Small Trick to Help You Eat Better: Best Way to Stir “Natural” Peanut Butter

OlderBeast address vital topics like lifelong fitness, nutrition, happiness…and now, peanut butter.

For those of us who eat “natural” or “old fashioned” peanut butter, stirring together the peanut/oil separation when you first open a jar is a messy PAIN.

Here’s the solution I figured out – just recently, after a decade or so of dealing with this low-grade pain.

by

OlderBeast addresses vital topics like lifelong fitness, nutrition, happiness…and now, peanut butter.

Granted, this post might not be non-life-changing (unless you eat a lot of peanut butter and if so, hopefully it will be).  But for those of us who eat “natural” or “old fashioned” peanut butter, stirring together the peanut/oil separation when you first open a jar is a messy PAIN.

If you know this already, feel free to skip the next section and get to the solution! If not, please invest 60 seconds to read this in its entirety – you’re here anyway, man.

Natural Peanut Butter: Context

First off, peanut butter is a great contributor to a man’s nutrition program.  Walnuts, almonds and pistachios each have strong benefits, too, so this isn’t recommending it over them.  But peanut butter is convenient, affordable, high-protein, filling…and tasty. Yes, it’s pretty caloric, so watch quantity if you’re carefully managing weight.

And you should use natural peanut butter. Why? Natural peanut butter has one ingredient (peanuts)…or two if you get the salted kind like I do (it’s just a little bit of salt).

“Normal” peanut butter has added sugar, and hydrogenated oils that prevent oil separation in the jar.  Those are two bad ingredients for an OlderBeast seeking health.

So what’s the downside of natural?

When you first open a jar, there’s layer of pure peanut oil floating on top of the peanut butter below.  The directions say “stir, then refrigerate” – doesn’t sound like a big deal.

But the peanut butter layer is pretty firm (without its natural oil blended in), and the physical stirring effort often causes the oil layer to splash over the top of the jar, down the jar’s sides, onto your hands and the kitchen counter. That’s the “pain” part (and hence the paper towel you’ll notice in the image above).

It might not sound like much, but everyone I know who uses natural peanut butter hates this.

The Solution

Here’s the solution I figured out – just recently, after a decade or so of dealing with the low-grade pain described above.

Firstly, do not refrigerate the jar before opening – keep it in the cabinet.

1. When you first open the jar, pour most of the “floating” oil layer into a coffee cup or small bowl, and keep it handy

2. Stir up the remaining peanut butter, the smaller amount of oil and (for “crunchy” variations – my favorite) the small bits of peanuts

3. From the mixed stuff in the jar, use your first serving of peanut butter onto a sandwich, with an apple, or see my favorite 30-second peanut butter lunch concoction (below)

4. Then, once you’ve reduced the quantity in the jar via this first serving, pour the rest of the oil back into the jar and stir everything up…with more vertical “safety space” above the level of the jar’s contents

Now refrigerate and use the rest of the jar, being happy that you didn’t spill oil all over the place as that jar’s inaugural act!

Simplest Awesome Peanut Butter Recipe: “PBJ &B” Burrito

My family thinks I’m goofy for doing this (they have other reasons, too).  But I love it: the peanut butter, jelly, and banana burrito.

Take a whole wheat tortilla. Put a generous strip of peanut butter from one edge, through the center point, and most of the way toward the other edge (like a diameter line, but only making it about 75 or 80% of the way across the tortilla).

Now put a thin line of fruit preserves alongside the peanut butter. There is refined sugar in this, even if you have “sweetened with fruit juice concentrate” preserves, so don’t use much. Or, use honey which is a healthier sweetener, even a “super food” according to some.

Now, lay a whole peeled banana on top of your PB&J strip

Fold over the not-covered part of the tortilla and wrap up like a burrito

There you have it.  In this “burrito,” you have healthy fats and protein from the peanut butter; healthy carbs and fiber from the tortilla; and healthy carbs, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and anti-oxidants from the banana.  Note: a banana toward the greener/less-ripe end of the spectrum is a little better for you.

It was super-quick to make, easy to eat, and filling enough that you shouldn’t need any other lunch at that time. You’ll be ready for a mid-afternoon snack, which is a good idea within many guys’ daily routine, especially if you exercise after work.

###

Just as the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, the path to sustainable nutrition starts with finding specific, healthy things you like to eat and can easily prepare.  In that quest, I hope the humble peanut, and this humble post, are helpful.

“I’ve got some groceries, some peanut butter, to last a couple of days.” (Talking Heads, Life During Wartime — click to listen)

You may also like

article-image
Activities , Nutrition , Planning

Guys, You Know It’s Time for Fitness…Here’s How to Start

With all the focus here on finer points of tuning your fitness approach, continuing to eat smarter, and mixing the outdoors and adventure into your activities…I worry OlderBeast may feel inaccessible to guys who don’t (currently) make fitness and good nutrition a habit.

OlderBeast isn’t just about getting even fitter and healthier from a solid starting point, though – it’s about getting started from wherever you are.

article-image
Nutrition , Weight , Wellness

Let’s Kill the Business Dinner Before it Kills Us

Man travels for work. Goes out for a “business dinner” most nights. Over time, gains 20+ pounds. Exercises less, so that’s 25+ pounds of fat, obscured weight-wise by 5+ pounds of muscle loss). After dinner, still email and other work to-do’s…so sleep is reduced.

This “business dinner” culture and behavior is literally killing people. Or at least, gravely threatening the “OlderBeast” vision for 40+ guys: fearlessly embrace your age and double down on fitness and nutrition, to feel great, look your best, keep getting happier, and live long.

So, with a belief that this is urgent, here’s a plea and proposal for escaping the Business Dinner Syndrome, brothers.

article-image
Activities , Nutrition , Wellness

Know Your Enemy: Understanding Stress & Planning To Counter It

I know. You may be thinking, “yeah, I KNOW stress is bad; nothing new here.” But are you really DOING anything about it?

If you’re reading an OlderBeast article, you’re determined to take care of yourself, to maximize the 2nd half of life. And though it’s not as obvious as being overweight or out-of-shape, being over-stressed is a BIG problem that will impede your progress toward this goal. A problem you should deal with head-on, man.

So please read on. We’ll define stress in a simple way, summarize a (scary) list of the negative health impacts stress can have, and discuss three basic approaches to combat stress (including exercise, of course).

2 Comments
  1. Shareef 4 months ago
    Reply

    Great tip Mark. I’ve been dealing with this messy preamble for years. Another outstanding option: almond butter. It’s now my fave.

  2. Jennifer Young 4 months ago
    Reply

    Awesome tip Mark! I will try this!! I’ve been struggling with this for years!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.