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Yum Yum, it’s Peanut Butter Lover’s Month!

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

November is Peanut Butter Lover’s Month so we thought we would dig a little deeper into the jar to find out more about the delicious and versatile spread!


Ok, hands up who likes peanut butter? Actually better still, hands up who doesn’t like peanut butter, such is the affection the sweet nutty paste has among people all around the world! Whether it is the smooth or the crunchy variety, peanut butter is one of the most versatile food ingredients out there, with a bounty of health benefits for good measure. Hugely popular among both children and adults, it can be prepared as a tasty and nutritious snack on the go, be the centrepiece of a dish or a protein source complement in options such as smoothies. Seriously, who doesn’t like peanut butter!?


November is Peanut Butter Lover's Month | Brilliant-Online
November is Peanut Butter Lover's Month

Peanut butter has become a ubiquitous staple in most households in the western world, particularly in the United States where it takes on almost mythical proportions as a vital condiment; in fact, a report by the Tasting Table states that it is found in almost 95% of American households!

Peanut butter was a personal favourite of none other than the King of Rock and Roll himself Elvis Presley, whose penchant for what is known as the Fool’s Gold Loaf became the stuff of legend and is still a firm favourite today (it’s a mix of sourdough bread, peanut butter, banana and bacon, if you were wondering!)



Take A Step Back...


However, before we delve any deeper into the jar, let’s take a step or two back to find out how this deliciously addictive spread first came about. While it is reported that the Incas would ground peanuts into paste many hundreds of years ago in South America, it was in 1895 that American doctor, nutritionist and cereal pioneer John Harvey Kellogg filed a patent for a proto-peanut butter. Arguably years ahead of his time, Kellogg was a huge advocate of a plant-based diet and proposed the use of peanut butter as a viable alternative to meat due to its high protein content. He certainly had his fair share of famous supporters at the time, with the likes of Amelia Earhart, Sojourner Truth and Henry Ford all vouching for his peanut delicacy. Kellogg clearly knew his stuff as he and his brothers went on to found the Kellogg’s company, so synonymous with breakfasts all over the world nowadays. However, interestingly, the first official peanut butter brand that hit the market was not from Kellogg’s but The American Refining Company, later renamed the Krema Products Company, back in 1898 in Columbus, Ohio, a brand that still exists to this day.


the first official peanut butter brand that hit the market was not from Kellogg’s but The American Refining Company  | Brilliant-Online
The first official peanut butter brand that hit the market was not from Kellogg’s but The American Refining Company, later renamed the Krema Products Company

Before long, the popularity of peanut butter caught on, to the extent that it was used an alternative food source in America due to meat rationing in World War I (see, Kellogg was ahead of his time!), becoming a staple diet for soldiers on the front line in World War II. Coupled with a slice of bread and maybe a slithering of jam/jelly if you were luck enough, peanut butter soon became a quick, easy-to-make, nutritious snack option for households throughout the US, spreading globally thereafter. Indeed, Smithsonian Magazine states that “in 2020, peanut butter sales in the United Kingdom overtook sales of the Brits’ beloved jam.”


Healthy Living


Like with anything of quality, little changes and that is certainly the case with peanut butter. The offerings today from the likes of big brands such as Skippy and Jif do not differ that much from the original variety, aside from the introduction of ingredients like oil, salt and sweeteners, designed to extend the product’s shelf life. As has been consistent with a switch to a healthier diet in recent decades, organic peanut butter is now widely available and often preferable, with the distinct advantage being less saturated fats and trans-fats and higher levels of healthy monounsaturated fats than the traditional variety.


The health benefits of peanut butter are indisputable as it is packed with a wealth of health-promoting nutrients such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B3, selenium and vitamin B6. It is also widely accepted that people who regularly include nuts and nut butter, including peanut butter, into their diet are less likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes due to it regulating blood-sugar. Men’s Health quotes the author of Recipe For Survival Dana Ellis Hunnes Ph.D., R.D. as saying peanut butter is “full of healthy fibre, monounsaturated fats that are so good for our heart, and are high in plant-based proteins that support muscle health.” Being a great source of protein, peanut butter is a big favourite with gym fanatics who are looking to pack on the muscle, while it can conversely help people lose weight by fending off hunger cravings.


So there you have it! Not only is peanut butter delicious but it carries a wealth of health benefits, as long as, of course and as with anything, it is consumed in moderation. In line with Peanut Butter Lover’s Month we especially hope you enjoy your peanut butter this month, however you consume it - I’m off to the fridge right now to open a jar and dig in!

 

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