Have you eaten peanut butter sometime in the last month? Yes? Then you’ve inadvertently celebrated Peanut Butter Month, in which we celebrate a globally enjoyed staple condiment that has stood the test of time. And for good reason: without exaggeration, peanut butter may be the greatest food spread in history.
But before we make our case for peanut butter, let’s start with the peanut butter basics. Yes, any self-respecting human has eaten peanut butter on crackers and in sandwiches since childhood. And yes, it is made mostly of peanuts, which are shelled, roasted, blanched, ground and then mixed with salt, sugar and other flavourings. Finally, vegetable oil (or something like it) is used to give the whole thing that creamy consistency.
So what exactly makes peanut butter better than literally any other spread?
Peanut Butter is easy to make
Peanut butter is easy to make it yourself and there are dozens of styles and flavours, including chunky, creamy, sweet and savoury varieties. For a good starting place, try these three basic recipes from Inspired Taste that you can make in a half an hour with little more than an oven and a blender.
Peanut butter is very, very nutritious
It is no accident that the humble peanut butter and jelly sandwich has become a school lunch staple. Nutritionally speaking, peanut butter offers huge bang for your buck. It is primarily a source of good fats but also carries a decent amount of protein, carbohydrates, fibre and vitamins and minerals. It’s also helpful if you’re dieting: a scoop of peanut butter can not only round out an otherwise carb-heavy dish, it can also make you feel full faster. Next time you feel like cracking open a bag of potato chips, try eating a single tablespoon of peanut butter.
Peanut butter lasts a long time
An unopened jar of store-bought peanut butter can last as long as a year on the shelf, making it an excellent emergency food. An opened jar of peanut butter can last three to four months on the shelf, and twice that time if refrigerated. But that is merely the time in which the oil begins to separate from the mixture, so if you go beyond that, never fear – you can simply stir it back up.
Peanut butter pairs with a wide range of flavours
Peanut butter is a relatively simple ingredient, but it has gone on to define whole families of sweet and savoury dishes. The nutty, buttery peanut butter flavour pairs with jelly, banana, chocolate, cinnamon, maple syrup, nutmeg and even ground beef and bacon.
And nobody plumbed the depths of peanut butter like Elvis Presley, who was famously fond of…
Elvis Presley’s Fool’s Gold Loaf
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- An entire jar of peanut butter
- An entire jar of jelly
- One pound of thick-cut bacon
- One loaf of French bread
- A mess of margarine
- Slather the French bread with a mess of margarine and bake at 175 degrees celsius until golden brown
- Fry the bacon until crispy
- Slice the loaf in half and spread the jar of peanut butter on one side and the jar of jelly on the other, finally adding the bacon in the centre
- Eat the entire thing yourself
These other amazing peanut butter recipes
Finally, here are some of our favourite peanut butter-based recipes to try in honour of Peanut Butter Month:
- Baked peanut butter and bacon donuts by Baked Dough and Oven Mitt
- Grilled peanut butter burger by Trager Grills
- Homemade Reece’s style peanut butter cups by The Recipe Critic
- Classic peanut butter cookies by Sallie’s Baking Addiction
- Peanut butter mole enchiladas by Pillsbury
- Chocolate peanut butter pie by Food Network
- Peanut butter and banana smoothie bowls by Liz’s Healthy Table