Keep Your Natural Peanut Butter From Separating, and How to Remix It When It Does

Keep Your Natural Peanut Butter From Separating, and How to Remix It When It Does

People are very particular about peanut butter. I like the smooth, creamy “bad for you” kind that’s loaded with sugars and unholy hydrogenated oils. If you want peanut butter to act as a “health food,” the natural stuff is a better bet. Made with peanuts and sometimes a little salt, natural peanut butter doesn’t contain any of the oils or stabilizers that keep it from separating. This can lead to oil pooling at the top of the jar, which is an unappealing, but not insurmountable setback.

How to store natural peanut butter to keep it from separating

An ounce or prevention is worth a pound of strenuous stirring. The easiest way to keep your natural peanut butter spreadable is to store it upside down. The oil, which is lighter than the peanut solids, will work its way up to the bottom of the inverted jar, preventing it from pooling at the top. Flip the jar back over, and the solids will fall down into the oil. Give the jar a quick shake — about 30 seconds — to help re-emulsify everything, then spread as usual. (Real Simple recommends storing the jar in the fridge to immobilize the oil once it’s re-emulsified. It works, but it makes the nut butter much harder to spread.)

How to re-emulsify natural peanut butter

If you (or an unreliable family member) forgets to store the peanut butter the “right” way, don’t freak out. There are a couple of ways you can re-emulsify the nutty spread.

If the mouth of your peanut butter jar is wide enough to accommodate your immersion blender, just shove it down in there and blend everything back together. Start slowly, gently working the head of the blender down into the jar. Using too much force and too high of a speed can cause the oil to splatter.

If your immersion blender is too big for the mouth of your jar, you can use a hand mixer. Remove one of the beaters from your mixer, stick the remaining beater in the jar and — keeping a very firm grip on the jar — mix it on medium speed. Once the peanut butter is smooth, remove the beater and spread as usual.

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