Whole Foods Lifestyle For discussion of whole foods and more natural diets.

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Old 01-22-2007, 08:51 AM   #1  
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Default peanut butter revisited

I can't find the old pb thread, so here it goes.

I really like the way my natural peanut butter tastes, but I'm having a problem actually using it because it gets hard and virtually unspreadable (and unmeasurable) in the refrigerator. Given that peanut butter is something of a convenience food to me, when I need something quick, this is sort of a problem.

This weekend I tried something closer to 'regular' peanut butter that was processed with flax oil and molasses instead of hydrogenated oils & HFCS, but it was inedible. I'm guessing from the way it tasted that the flax oil was rancid, since flax oil tends to do that pretty quickly.

So I'm looking for new brands that are more spreadable or quick ideas for making it spreadable. I have tried microwaving and that is workable but very messy and still unmeasurable. And if I have an hour to just let it come to room temperature, I'm eating something else.

Thanks,

Anne
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:56 AM   #2  
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Why do you put it in the fridge? I keep my natural PB out and as long as I give it a good stir when I first buy it, it doesn't seperate.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:01 AM   #3  
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'Refrigerate after opening'

I thought this was standard procedure for natural pb. Without the hydrogenated oils to keep them shelf-stable they go rancid pretty quickly.

Anne
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:14 AM   #4  
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Mine says "Refrigerate after opening to prevent oil seperation". It was my understanding that the hydrogenated oils were there to help with the seperation.

I've been doing this for years and never really had a problem. It is my understanding that natural peanut butter has a shelf life of a few months after being opened.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:35 AM   #5  
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Hey there
I store mine in the fridget, but pull it out and pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it up. It works great and I just pop it back it the fridge afterward.
I love peanut butter too!
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:43 AM   #6  
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Thanks Nelie. I'll look into it more. I have to be especially careful of foodborne illness right now, but I'd love to just stir and spread.

Anne
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:52 AM   #7  
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I grind my own at the health food store, and buy just a very small amount at a time so I don't have a long-term supply that might go bad before it's gone. I think it tastes better, too
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:42 AM   #8  
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I never refrigerate mine and haven't had a problem in 2 years. The jars I buy from Whole Foods are pretty small and I go through them quickly - probably within 2 weeks. I figure, it's basically just peanuts and I'd have no problems keeping peanuts in the cupboard for a couple of weeks.

Nuts do go rancid though, I ruined a dish I was cooking by chucking a handful of old pine nuts into it. Ugh.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:13 AM   #9  
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I read that pine nuts go rancid pretty quickly, even if you refrigerate them so that may be one reason.

I don't eat a lot of PB but DH does so we probably go through 2 jars a month, depending on his appetite. In the past though I'd have an open jar for a couple months.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:35 AM   #10  
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Hi, when I buy my peanut butter, before I open it, I turn it upside down for a little bit. I try to get the oil to the the "bottom" of the jar so when I turn it over all the oil isn't just on the top and then I mix it for a good 2 mins. When the jar is practically empty, I microwave it too to keep it spreadable.

I go through a LOT of peanut butter - my son loves it!
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:46 AM   #11  
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I used to keep mine in the fridge, but the last month or two, I've been keeping it in the cupboard. I pour the oil off the top before I use it for the first time. Then, I stir what's left in the jar. Since there's less oil, the separation problem isn't much of an issue, and since it's not in the fridge it doesn't get hard.

Sometimes I've noticed that every jar is different. When I used to do the fridge thing, some jars (of the same brand) would stay smooth in the fridge, others would get hard by the end of the jar.

BTW, I buy Smucker's Natural and LOVE IT! Can't believe I ever did that Jif stuff.
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:00 PM   #12  
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I buy the REAL brand of PB too. I also store it in the fidge then pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds and stir. If I use it a few times a week then I only have to mic it once a week. If it sits in the fridge for a few weeks then I probably have to mic it again.

Beth
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:03 PM   #13  
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I wonder if it would be easier to make your own with just a very small amount of peanuts at a time...I would think a blender or food processor would do the trick...has anyone done this?
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:20 PM   #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alinnell View Post
I wonder if it would be easier to make your own with just a very small amount of peanuts at a time...I would think a blender or food processor would do the trick...has anyone done this?
I'm sure it would work, and probably be better, but easier, no way! Haul out the processor, put it together, store the peanut butter in something, clean everything up and then make a sandwich, versus opening a jar and sticking in a knife. Sometimes with the little one around, opening a jar, spreading the pb on bread and eating it is too time consuming and exhausting all by itself (yes, my life has gotten away from me). It has taken me more than an hour just to make and eat a pb sandwich. I need as much simplicity as I can scrape together for myself, hence the whining about hard pb and longing for my days of Jif.

Anne
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:34 PM   #15  
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I keep it fresh by simply getting the fresh ground PB from Whole Foods and the other local Organic Markets every 10 days or so. I never do bigger than an 8 oz container and the cost isn't that much. This morning, about half a pound ran me $1.25! Cheaper than a jar of the factory organic made PB. Plus I know it's nothing but ground nuts going into my body!
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