How to buy: peanut butter

Have you stopped buying normal peanut butter yet? I know, they removed the partially hydrogenated oils a few years back, so they technically contain no trans fats (as long as you stick to their serving size), but have you seen what they replaced it with? Hydrogenated oils. First of all, apparently labelling has become loosey-goosey enough that this phrase can imply partial hydration. And second, what is this stuff? Supposedly it’s more safe than partial hydration, but in my book, any food that is liquid but has been chemically treated to remain solid is probably not the best thing to put in your body.

But if you love old-fashioned normal peanut butter, I know already what the two complaints will be: 1. Natural tastes boring. 2. I hate that it’s all oily and separated.

So this is the brand I recommend to people making the switch:

319-UmZBprLThis stuff has a little salt and sugar in it, and is SO DELICIOUS, so it will satisfy that Jif/Peter Pan/Skippy craving, but its ingredients are all-natural. And I don’t know how they do it, but it’s totally creamy, no stirring necessary. (Or I guess chunky, but you still don’t have to stir it.)

Still, my family goes through jars of peanut butter almost as fast as we refill the Brita, and we don’t actually mind the flavor of natural peanut butter, so we typically rely on good old-fashioned (and cheap) Smuckers. But that leaves that oily/separated problem again. The second best solution is one that my Aunt Linda filled me in on years ago—she would open the brand-new jar, dump the whole contents into a bowl, stir it up, and stuff it back in the jar. (Once you refrigerate stirred peanut butter, it mostly remains creamy.) Though this seemed extreme to me, I couldn’t deny that EVERY SINGLE TIME I promised myself that this time would be different, that I wouldn’t splash oil all over my clean shirt stirring the peanut butter right in the jar, I would end up stirring really gingerly and not quite getting the job done right, and all of a sudden a little geyser of oil would shoot up all over me. So Aunt Linda was onto something. Until my colleagues at Gourmet discovered this crazy device, for under $10! (Think of the dry-cleaner bills you’ll be avoiding.)

51T58BVPFYL._SY355_You screw the lid on your jar, plunge the stirrer into the peanut butter, and crank it a bunch of times. Pull out the stirrer (which comes out miraculously clean, thanks to the gasket), and you’re done. It’s the best.

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