With jars and jars of peanut butter on the shelf, how do you choose one? Yesterday on Eveyrday Food, we explored "natural" peanut butters and Monty, producer and Shavon, engineer, volunteered to be peanut butter tasters. The term natural may evoke peanut butter made from peanuts, perhaps salt and that's it, but in reality you may find sugar (it's natural), palm fruit oil (natural), and other natural ingredients. Check out photos from the taste test.
Read the label to see what you're getting. In general, if there's no added oil, the peanut butter will have a fairly deep slick of oil at the top -- stir it in; don't be tempted to pitch it or your peanut butter will be dry. One listener called with a good tip: turn that jar upside down and let it sit and the oil will combine with the peanut butter. That's a trick I'll have to try. If you pick up a jar that says no stir, chances are it's had some oil added to make it smooth and silky. Sugar may be added for flavor, ditto on salt.
And our favorites? I like my peanut butter chunky, made from dark roasted nuts, with little or no salt added and that's it. So I voted for the Santa Cruz brand, with the Arrowhead Mills running a close second. Monty and Shavon both agreed on the Peanut Butter & Co. with a little sugar and oil added.
And for sandwich day I whipped up a peanut butter sandwich made with jam, and then some -- a little bacon, a little apple, and the jam: a spicy/sweet hot pepper jelly. Nutty, sweet, spicy, and crunchy = the perfect combo.
PBJ and Bacon Sandwich
Makes 2 sandwiches:
3 tablespoons peanut butter
4 slices country bread, toasted
1/2 a sweet apple, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons hot pepper jelly
1. Spread peanut butter on two slices of bread. Top with apple slices and bacon. Spread jelly on tow remaining slices of bread and close.