Gone are the days of losing your greasy spoon inside the peanut butter jar. This trick is hands—and mess—free.

By Betty Gold
Updated: April 03, 2019

When it comes to versatile ingredients, it doesn’t get much better than peanut butter. This is one pantry staple that sneaks its way into our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and more (you haven’t lived until you’ve made these peanut noodles for dinner) with ease. It’s a dreamy, creamy childhood favorite that we’ll never outgrow. But not all peanut butter is created equal. Many of the options at the supermarket are loaded with added ingredients, like sugar, preservatives, corn syrup solids, and hydrogenated oil. In fact, per the FDA, a product needs to have a minimum of 90% peanuts to be labeled peanut butter. This is why many of these imposters are reduced to being called “peanut spread.” Thank you, next.

There’s one key complaint many of us have when it comes to buying natural peanut butters (i.e. those that are made just from peanuts and salt), though: separation. One of the big reasons that highly processed peanut butters contain hydrogenated oils and other stabilizers is to keep the ingredients from separating–so you likely won’t ever see oil hovering at the top of the jar of peanut spread. Because natural peanut butters don’t contain these stabilizers, the oil that naturally occurs in peanuts tends to separate from the peanut solids when sitting on the shelf in your pantry or at the grocery store.

First, it’s worth noting that the process of oils and solids separating, known as syneresis, is completely safe. It’s just really irritating. But before you dump it down the drain (you’ll regret it when you can no longer spread the peanut butter on toast), try to mix it with a spoon (you may end up with a countertop covered in oil) or revert back to buying peanut spread, we have the easiest way to keep the oil from separating: store the jar upside down. This lets the oil trickle to the bottom of the jar and the peanut solids stay on top. Anytime you’re ready to spread, turn it right-side up (this also lets the oil re-distribute evenly) and open the lid slowly. Game, changed. Repeat the flip every few days if you’re a frequent peanut butter eater, and store your jar in the fridge when it's all mixed together if you want to fully stop the separation cycle.

Get excited: This trick works on all types of natural nut butter, like almond and cashew butter, too. Just make sure the ingredients are just nuts, oil, and salt. Separation anxiety, gone! 

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