Every wondered where peanut butter came from? Or what kind of fats are in your favourite spread? Take a look here to find out Everything You Need To Know About Peanut Butter.
How Peanut Butter Was Invented
Peanut butter has always had its ties with healthy living and improved nutrition. It was first introduced in 1884 by Marcellus Gilmore Edson as a solution to a problem many people faced at the time – struggling to chew on solid food. Edson perfected the art of cooling peanut flour to create a “butter, lard, or ointment” texture, and hardened the liquid paste with sugar to make it spreadable.
Shortly after Edson’s discovery, John Harvey Kellogg (of Kellogg’s breakfast cereals), issued a patent for a “Process of Producing Alimentary Products” 14 years later in 1898.
How Peanut Butter Is Made
Peanut butter is a delicious, high-protein, low-sugar spread that keeps you feeling fuller for longer. One of the best bits about peanut butter is how unprocessed it is and how little needs to be added to make a perfectly flavourful butter.
Most peanut butters will be made by firstly roasting whole peanuts, which are then ground until they turn into peanut butter. The butter is naturally formed by the peanut oils released during the grinding process.
Take a look at how peanut butter is made in a factory here. (At Hognuts, we don’t use factories just yet, everything is hand-crafted by our two founders).
Is Peanut Butter Healthy?
Peanut butter is an incredible source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium and, of course, protein. Although peanut butter is naturally high in fat (50% of the calories are from fat), these fats are considered ‘good fats’ by nutritionists. Most of the calories come from monosaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats, two types which have been linked positively with heart health. Fats which are considered ‘bad fats’ are those that occur unnaturally in products, such as trans-fats. Trans fats are the types which are commonly found in greasy, low quality foods like processed cheese and sugary cakes.
For peace of mind, check out our products and their nutritional information before you get stuck in.
How To Treat Peanut Butter Allergies
An estimated 4-6% of the population have a peanut allergy. Although most people believe peanuts are a tree nut they are in fact a legume (they grow in the soil like other beans), meaning those with a peanut allergy can still enjoy other nuts with none of the same consequences.
If you’re experiencing itchy skin around the mouth or throat or a congested nose after consuming peanuts, you may have a peanut allergy. You can prevent against the allergy by avoiding peanut & peanut-contaminated products and always look out for “may contain peanuts” on factory-produced products.
What Can I Do With Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is a great ingredient to include in a multitude of recipes, especially if you’re looking to bake a low-sugar, high-protein treat like a cookie or a biscuit from scratch. Peanut butter also makes a great replacement for regular high-fat butter or margarine and makes incredible low-sugar frosting.
You can also use peanut butter as a spread to replace unhealthy options, like Nutella or butter on toast, or as a filling in sandwiches, like the infamous Peanut Butter & Jelly (PB & J) sandwiches of America.
For inspiration on what to do with your peanut butter, check out our recipes on the homepage.
The History of the Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
The humble PB&J sandwich dates back all the way to 1896, when its recipe was first introduced in a Good Housekeeping article. Other publications soon caught wind of the phenomenon and began releasing their very own ‘peanut butter sandwich recipes’. During the late 19th century, peanut butter was fairly expensive and involved citizens to buy a meat grinder as well as the peanuts. By the early 1900s however, the price of peanut butter dropped and the commodity made its way down the class structure to become the Everyman Sandwich.
The tremor of a PB&J boom came during the 1920s and 1930s when the Great Depression hit and people needed cheap, filling meals with food stuffs they could easily obtain. The real boom happened post-WW2 when U.S. soldiers craved the very thing that kept them going during the war, and what was always top of their military ration list during the hardest times – peanut butter & jelly. The rest of the USA caught on, and has been a US staple food ever since!
Other Uses for Peanut Butter
Beyond simply baking with it and adding to your favourite foods, peanut butter is a great worldwide saviour. Plumpy-nut is a 92g peanut butter-based pack of 500 calories and has been used to fight malnutrition in famine-stricken countries since 1996. The benefits of Plumpy-nut are its high-fat, long-lasting quality nutritional composition, providing those in need with essential vitamins and minerals. It is regularly referred to as a Ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF).
When is National Peanut Butter Day?
January 24th in the USA!