one man's ceiling
Saturday, February 10, 2007
  what's up with oily peanut butter?
Food and Wine isn't normally a mag i pick up because it just feels to much like a big-budget advertising circular for the American Express Publishing Corp. but this month they have a taste-test on supermarket peanut butters, and i was in the market for peanut butter this week, and i got to thinking about peanut butter...

yes, i know why peanut butter is oily. all good peanut butters that haven't been filtered will have oil because it's a part of the separation that comes from processing. the only peanut butters that won't separate have their oils replaced with something to keep them smooth, otherwise they just get dry and taste like cardboard.

i like peanut butter in a bowl mixed up with chocolate chips. i may have confessed that before. just the peanut butter and chips in a bowl with a spoon. it doesn't take much and it beats the pants off of some hydrogenated peanut butter cup candy sitting on the shelf in the store for several weeks.

but here's the thing: you open up the new peanut butter and there's the pool of oil, all the way up to the lid, probably to avoid spoilage. so you dig in and start to gently stir to get the oil mixed, because otherwise the top half of the jar is always going to yield oily peanut butter and the bottom half is going to be dry enough to give you flash cotton mouth.

but there it goes, oil spilling over the top and down the side of the jar. you stir more carefully but it doesn't integrate, so you try dredging from the bottom up and... there goes more oil.

how the hell are you supposed to stir up peanut butter in the jar without losing oil?

any and all suggestions greatly appreciated.
I refrigerate my pnut butter (as should you all!!) which actually can make it harder, but I get around that issue quite easily by buying freshly ground pnut butter from the coop. That way, I buy it in a large plastic container with plenty of room to stir it about. Even when it's cold and stiff.
yo, lyco!

i smell you on this one, but my only local source of bulk peanut butter is at the whole foods and when i tried it there was that nasty, rancid acrid taste of not-fresh going on. like, they dump the older, stale bulk peanuts in the machine? could be.

yeah, the fridge is where the peanut butter lives, but that still doesn't help the first time you mix it up!
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