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Old 08-15-09, 09:13 AM   #1
taffer
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Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

I bought natural peanut butter for the first time, and it says on the jar to refrigerate after opening. I bought the non-natural peanut butter for years and never refrigerated it and never saw anything mentioning that it needed to be refrigerated. When it is refrigerated the natural peanut butter is hard as a brick.

Last edited by taffer; 08-15-09 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:16 AM   #2
Birrman54
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

I think it has to do with the type of saturated fats used in commercial peanut butter. They're specifically chosen because of their consistency at room temperature - they're also filled with preservatives which the natural stuff would lack.

Try microwaving?
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Old 08-15-09, 09:34 AM   #3
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

did you pour off the separated oil on the top before refrigerating? or did you mix it in first? Because I haven't had the hard as a rock problem if the oil is mixed in.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:35 AM   #4
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

I grew up with my dad being a health food nut (back before it was popular), and we always got the "natural" peanut butter, which to me (as a kid) looked nasty-- it looked like wet sand from the beach squished into a jar, with a layer of oil on top. My house never saw Skippy or Jiff or any of the delicious, sugar-laden, preservative-filled peanut butter brands that other kids had.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:33 AM   #5
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

You refrigerate it so the oils don't separate after you mix it.

Don't drain off the top layer of oil. You'll have a jar of peanut butter-flavored cement if you do. Plus, it's good for you and tastes better when mixed.

I don't refrigerate it after opening, because it becomes too hard to eat with a spoon. Instead, I just store the jar upside-down. For some reason the oils stay mixed this way. The downside is air will sometimes get trapped in the bottom of the jar when placed right-side up, making it difficult to get PB from the jar without making a mess.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:42 AM   #6
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

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Originally Posted by SFranke View Post
I don't refrigerate it after opening, because it becomes too hard to eat with a spoon. Instead, I just store the jar upside-down.
I don't refrigerate it, either, and keeping it upside down is an interesting tip I'll have to try!
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Old 08-15-09, 10:44 AM   #7
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

There's a grammatical error in the thread title.

Unrefrigerated natural peanut butter causes Lupus.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:47 AM   #8
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

Try Skippy Natural -- no refrigeration needed and almost no mixing. Not sure how they do it, but yay.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:49 AM   #9
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

Newton's law.

Anything made healthy will naturally result in unhealthy requirements.

By indulging in the perfect healthy creme de peanut, you also must engage in an action that consumes energy and creates pollution.
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Old 08-15-09, 10:55 AM   #10
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

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Originally Posted by DVD Guy ATL View Post
Try Skippy Natural -- no refrigeration needed and almost no mixing. Not sure how they do it, but yay.
That's what I buy. Good stuff. With the other natural brands I seem to never mix it correctly and always end up with peanut butter clay as I get deeper into the jar.

For the longest time I could only find the Skippy Natural in creamy, but now they have chunky, too. Awesome.
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Old 08-15-09, 11:29 AM   #11
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson View Post
Newton's law.

Anything made healthy will naturally result in unhealthy requirements.

By indulging in the perfect healthy creme de peanut, you also must engage in an action that consumes energy and creates pollution.
I thought Newton's Law was "a cookie is just a cookie, but Newtons are fruit and cake."
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Old 08-15-09, 01:20 PM   #12
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

My dad loves that natural peanut butter. He buys it from a health food cooperative. I love peanut butter, but I tend to buy whatever's on sale.
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Old 08-15-09, 04:17 PM   #13
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

I buy the Crazy Richard's brand. It's the only natural peanut butter I've liked. The ingredient list is: peanuts. When I open the jar, the oil is on top and I mix it with a butter knife for like 5 minutes. You have to get that oil well mixed in so it is real smooth. Then refrigerate. Perfect consistency.
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Old 08-15-09, 05:07 PM   #14
taffer
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LurkerDan
did you pour off the separated oil on the top before refrigerating? or did you mix it in first? Because I haven't had the hard as a rock problem if the oil is mixed in.
I mixed in the separated oil. Maybe my phrasing of "hard as a rock" wasn't quite accurate. I don't mean that it was hard to chew. I just mean that it was very stiff and hard to spread on bread. It was all chunky, even though this was supposed to be the creamy kind.


Quote:
I don't refrigerate it after opening, because it becomes too hard to eat with a spoon. Instead, I just store the jar upside-down. For some reason the oils stay mixed this way.
I may try this with my next jar. I was worried that since the jar explicitly says to refrigerate after opening that it would spoil if I didn't, but a couple people have said they don't refrigerate so I guess if they are still alive then I will be okay.

I also noticed a couple people recommending Skippy Natural. I thought about trying that since it doesn't separate like other natural peanut butters, but I have heard that Skippy Natural is not truly a natural peanut butter because it contains palm oil whereas a true natural peanut butter contains only peanuts and maybe salt.
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Old 08-15-09, 07:51 PM   #15
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

I always drain off the oil and have no problem spreading it on stuff.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:18 PM   #16
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

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Originally Posted by taffer View Post
I have heard that Skippy Natural is not truly a natural peanut butter because it contains palm oil whereas a true natural peanut butter contains only peanuts and maybe salt.
I happen to have a jar of the Skippy stuff right here, and it does indeed have palm oil in it. I don't like it nearly as much as the Smucker's Natural that I usually buy, but all of the grocery stores here are apparently not carrying the Smucker's kind any more.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:52 PM   #17
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

I've become hooked on the Whole Foods Peanut Butter - mix in the oil, keep it in the fridge.
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Old 08-16-09, 02:01 AM   #18
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

Is this the 100th peanut butter thread yet?

Anyway, natural is kind of overrated. I found it to be more expensive and they don't mix that well and it doesn't taste as good as the commercial stuff (Skippy natural is OK).
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Old 08-16-09, 10:31 AM   #19
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Bus View Post
I happen to have a jar of the Skippy stuff right here, and it does indeed have palm oil in it. I don't like it nearly as much as the Smucker's Natural that I usually buy, but all of the grocery stores here are apparently not carrying the Smucker's kind any more.
It's a tiny bit of added fat. Just enough to keep things emulsified.
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Old 08-16-09, 10:43 AM   #20
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

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Originally Posted by big whoppa View Post
Is this the 100th peanut butter thread yet?
Do we need a peanut butter subforum?


Quote:
Anyway, natural is kind of overrated. I found it to be more expensive and they don't mix that well and it doesn't taste as good as the commercial stuff (Skippy natural is OK).
Natural is only overrated if you don't care about your health and don't mind shoveling into your body the artificial sugary crap that comes in the commercialized peanut butters.
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Old 08-16-09, 11:16 AM   #21
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

I have tried my share of natural peanut butters in my day. Whole Foods, while the best I had, still holds no candle to SKIPPY. So if it has transfats, it has transfats. I eat fairly well in other areas of my life, so I think I can allow one indigence here and there.

I think natural peanut butters are a bit overrated. The ingredients in Skippy? Roasted peanuts, sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, salt. The ingredients in natural peanut butters? Roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt. And palm oil isn't all that's it's cracked up to be, folks.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0502084827.htm

So, yes...OVERRATED. And if you are shoveling anything into your body on a regular basis, it will probably have an ill effect on your body over the long haul. I spread a thin layer on toast every now and then. I hardly call that shoveling.
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Old 08-16-09, 11:27 AM   #22
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

Mmm, I remember getting freshly made peanut butter as a kid. I'm gonna hafta look for some of that out here. For Canadians, President's Choice makes a great natural peanut butter at a good price.
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Old 08-16-09, 12:24 PM   #23
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

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Originally Posted by calhoun07 View Post
I think natural peanut butters are a bit overrated. The ingredients in Skippy? Roasted peanuts, sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, salt. The ingredients in natural peanut butters? Roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt.
Sorry, but no. Natural peanut butter has peanuts, and maybe some salt. No palm oil. If it has palm oil, it isn't really 'natural.'. That's like Breyers advertising their 'all natural' ice cream with guar gum. It used to be all natural, but now it isn't. Palm oil, guar gum - not natural.
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Old 08-16-09, 12:41 PM   #24
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

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Originally Posted by calhoun07 View Post
The ingredients in natural peanut butters? Roasted peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt.

Wrong. The ingredients in a true natural peanut butter are peanuts and possibly salt. Nothing else.

Skippy Natural is the only "natural" peanut butter I have seen that has palm oil in it (which is why it doesn't separate like true natural peanut butters do). That is where the controversy comes from that Skippy Natural isn't a true natural peanut butter since it has palm oil which a true natural peanut should not have.
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Old 08-16-09, 04:31 PM   #25
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re: Why does natural peanut butter need to be refrigerated?

Yeah, I was comparing the two Skippy peanut butters.

I don't know how much peanut butter everybody here eats, but I still won't worry about it, and still think natural peanut butter is overrated. straightdope.com reads that you want the transfats at 0 on a food label and the saturated fats as close to 0 as possible. On Skippy, the trans fats is 0 and saturated fat is 3g. One serving is two table spoons. I honestly don't think I even use one tablespoon of peanut butter on toast, but certainly not more than two. I don't see it as evil as you are all making it out to be.
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