Reader question… “I have been making a strong effort to eliminate processed foods from our diet and to eat more whole and healthy foods. One change we have made has been away from regular peanut butter to the peanuts only peanut butter. We like the taste but I’m finding it to be a real hassle the way the oil keeps separating. I have tried stirring and stirring and stirring but it never gets completely mixed up and when we get to the end of the jar I always find hardened peanut butter that didn’t get mixed in. Also the peanut butter stays too greasy because it never gets completely mixed. I’ve read your posts where you mention using all natural peanut butter and I’m thinking you must have some solution to this problem.” –Jeena
I agree… the instructions on the jar to “stir and refrigerate to reduce oil separation” are overly optimistic. Anyone who has tried to stir the oil back into natural peanut butter using a spoon or fork is going to find it hard going, I think, and it’s almost impossible even after a very thorough hand stirring to eliminate that solid peanut butter glob at the bottom of the jar. There are some easy solutions, though. Here’s what I do…
Using a flexible silicone spatula, I scrape the peanut butter (and oil) from one jar into a small mixing bowl and use my electric hand mixer to mix everything together. It only takes a few minutes to get the oil and solids completely mixed, and the flexible spatula makes quick work of getting the peanut butter back into the jar and off the beaters.
We eat a lot of peanut butter here, so I usually mix up two or three jars at a time… but I always mix each jar of peanut butter separately. I have found that when the peanut butter is thoroughly mixed, it does not separate again.
Or… there is actually an “award-winning invention” called a “natural peanut butter mixer.” This device looks like a jar lid and screws onto the top of the peanut butter jar. It has a handle coming out of the top center of the lid and a stirring rod coming out of the bottom center of the lid. The stirring rod fits down into the jar… when the handle is turned, the stirring rod mixes the peanut butter and oil together. When the stirring is reversed, a gasket cleans the stirring rod… the mixer is removed and the original lid is replaced on the jar.
It’s an interesting concept, but I’ll bet it doesn’t work any better than my even quicker hand mixer method!