I like peanut butter . . . I don’t love it but I know people who are just nutty about it! They'll even eat it straight from the jar . . . can you imagine?? :-)~
What is obvious is that peanut butter is made from peanuts. What is less than obvious is that peanuts are not nuts at all. They are, in fact, legumes . . . related to beans and peas. Legumes are edible seeds enclosed in pods. Unlike true nuts, which grow on trees, peanuts actually grow underground. They are generally classified as nuts because they are . . . well . . . nut-like.
Contrary to popular belief, Peter Pan didn't actually invent peanut butter. Yeah, I know, he likes to take credit. But don't you believe it!! How can you trust an adult who pretends to be a little boy and wears tights . . . I mean really!
Peanuts have been known as a food source for centuries. Peanut butter has been around almost as long . . . Incas made a peanut paste as early as 950 BC. John Washington Carver developed many uses for peanuts including peanut butter, paper, ink, and oils beginning in 1880. However, he wasn't credited for the creation because he never patented it.
Peanut butter, in a meal-like form, was invented by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. You may recognize the name . . . he's also the fella who invented corn flakes. In the late 19th century, he created and patented a process for turning raw peanuts into a butter-like food. At the time it was considered a vegetarian health food that provided and excellent source of protein.
Joseph L. Rosenfield invented a churning process that made smooth peanut butter . . . well . . . smooth. He sold the invention to the Pond Company. They marketed it as Peter Pan peanut butter. Several years later, he made his own brand of peanut butter . . . he called it Skippy. (see this older post on Skippy)
For those of you who do indulge in a spoonful of peanut butter now and again, there are other uses for the ooey-gooey stuff that you may not be familiar with.
Peanut butter actually works quite well as a lubricant. You know how the squeaky wheel always gets the grease? Well, suppose you ran out of grease or perhaps your wife accidentally threw it away. I’m guessing, unless you have a severe allergy, you have peanut butter in your kitchen cabinet. Smear it on and give it a go. You might be surprised. I’ve also read that it can come in handy as a personal lubricant but I’m not going there!
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. That works well for little kids but not so much for Whiskers or Fido. Cats and dogs love peanut butter. If you need to give your furry friend medicine, mix it up in a spoonful of peanut butter. They’ll think your giving them a treat. Guess what . . . mice like it, too. So if you have a squeaky pest, add it to your mousetrap.
If you really like the taste of peanut butter, substitute in a recipe that calls for butter. The next time you’re fixing up a batch of fudge brownies, try using peanut butter instead. Those babies will taste like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
I've read that peanut butter works well to remove the burnt taste from food, just add a teaspoon and stir. I haven't tried it . . . so I dunno about that. Give it a try and let me know. I've also read that it can be used to remove gum from hair, smear it on and it's supposed to come off easily.
Homemade Sesame Peanut Butter
1 Cup Roasted Peanuts
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/2 Teaspoons Honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
Place the peanuts and salt into the bowl of a food processor.
Process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Drizzle in the honey and oil.
Place the lid back on and continue to process until the mixture is smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Place the peanut butter in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.