to a fault. I expect the oil would be delicious in salad dressing as well. If you like dry peanut butter like me, warming it in the microwave a few seconds makes it spread like..well…butter. Thanks again.

  42. animat says:

    I know basically nothing about nut butter, so bear with me here. There’s a peanut butter I kinda like, it’s a cheap generic brand, but all the more expensive brands I’ve tried are much too sweet/salty for my liking. (According to the ingredient list, this one does have some salt and sugar, but the taste isn’t totally overpowering. It’s also got the same consistency as the name brands. The problem is, next year (if all goes well) I’m going to school in a different state, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to find this weird generic peanut butter? So I’m wandering if there’s a specific kind I might look for? Natural peanut butter might be worth a shot, but it doesn’t sound like it’s quite what I’m after. I also feel like it’d be really silly to buy a bunch of different peanut butters to try them out. Idk, failing everything else, I might just have to pack a jar or two of the generic one with me!

    • Nick says:

      What’s the brand you like? Do you remember the name?

      It’s probably a store brand, which unless that store exists in the other state, you won’t be able to find. Regardless, if you have a favorite brand, stick to it for now. I can’t imagine 1 or 2 jars being enough, so I would recommend bringing at least 12! Depending how long you plan to be there of course. But at some point you need to branch out and experiment!

  43. Tim says:

    Surprisingly, I developed both of your main techniques myself over the years. I no longer flip the ‘on deck’ jars, ’cause one leaked once. Also, I don’t split the jars in half, merely move ~1/8th of my next jar to the one that’s almost done and stir the hell out of both of them. Just enough so that I’ve got room to get a real good stir going. This may also help waylay any contamination fears since any given jar is only pushed into service for an extra week and a half, tops.

    Lastly, the most helpful technique that I’ve developed is to use a hand mixer to stir, but only with one of the two beaters attached. It does almost the same job as dumping the whole jar into a bowl, stand mixer, or food processor (as long as you’re not trying to change the consistency). Though it probably doesn’t do as good a job of getting to the corners as other methods, but I haven’t noticed a drop in stir-quality since I started doing it this past summer. But the method has a couple of added benefits:

    -It cuts down on the number of dishes produced by the stir process (a single beater attachment, no more difficult to clean han a fork).

    -It doesn’t lose any peanut butter to a bowl.

    • Nick says:

      1/8 of a jar movement – I do the same! It’s all about getting a rigorous stir.

      The hand mixer with one beater attached – I like that idea! Unfortunately, I don’t have one. However – you won’t lose any peanut butter to the bowl (if you use the first method), if you use a spatula to get every last drop out and lick it clean! But that’s 3 pieces to wash now instead of just one with your mixer method. Great idea, thanks!

  44. Anne says:

    So, are you telling me that even though the jar of Smuckers Organic Natural Peanut Butter I purchased that tells me to “stir and refrigerate” is not necessarily accurate (the refrigerate part)?

    • Nick says:

      Correct! The refrigerate part is only to help prevent the oil from separating. It will separate regardless, just at a slower pace in the refrigerator. My method is better so the peanut butter is still spreadable and not unnecessarily cold.

  45. lois says:

    Do I have to add salt? I will use roasted peanuts and shell them myself. No salt added and I don’t want to add salt to the butter. Must I?

    • Nick says:

      You don’t have to add salt, but there’s a huge difference in taste. A small amount of salt brings out the flavor in any food, but if you prefer it without salt, that’s fine too! Enjoy!

  46. lois says:


    Thank you.

  47. Jeanine says:

    I use my mixer and the two beaters fit just perfectly in most of the larger (750 g) peanut butter containers. Pulse it and move it up and down gently to get it started, then go to town, nice whipped natural pb. Then i store it in the fridge and find the consistency just perfect. What i am currently perplexed about is that the commercial brands of 100% peanuts still have 1g of sugar in the 15g serving size – so thats 6.7%. Is that the natural amoung of sugar in peanuts (seems high)? OR is it clever labelling?

    • Nick says:

      I really need to try that, I have yet to do it! I love whipped PB.

      As for the sugar Jeanine, here’s why – peanuts contain a small amount of natural sugar (about 4%), but because of the way nutrition labels are governed, the numbers are rounded to a whole number. 4% of 15g is 0.6g – but rounded to the nearest whole number it’s 1g. So it looks worse than it is!

  48. Mike M says:

    I have a handy trick for making a nut butter that is pretty much no-stir after you make it. I mix, ½&½, natural peanut butter(mine is Central Market brand that contains only dry roasted peanut) and Artisana raw cashew butter(only ingredient is raw cashews). Despite the fact they both need stirring on their own, once stirred together it no longer has oil seperation. And it tastes amazing. I hope this helps some ppl.

    • Nick says:

      Very interesting. That sounds delicious but how long does it take you to finish a batch? I’m wondering if the oil doesn’t really separate because you eat it too quickly =]

      • Mike M says:

        I just made 2 batches(2 16oz jars per batch). It took an hour and hopefully it will last long enough for me to see if there is a seperation later on. It takes about a week and 2-3 days for me to use a jar, so I will try to check back in a month and let you know.

        • Nick says:

          Thanks Mike, I’m curious!

          • Mike M says:

            It has been over a month since I posted about peanut&cashew butter. I just checked a jar I had made then and it has a very thin layer of oil that mixed back into the butter with a few turns of a knife and there is no think dry mass at the bottom.

            • Nick says:

              Thanks for reporting back Mike. Sounds like it separates only slightly and is quite easy to stir back! Sounds like a great combo too. I’ll have to make some…

  49. stuart says:

    Anyone heard of Americans who prefer Canadian peanut butter to American peanut butter? If so why do they like it better? What is the difference? I have heard of a number of people who go to some lengths to get Canadian peanut butter.

    • Nick says:

      I have not heard that, but it’s certainly possible. I wonder if it’s because so many American brands just keep adding sugar to peanut butter to make new “flavors”. Of course there is an expanding market in America for natural peanut butter, I wonder if Canada’s market for natural peanut butter is expanding quicker? Or maybe they’re adding sugar at an even faster rate and that’s what people enjoy?

  50. Mike says:

    Wrong if I do as you say I will get a runny mess you need it to settle more , and pour off the oil and set it aside.I have been eating “natural peanut butter”for 42 years, when i was a kid we used to buy our PB by 5 gal can.

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  52. Emily says:

    Okay I’m new to natural peanutbutter and I was wondering if Smuckers creamy peanut butter is supposed to have little bitty chunks (of nuts I guess?) but not near as big as the crunchy kind, like bumps the size of the point of a ball point pen. Also, I stirred it, is it still supposed to look watery/oily.

    -Peanut butter lover

    • Nick says:

      Welcome to the world of natural peanut butter! Smuckers creamy peanut butter is a coarse grind of peanut butter, so you will get those ball-point-pen-sized “chunks”. It gives the peanut butter a more gritty texture, and a more “natural” feel.

      As long as you stir it well enough (so there is no oil on top and no “hard stuff” on the bottom) then yes, that’s how it should be! This is real peanut butter! If you want something thicker and less oily, you should try the best peanut butter in the galaxy:

      Thanks for stopping by Emily!

  53. Peter says:

    I would like to ask the peanut guru why jars of peanut butter – different brands, same ingriedients – have different nutritional info. Example skippy has twice the iron as Peter Pan. Peter Pan mentions magnesium where skippy doesn’t and skippy mentions niacin and vitamin E – Peter Pan doesn’t. Niacin at 20%. Think Peter Pan would list it if it were in there. Again, no difference in ingriedients or serving size. You’d think a peanut would be a peanut, apparently not. Calories are also way off, 210 for peter and 190 for skippy – same 2tbsp serving size. Or maybe as I suspect nutrition labels are complete BS and basically made up. Thanks for any thoughts!

    • Nick says:

      Hey Peter,

      That’s a great question! There are a couple reasons to explain the differences. First, most (but not all!) peanut butter is made with runner peanuts. Different varieties of peanuts have slightly different nutrient contents, which might explain the difference in iron. As for the fact that one brand lists certain vitamins and another brand doesn’t – that’s because FDA regulations don’t require those vitamins to be listed on labels for peanut butter. It’s up to the manufacturer if they want to show those.

      Finally, calorie count varies for the simple reason of rounding. You’ll notice that the values for fat, carbs and protein are all whole numbers. In actuality, that’s obviously not the case. Manufacturers typically round because the numbers look “cleaner” on the label. But if, for example, the fat says 16g – it could be actually be anywhere between 15.5g and 16.4g. Since there are 9 calories per gram of fat, that accounts for up to 9 calories that can be hidden in the rounded number for fat. The same goes for carbs and protein, except it’s 4 calories per gram instead of 9. Based on the numbers you gave me for Peter Pan and Skippy, I’d guess that Skippy adds more sugar, which lowers it’s fat content and therefore calorie count.

      Hope that helps!

  54. Denise says:

    I LOVE natural peanut butter (I like crunchy, and my kids like creamy). I have a tip and a question.

    First the tip. I like to bake a lot, and have discovered if you need the natural peanut butter to be a little more spreadable and less runny, simply add just a little bit of honey and stir. Ends up looking just like “regular” peanut butter. Amazing!

    Now for the question. I know that most people want to stir in all that oil that rises to the top because the dry, packy stuff happens at the bottom otherwise. But, I happen to *LOVE* the dry packy stuff at the bottom. I drain the oil from the top and use it in cooking, then can’t wait to get the bottom of the jar for my extra-special treat. Any ideas on making more of the oil rise to the top so I can skim it off? I store it in my garage which gets rather warm in our Atlanta climate and skim about 3.5 tablespoons normally in the summer, maybe less in the winter.

    • Nick says:

      Hey Denise,

      First, a quick addendum to your tip – what kind of natural peanut butter do you use? I’m guessing either Trader Joe’s, Kirkland or Krema. Those are very runny and need thickening. Other brands like Smucker’s, 365 and our own, Peanut Butter Boy, are thick enough on their own and adding honey would make them TOO thick. Good tip though for those first brands!

      I agree! I love the stuff at the bottom too. We’re not alone in this, but there aren’t many people like us. I can give you some tips, but I think you’ve got it basically covered. The warmer, the better. The warmth will make the oil rise faster. Put the jar out in the sun in the summer, it will go even faster. The only downside here is that it can lessen the shelf life by causing the oil (you can’t remove ALL of it) to spoil faster. Other than that, you can increase the surface area between the peanut butter and the air, this should help the oil separate faster. One example of this would be to store the jar on its side. A more extreme example would be to empty a jar into a 9×13 baking dish and let it side in warm temperatures (or even put it in the oven at a low temperature?). The oil should rise even more and you can dump it right off. Those last methods are untested though! Good luck!

  55. Redd says:


    LOVE this site!

    I buy Kirkland’s Creamy Natural PB and may be the odd one out but my favorite part of the jar is the very bottom where there is NO oil. (I know all the things you are suppose to do to keep it creamy and move the oils throughout but I don’t like to) Reminds me a bit like the center of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!! My question to you is, is there less fat or nearly no fat in that part of the jar?

    • Nick says:

      Hey Redd! Thanks!

      Did you read the comment right above yours? Denise feels the SAME way as you! And so do I! I love the stuff at the bottom.

      You are correct – there is much less fat and calories in that part of the jar. But don’t forget that peanut oil is GOOD oil! Plenty of healthy fats in there!

      Hope that helps!

  56. Austin says:

    Wondering if anyone has tried this idea…I cannot find any results on the net. When you first get your new jar of nut butter and all of the oil is sitting at the top, drain it all out. Take note on the amount you drained. Then, measure that amount of coconut oil into a microwave safe dish and heat it up (if not already in liquid form). Now, dump that into the nut butter jar and use one of the methods above to stir it all up. I am thinking about trying this idea when I get home today. Should make a butter that uses palm, canola, or various other worthless oils a little more healthy. And if your home is cool enough, the coconut oil shouldn’t separate as it solidifies around 75 degrees F.

    • Nick says:

      I’ve thought about doing that too, but without dumping the peanut oil off. Since the coconut oil hardens, you shouldn’t need to remove the peanut oil.

      Either way, like you pointed out, the problem is if the coconut oil melts. The best solution to that problem would be to store it in the fridge – which leads me to believe that keeping the peanut oil will help the peanut butter be more spreadable if using it straight out of the fridge. But most homes will probably hit above 75 and melt the coconut oil pretty quick. Give it a try though, I’m sure it’s delicious!

  57. Jnm3 says:

    I want to thicken Kirkland/Creamy. Will try honey first (thx for tip)… BUT has any one tried guar gum?

    ‘Thoughts about how much (volume) of GG to add per jar? :-)

    ‘Love the site. John.

  58. Jnm3 says:

    An update:

    – 2 T honey thickened half a jar of creamy Kirkland quite nicely ( will try 1 T next time)

    – 2 T guar gum did Not thicken the other half jar as well as honey did

    Am still curious about alts to honey… Please jump in to the conversation. Thanks.

    • Nick says:

      Yes, honey thickens it up nicely! I have a few other ideas for you:

      1. Dump out some of the peanut oil when you first get the jar. I don’t normally recommend this, because the peanut oil is delicious and healthy, but if you really want to thicken it naturally, this is the easiest way.

      2. Get about 1-2 cups of roasted peanuts and grind them in your food processor (I recommend leaving the skins on and roasting them yourself to bring out the flavor even more), until they’re finally ground, but not “butter”. Stir them into the jar! I haven’t done this personally, but I think the resulting product will be much closer to our own brand of peanut butter, which is very thick and rich!

    • leven says:

      hey there,

      i’m probably late to the game here, but i was wondering about the same thing. i recently made peanut butter cups with natural pb mixed with a little coconut oil. they were great out of the fridge, but at room temp i found the pb too runny. honey sounds intriguing.

      i’m personally not super concerned about the “naturalness” of the peanut butter cup. i’d use skippy or something, but i really like to be able to tailor the sweetness myself.

      anyway, these are some ideas i had for thickeners (none of which i’ve actually tried yet, and one can debate about whether the pb is still “natural”):

      * xanthan gum: probably similar effect as guar gum, but since very little goes a long way, perhaps the result would be better.

      * tapioca maltodextrin: it’s usually used to make “powders” out of fats and can be used to make peanut butter powder. i think if some is added (but not enough to make a powder), it might effectively dry out the pb a little and make it seem thicker.

      * sodium citrate: it can emulsify cheese and water into a creamy sauce. it *might* work to emulsify the oil in pb so the whole mixture is thicker and holds together.

      * cocoa butter: saw this in a recipe for room temp stable pb chips. it might alter the pb’s taste though.

      * crisco/vegetable shortening: it’s partially hydrogenated oil so could help stabilize/thicken pb much like they do with the big brands. (arguably the least natural of these ideas).

      i’ll update if i try any of these.


  59. Jnm3 says:

    Yumm! Thx for sharing!

  60. Gracey says:

    I’ve always loved peanut butter, but in an attempt to be healthier and cut out processed, chemical-laden food from my diet, today I bought Cadia’s organic creamy peanut butter. I had high hopes when I opened the jar because it smelled fantastic, but it tastes horribly dry and bitter (the only ingredients are dry roasted blanched organic peanuts and salt). I tried mixing it with some honey, though, and found it tasted quite good. But since I’m trying to be healthy, is it worth eating the peanut butter if I have to add honey?

    • Nick says:

      Hmmm, perhaps they roasted the peanuts too much? It definitely shouldn’t be bitter. Did you dump the oil off or mix it in? As long as you mix it in well enough, it shouldn’t be TOO dry.

      I would recommend trying other brands. If you’re ok with Palm Oil (a natural oil extracted from the palm fruit), you should give our brand a try. It’ll be the best you’ve ever tasted. Honey shouldn’t be required to make peanut butter taste good!

      • Gracey says:

        I did mix in the oil. I’m definitely willing to try some other brands and will try yours if I can find it! The peanut butter I have now just tastes old.

  61. Josh says:

    PB101 really begins with opening your container, which brings me to my biggest complaint about PB… Getting to it. This morning making my shake I had new yogurt and PB containers. Yogurt… No problem. Practically lost a fingernail getting into my PB. Having went through several brands I know this is a common theme. I’d pay top dollar for an easy open jar…. Any insight greatly appreciated!

  62. There is a better way to stabilize peanut butter than trans fats or palm oil. It is with “chitosan.” It is a natural fiber, similar to cellulose. It is cheap, abundant and effective. Please refer to the above Facebook URL for detailed information.

  63. Curtis says:

    Super easy solution to stir natural peanut butter that I haven’t seen posted. Use an electric mixer with only one mixer piece (not two) attached. Most will reach almost all the way to bottom of the jar. It takes let than a minute, spills zero oil, and required little to no cleanup…just throw the 1 metal mixer into the dishwasher. This changed our lives after unsuccessfully trying to stir it forever and spilling oil everywhere each time we purchased a new jar…which was often.

  64. Johnny Redd says:

    Yes the oil does rise to the top and the “no need to stir” works really well if you turn the jar upside down. In addition, screw the top off just a little after opening to allow air to eacape and allow the peanut butter to settle firmly against the inside lid. When a person gets ready to spread, an amount of peanut butter will be stuck and swirled against the top just enough for one side of a sandwich. Also, the peanut butter will at least for a short time will be lodged at the top, not the bottom of the jar (just where you want the butter). Repeat reclosing, but still if you want to be extra sure, stir with a table knife going all the way to the bottom. Otherwise, forget that but keep in mind that the travel from top to bottom and storing upside down insures it want be so stiff as to tear your bread when trying to spread. Keep the peanut butter on the table or counter along with salt and pepper. Eat some everyday. It is nutritious, nice for digestion, tastes wonderful, and really complements your favorite jelly. Bon appetite!

  65. John and Rachel says:

    Dropped 3 very clumpy jars of naturl PB into a mixing bowl, MICROWAVED for 1 minute, mixes up easily and smoothly with a fork, nor did it change the flavor. Wondering there was no of using heat to help mix, works like a charm!

    • Nick says:

      Excellent point! I forgot to mention that. I’ve microwaved peanut butter for ease of stirring when I used it in recipes, or needed to drizzle it. I’m working on a Peanut Butter 201 for “advanced techniques”. This will get added to that! Thanks John and Rachel!

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