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
Nutrition & Recipes

Tracking Calories? Know These 5 Reasons They’re Not All Created Equal.

With nutrition, it seems like nothing’s ever simple. Take the relationship among calories consumed, calories burned and impact on your weight.

This seems simple: if calories-in are greater than calories-burned, then you gain weight. If “in” < “burned,” then you lose weight. But wait! This simple view is misleading…there are good calories and bad calories, and from the standpoint of managing your weight these are NOT equal. Let’s walk through the facts here and consider what it means for your quest to get (or stay) reasonably lean.

article-image
Fitness Planning & Gear , Mindfulness & Stress Management , Nutrition & Recipes , Travel & Adventure

Business Trips Hazardous to Your Health? 4 Strategies to Stay Well.

Over my 25+ year career, I’ve spent about 750 nights on the road. Whoa – over two years, man. This can raise “what am I doing?” career questions (it has for me).

But you don’t have to travel nearly that much to face this challenge: how to stay fit, eat decently and otherwise protect your wellness on the road?

Based on longtime self-observation and trial-and-error, here are four approaches to prevent travel from being hazardous to your health.

article-image
Fitness Planning & Gear , Nutrition & Recipes , Philosophy & Motivation

OlderBeast: Five Things to Know About It for 2017

Happy new year, brothers (and sorry for the “clickbait” title of this post – I hate these “X things” headlines, but in this case it feels authentic… though I still won’t do it again until 2018, promise).

Since OlderBeast.com just kicked off recently, this may be the first you’re hearing of it. So, this post is to introduce the concept and suggest a few articles on fitness, nutrition and wellness to help make 2017 your greatest year yet.

article-image
Fitness Planning & Gear , Flexibility & Alternative Fitness , Nutrition & Recipes

OlderBeast Weekly Web Picks: 3/3/17 (Stretching and Flexibility)

Happy Friday, gents. I hope we all maintain or improve our fitness and health momentum over the weekend, and in the coming week!

This week’s picks feature flexibility/stretching (a key pillar of the OlderBeast view on real fitness), a look at the confusing “online nutrition info” situation, and suggestions for a Wellness-enhancing nighttime routine.

2 Comments
  1. Shareef 2 years 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 2 years 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.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.