Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Peanut Butter and Sunscreen


As I titled this post I laughed remembering writing an email to the builders in our pre-blog days titled "avocados and chicken pox" and Red wrote back how disappointed she was when discovered it was not about some obscure link between eating avocados and getting chicken pox.

So, on two unrelated notes:

I know Mary Alice has confessed a similar love of Costco's organic peanut butter. My question is this. How does one stir in the oil that separates out from natural peanut butter without making a complete mess?? Is is possible? Every time I open a new jar I approach it with renewed resolve to get it right and not make a mess on my counter and leave a coating of oil all over the outside of the jar.

And every time I fail. Miserably.

Does anyone have any tricks? If so, please be specific! Despite my tenure in the engineering department of an ivy league university I am perplexed beyond belief!!

And also, since we are at the beach this week (this is auto-posting) --this just a friendly reminder from Texas to throw out all your old, expired sunscreen and stock up on new stuff. We have had friends get severely burned because they used expired sunscreen. It still takes me 45 minutes to get the kids in coat/gloves/hats, but I can lather a kid in sunscreen in my sleep!

15 comments:

MomVee said...

We have this gadget:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A3I3BA

It does a better job than a butter knife, and the lid keeps the oil reasonably contained. I hate counseling people to buy things rather than use techniques to solve their problems, but in this case the thing seem to be the answer.

Gina said...

A couple of tricks:

pop it in the microwave for about 35 seconds before stirring, then stir it slowly.

poke several grooves into the peanut butter with a butterknife (nice big grooves that are bigger at the bottom of the jar), then put the lid on and turn the jar upside-down overnight in a warm place in your house. The next morning stir it slowly.

Both of these tricks work for me on both Smuckers all natural organic peanut butter and on tahini.

Molly said...

I also find that storing the peanut butter upside-down in the fridge means at least that the oil rises to the bottom of the jar and you can start the mixing without oil sloshing out the top.

Mary Alice said...

I keep my open jars of Costco PB in the fridge, and I find that it still spreads nicely, which makes it better than all other Natural PBs. I try to remember to put a new jar in the fridge when we are close to finishing one so that the oil will be more solid on top, then it is easier to stir in. I am going to try Molly's tip of turning it upside down!

mr. mary alice said...

I'd stay away from the microwave. The seal that you have to peel off is made with metal, and one time I didn't completely get the seal off and I put it in the microwave and nearly burned the house down.

Right Said Red said...

How's this for a solution--I don't stir it at all! I just use the very oily peanut butter up first, then add safflower oil once I'm about 1/2 finished with the jar. The safflower oil is excellent for our health AND at that point I am able to stir the jar without spilling. It was recommended by Marilyn Shannon in her book Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition, and it was a fantastic tip!

Jaime said...

My mom used to take a knife, poke it all the way to the bottom of the jar and gently move it back and forth. Do that a couple of times, and the oil starts going to the bottom, and then its easier to stir.

Kat said...

So does this mean that my Skippy All Natural peanut butter isn't really all natural? I've checked the label and it looks like there are no hydrogenated oils, but it's definitely not as "natural" as other kinds that I've bought. It doesn't need to be refrigerated and it doesn't separate.

I used to buy the peanut butter that you freshly grind at Whole Foods, but that was before I had two kids who eat a lot of it! I refrigerated that but didn't need to stir it - it's literally just ground-up peanuts.

Karlivan said...

I dump the contents of the jar into a bigger bowl, mix it up thoroughly, and spoon it back into the jar. Sure it means cleaning another bowl, but it dodges the frustration of trying to mix it without making a total mess of the counter and jar.

Mary Alice said...

When it comes to Peanut Butter, I don't buy anything with ingredients other than peanuts and salt. The costco stuff is a great value and has the consistency of Skippy, I love the super crunchy fresh ground stuff, too, but you can't make 10 PB and J sandwiches fast with that! We don't have a nearby costco, so my mom went recently and brought me 18 jars! Thanks again, mom!

BTW, I have recently decided that sandwiches are labor intensive and so a few days a week I give them whole grain crackers or pretzels, fruit and either a small bowl of PB or a yogurt to dip/spread. I give them little cocktail cheese knives and they have a blast with it!

Lastly, since we are on the subject of food, I have recently discovered that Fage Greek yogurt, which I love to have for lunch, is a great food for a new self-feeding 18 month old -- it is so thick that it just sticks to the spoon, whereas regular yogurt gets on everything. At my mom's I just gave Leo some plain fage with a little all fruit jam stirred in to sweeten.

Lastly, so looking forward to the farmers market starting up again! Happy Earth Day!

Elena said...

I solved this problem by dumping the contents of the PB jar into tupperware, stirring it and keeping the PB in the tupperware rather than transferring it back to the jar. Good luck.

JesusThroughMary said...

Open it, and push a knife through to the bottom in about 6 places. Close it again, and turn the jar upside down before you open it so all the oil goes to the bottom through the holes. Open it again, microwave it for 20-30 seconds, and you should have no problem stirring it.

Works with Smuckers, anyway.

handmaidmama said...

A friend of mine recommended to me to dump it all into a bowl, stir and then put back into the jar.

texas mommy said...

Thanks for the great ideas! Brilliant, really. "Turn the jar upside down." "Dump it out and mix in bowl."

Can you imagine why I left the engineering department? My talents were better suited to getting people smarter than myself elected...

Anonymous said...

Do you have a cuisinart mini prep? I use the same Costco pb and mix it in the mini. First, I dumo the oil in the "bowl" then scoop the pb in and mix it for about 30-45 seconds. Works wonderfully!! Then I scoop it back into the jar but a tupperware would work too.
-Kerry