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Peanut Butter Lovers Month
Peanut Butter: Favorite Comfort Food Gets Its Own Month
Do you love peanut butter? Then Peanut Butter Appreciation Month is for you!
Make November special by baking some cookies, enjoying an old-fashioned PB&J sandwich (that's peanut butter and jelly), or exploring a new treat made with peanut butter!
Creamy or crunchy, in any form, peanut butter is the nostalgic basis of so many childhood favorites, from the PB&J, to peanut butter cookies, or just a thick spread of your favorite on a slide of bread. Milk optional.
In all its forms, gotta love peanut butter!
Appreciate Peanut Butter in November
If you love peanut butter, you already know it deserves a whole month -- at least -- to be loved and appreciated!
Peanut butter is a childhood favorite for lots of people, going back many years. And its overall history goes back even farther.
Southern Peanut Growers Association in the US designated November as National Peanut Butter Lovers Month.
After sandwiches -- plain peanut butter, PB&J, peanut butter and banana at the top of the list -- it would take at least that long to eat your way through all the cookies, cakes, brownies, cheesecake, ice cream and other tasty treats made with peanut butter.
And those are just some of the desserts. Peanut butter goes into some savory dishes, too.
November is a special time to celebrate peanut butter lovers month, eating your favorite food. Or on a knife straight from the jar. (You didn't really outgrew that one, did you?)
A fried peanut butter and banana sandwich was Elvis' favorite.
The Humble Peanut
Peanut butter comes from peanuts, which are legumes – relatives of beans and peas. They grow in the ground, different from nuts like walnuts, almonds and pecans, which grow on trees.
Some people are allergic to only ground nuts, or only tree nuts, though some are sensitive to both.
Legumes like peanuts fix nitrogen from the air and bring it into the soil, which is helpful for many other plants. They improve the fertility of the soil.
The oldest known evidence of domesticated peanuts comes from South America. Peanuts are grown in the tropics and subtropics and in North America are considered a southern crop, which needs about 120 days, on average, to go from planting to harvest.
In the colder climates, some gardeners plant a few peanuts under cover or in containers to extend the growing season and get their home-grown peanut fix.
After the Civil War, inventor George Washington Carver spent years experimenting with ways to use peanuts to help farmers grow them on poor land that had been worn out by years of growing cotton, as well as recipes to encourage their use as a food crop. It was the nitrogen-fixing quality of the peanut that made them useful to improve the land.
Peanut Butter Varieties
Peanut butter is made by grinding peanuts to a paste. Whether the finished product is considered creamy or crunchy depends on how fine the grind.
I’ve been a fan of creamy for many years, but there are some types that have “light crunch” that have captured my taste buds in recent times.
Today’s grocery stores often include a wide panorama of types of peanut butter, including higher-end types where the oil separates from the peanut solids, meant to be stirred before spreading.
You can find creamy, crunchy or brands that go somewhere down the middle. There are those flavored with honey or cinnamon. And there are some with the jam or jelly included in thick ribbons in the jar. I’ve seen this kind with either strawberry or grape jelly.
There is a peanut butter for every taste.
Whenever I’m looking for something new in the peanut butter section, I take note of the ingredients on the label. I’m watching for the additional oils and sugars, beyond just peanuts. My favorites contain a high percentage of peanuts.
Alternatives to PB&J
I noticed a recent article in a food magazine about their test of different companions to peanut butter on a sandwich.
I can vouch for peanut butter and fresh pears. I’m pretty sure that apples would be just as good. I found the PB&P combination to be lighter than jam or jelly. I put peanut butter on both sides of the bread, because the pears are juicy and I didn’t want a soaked sandwich.
This sandwich is best made right before time to eat, because of the juice and because fruits like pears or apples tend to turn brown soon after they are cut. To me, this sandwich was worth the effort, especially when pears are in season.
I probably won’t be testing the peanut butter and siracha sandwich that the writer liked, but the sandwiches with mango, crystalized ginger, and Greek yogurt and honey could be contenders in the future.
Peanut Butter Book And Big Top
A Bit of Peanut Butter History
I own a copy of Creamy and Crunchy, and it's a very interesting read about the history of peanut butter.
If you're looking for recipes, this is not your book, though there are a few sprinkled in here and there. This book is a biography of peanut butter.
Author Jon Krampner is a biographer. If you like that genre, or human interest stories, or the histories of people, places or things...you will like this book.
Krampner is also opinionated, which I like. He's a peanut butter purist, and makes no apologies.
The vintage Big Top peanut butter goblets (shown above) figure in, as an example of various kinds of glassware made years ago to fill with peanut butter. The glass because a "gift with purchase."
Of course, you had to eat a lot of peanut butter to get your set of 6, 8 or 12. I'm old enough to remember those days, and those glasses bring back as many memories as the peanut butter itself.
Well researched and written. Published by Columbia University Press. A fascinating story!
Peanut Butter Sandwich Via YouTube - With Jelly And With Bananas
Creamy or crunchy...which is your favorite?
Peanut Butter Glassware
Big Top was one of the peanut butter brands
sold in goblets, back in the day.
Big Top Peanut Butter Goblet
My Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies
Enjoy Peanut Butter Anytime!
A recent web search for “peanut butter recipes” gave me nearly 20 million results.
With so many possibilities for snacks and treats that contain peanut butter, there is no reason to wait for November to enjoy peanut butter, in any form you like!
Links To More Peanut Butter Lore
- Peanut Butter Recipe Contest Winners
Contest held to promote National Peanut Butter Lovers Month.
- Peanut Butter on Wikipedia
Summary of peanut butter history.
- Peanut Butter of the Month Club
Get two different peanut butters on a variety of schedules.
- Peanut Butter Book Blog - Creamy And Crunchy
Book author reports the back story on his wonderful biography of peanut butter.
- Big Top Glassware by Hazel Atlas
My blog post on this vintage glassware, popular for collecting.