Peanut butter is one of those childhood favorites that we’ve all come to love even more in college. Thanks to its ability to fortify on a budget and its comforting flavor that pairs well with bread, pretzels and even a solitary spoon, this decadent spread is a staple in every dorm room. So beyond using National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day as an excuse to eat boatloads of the nutty stuff, let’s take a moment to ponder its origins. What genius invented this stuff, anyway? The person most widely credited for the beloved substance is George Washington Carver in the 1880’s, but few people know that a similar paste made from mashed-up peanuts was actually used by the Aztecs. Since the Aztecs, there have been many stories about the origins of the peanut butter creation process.
In 1895, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the inventor of Kellogg’s cereal, patented the process of making nut meal. In 1903, Dr. Ambrose Straub patented a peanut butter making machine. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Joseph L. Rosenfield created the more familiar, smooth peanut butter of modern times, and founded the Skippy® peanut butter brand.
Peanut butter has been an American household favorite for years, but is this consuming this nutty concoction good for our health? Those routine PB&J sandwiches that consistently grace lunchtime might be a secret store of fat as peanut butter contains a lot of saturated fat. But according to a Harvard health study, peanut butter in moderation can be good: two spoonfuls come with healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals like potassium that balance the caloric splurge. Another Harvard health study in 2002 also showed that people who eat peanut butter or include nuts in their diet have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So keep eating that nutty spread — just not the whole jar!
Another way to have your peanut butter and eat it too is by making it yourself. With the salmonella scares and subsequent peanut butter recalls in recent news, homemade peanut butter is a way to indulge worry-free, and eliminate some unnecessary preservatives at the same time. Here’s a simple recipe for homemade peanut butter:
Homemade Peanut Butter
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
1 ½ cup of roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 tablespoon of peanut or vegetable oil
A squeeze of honey
1. Mix the peanuts and oil together with a small squeeze of honey.
2. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender.
3. Blend until desired consistency.
For Chunky Peanut Butter:
1. Put aside a ¼ cup of peanuts.
2. Follow steps above to create a smooth peanut butter mixture.
3. Once the mixture is smooth, put the rest of the nuts in the blender or processor.
4. Pulse for a few seconds for desired chunkiness.
Now that you have your simple homemade peanut butter, you can make a nostalgic peanut butter sandwich or click here for more creative ways to spread your butter.
Fun Facts about Peanut Butter From Skippy® Peanut Butter
-It takes 772 peanuts to make a 16.3 ounce jar of peanut butter.
-Georgia is the #1 peanut producing state, but did you know that Texas is #2?
-The average American child will eat 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by the time he or she graduates from high school (!)
-Americans eat about 3 pounds of peanut butter per person each year, totaling about 500 million pounds…enough to cover the floor of the Grand Canyon.
-Two United States presidents have been peanut farmers: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
-“Arachibutyrophobia” (pronounced I-RA-KID-BU-TI-RO-PHO-BI-A) is the fear of peanut butter getting stuck to the roof of your mouth.