Natural Peanut Butter
What is natural peanut butter? It is peanut butter that has a simple list of ingredients that includes –
1) peanuts and
2) nothing else.
Some natural nut butters may have salt added, but truly natural peanut butter will have no other oils, sugars, flours, salt or preservatives in it.
Natural peanut butters can be chunky or smooth, just like processed peanut butter, and may be organic, or not organic, depending on the peanuts used. Organic is not the same as 100% peanut butter. .
Natural peanut butter has not been processed to make the oil a solid, oil will separate out at room temperature.
Why Use Natural Peanut Butter and Nut Butters?
Once you start eating natural peanut butter, the processed kind will taste like FAKE FOOD – a pastey, sugary, candy, floury, weird substance.
Processed peanut butter reminds me of frosting/icing or what is inside of Reese’s pieces candies. More like candy than peanuts.
Natural peanut butter has a richer peanut taste and more peanuts per spoonful because it has no fillers. It tastes real.
Over 20 studies found that eating a small amount of whole nuts daily made people lose weight. Read more about how adding a handful of whole nuts a day can make you feel so satisfied that you eat less. Nut butter worked too.
Natural Peanut Butter is a Whole Food
Natural peanut butter has not been hydrogenated – chemically processed at high temperatures to change the molecular structure of the oil, and stop the oil from separating.
Processed peanut butters contain added sugars, flours, and oils you don’t need.
Natural nut butter is simply real peanuts, or almonds, or seeds, or cashews etc. and none of the original nutrients from the nuts have been stripped out or altered.
Whole foods are better for us, our bodies know what to do with them.
Hydrogenated Oils are Man-made and Contain Dangerous Trans Fats
We should all avoid harmful artificial trans fats, used to hydrogenate vegetable oils into a solid.
Trans fats raise the risk of heart disease, increase bad cholesterol levels and reduce good cholesterol levels.
Governments are banning trans fats to protect us.
However, with trans-fat nutrition-labeling rules, products labeled “0 trans fats” can still contain up to half a gram of trans fat per serving.
You can assume that “trans-free” processed peanut butter still contains a small amount of trans fat if partially hydrogenated oil is listed as an ingredient.
Avoid processed peanut butters and save your body from trans fats.
Cookies Made with Natural Peanut Butter
Check out my recipe for Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies.
Natural peanut butter works as a great egg substitute for binding ingredients.
Cookies made with nut butters won’t need oil or margerine, the natural peanut oils make them perfectly chewy, and they usually don’t stick to the cookie sheet.
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Other Natural Nut Butters
The natural idea applies to more than peanuts – you can find natural almond, cashew, other nuts, and seed butters too.
Before Opening, Store Natural Peanut Butter Upside Down
Store the beautiful natural nut butter container upside down in your cupboard.
Depending how solid the nut mass is, most of the oil will rise to the bottom. That sounds confusing, but it makes sense!
How to Stir Natural Peanut Butter
Later, when you open the nut butter, turn the jar upright and stir it with a long tool that reaches to the bottom of the container – I use a stainless steel non-serrated table knife with a dull edge and a rounded point.
The oil will rise up through, as you stir, and you can combine the peanut solids with the oil – like they were in the original peanut.
I would like to invent a nut butter stirring machine… my husband Greg and I discuss the design. Trouble is it will bounce all around unless it is secured to something.
You Can Dump Some of the Oil Out to Make it Low Fat
If you are watching your fat intake, you can pour some oil out of the peanut butter before you stir, but leave enough oil so that the peanut butter is spreadable and easy to work with, rather than hard and dry.
It takes some muscles to stir natural peanut butter, and it is an inconvenience but, think how good it is for your arm!
If you have stored your peanut butter upside down then oil won’t slosh out the top of the container when you stir, because most of the oil will be trapped at the bottom of the jar, under the peanut butter.
Also, your peanut butter won’t be a brick at the bottom of the container, the oil will be at the bottom instead. You can stir up the solids without having to dig to the bottom.
After Opening, Store Natural Peanut Butter in the Fridge
Once you have mixed the nut solids and the oils, into a creamy, spreadable state, store the jar in the fridge.
The cold will stop the oil from separating back out, the mixture will be semi-solid, but soft enough to spread.
I hope these tips are useful, and encourage you to try natural nut butters, another step towards whole foods! ?
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