A St. Louis physician invented peanut butter in 1890 to provide his patients with an easy-to-digest, high protein food. Several dozen commercial brands of peanut butter were on the market by 1914, and in 1923 a process was invented to keep the oil and peanut butter from separating. Peanut butter is a blend of ground shelled peanuts, vegetable oil and salt. You can make it yourself in a blender or food processor.
plural: Peanut butter
Season: available year-round
How to select: Sold in both creamy and chunky (with bits of peanuts) style. Natural peanut butter does not contain any additives to keep the oil from separating.
How to store: Natural peanut butter must be refrigerated after opening and will last 6 months this way, while other commericial kinds will last as long at room temperature.
How to prepare: Used commonly as a sandwich spread, a favorite of children, as well as a primary ingredient in many desserts as well as savory sauces.
Substitutions: almond butter, cashew butter or other nut butter