This post, started weeks ago, was finally resurrected from my drafts folder when I saw this picture on my cousin’s Facebook page:
Heather, you need these!
Cute right? I thought so.
I kept looking at it every time it came through my feed and chuckled each time. (By the way, does anyone have any idea how/why some things show up in the feed and others don’t? I truly don’t understand the Facebook algorithms, if that is indeed what they are.)
And then….I got it.
The boy is wearing Almond Joy because HE has nuts!!! Get it? Yeah. You probably got it the first time.
I have a PhD.
So here’s where I awkwardly transition from “I’m real smart guys” to talking about nut butter. But you see the connection, right? Because you are much smarter than I am.
It was a slippery slope for me.
I grew up on Jif. (Or Skippy or Peter Pan or whatever was on sale, really.) I liked it, but I didn’t love it as a kid and when I got to college I had developed a mild distaste for it. And by “it” I mean standard grocery store peanut butter.
In fact, I don’t think I even knew at that time that there was something else. A peanut butter twith just nuts and salt? (To be honest, I don’t think I’d read a nutritional label in my life at that point. If I did, I didn’t care what it said. I lived on Kraft Mac and Cheese, nachos, and Frosted Min-Wheats.)
By the time I got to grad school, and could (ironically) afford to shop at a coop, I had developed a taste for the natural peanut butter. Thanks, in a large part, to the lack of processed and Americanized (read: bastardized) peanut butters in Costa Rica and later in Panama)
This natural pb love was only fueled on when I started to learn what goes into those processed “no stir” nut butters. Yes, even the natural ones contain palm oil. Never heard of it?
But I never liked the flavored stuff. Too….weird to me. And none of them tasted like real food. They all tasted like chemicals. It turns out that once you lose your taste for the Jifs and Skippys and Peter Pans, that anything remotely resembling those starts to taste like garbage.
Not to date myself here, but this was before the flavored pb market EXPLODED.
I was very anti-flavored peanut butter when those funky flavored jars first started to hit the grocery stores. I was a bit of a peanut butter purist. You might even say I was an elitist.
And sunflower seed butter? Cashew butter? Almond butter? HELL NO.
My how things have changed.
Now, I have a Pinterest board devoted to peanut butter and nut and seed butters. I have a list of flavors that I want to try. I couldn’t tell you the last day that passed without eating some nut or seed butter. I regularly go through a jar a week. 14 servings per jar, my ass. I get a little twitchy when my supply starts to dwindle.
For the last year or so, I have been making my own nut and seed butters exclusively. (I think I did buy some fresh ground peanut butter once, out of sheer laziness, but I was disappointed and haven’t done that since.)
I go in phases – for weeks it will be all peanut butter all the time. Then I’ll switch it back to sunflower seed butter. I might throw in some cashew butter if I’m feeling rich.
80% of the stuff I make, I season with salt and nothing else. But I usually leave the last 1/2 cup or so of processed nut butter in my food processor and experiment with adding seasoning or spices of some kind.
That way, I don’t have to commit to eat a whole jar of a flavor (or waste it) if it tastes bad. And I get to try a new flavor every week or so.
You can see all the flavors scattered throughout my Today I Made page, but here is the probably not quite complete list:
- Vanilla Sunflower Seed Butter
- Cinnamon Peanut Butter
- Maple Cinnamon Peanut Butter
- Bourbon Peanut Buttet
- Mocha Peanut Butter
- Kimchi Peanut butter (LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE)
- Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Seed Butter
- Chinese 5-Spice Sunflower Seed Butter
- Wasabi Peanut Butter
- Orange Vanilla Peanut Butter
- Kelp Peanut Butter
- Lemon-ginger Peanut Butter
- Orange-Vanilla Peanut Butter (Kinda weird.)
- Sriracha Sunflower Seed Butter (YES!!!)
- Sundried Tomato Basil Sunflower Seed Butter
- Smoky BBQ Sunflower Seed Butter
- Chai-Spiced Peanut Butter (A BIG TIME FAVORITE)
- Cinnamon-Chili Sunflower Seed Butter
- Jamaican Curry Peanut BUtter
- Maple Cinnamon Cashew Butter
- Orange-Licorice Sunflower Seed Butter
- Chili-Garlic Sunflower Seed BUtter
- Lemon-Ginger Cashew Butter
- BBQ Peanut Butter
- Garlic, ginger, and cayenne Sunflower Seed Butter
- Kimchi Sunflower Seed Butter
- Anise Peanut Butter
- Horseradish Sunflower Seed Butter
- Cookie Butter
- Parmesan Sunflower Seed Butter
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Sunflower Seed Butter
And….wow. That’s a long list.
What flavor should I make next? Anything in that list sounds really good (or really gross) to you? Do you make your own peanut butter?