Peanut Butter: Delicious and Heart Healthy

How many PB & J sandwiches have you eaten this week? Did you know that the average American kid will eat 1500 peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school? Yearly, Americans eat over 2.4 billion pounds of peanuts with 50% of that being peanut butter. That is enough to cover the floor of the Grand Canyon! Or with that amount you can make 10 billion PB & J sandwiches!

Peanut Butter Diet
Eating peanut butter is good for your heart.

According to a study conducted at Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA, diets high in peanuts and rich in monosaturated fat were just as successful at lowering total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol as a diet that is very low fat. The big difference was that a diet that was low fat also raised the triglycerides(the heart threatening aspect)by 11% while the peanut butter lowered triglycerides by 13%. The American heart Association agrees with the findings that peanut butter lowers heart disease by 21% while a low fat diet only reduces the risk by 12%.

Obviously this is good news for dieters who do not want to feel deprived of eating some of their favorite foods. Also, those who consumed peanuts and peanut butter were more likely to stick with the diet. Research studies on large groups of people have found that people who often eat peanuts and nuts have much lower risks of heart disease. Also, scientists are finding that diets high in monounsaturated fats, the type found in peanuts, may also protect against heart disease.

Peanuts and peanut butter are whole foods that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, lots of protein and beneficial unsaturated fats. Since they are a plant food, they naturally contain no cholesterol.

Peanuts and peanut butter contain high quality plant protein. When comparing peanuts to similar foods, peanuts have more protein than any other legume or nut. This is especially important for children, vegetarians and people eating more meatless meals. Peanut butter is a great source of protein which is needed for growth. Bones, muscles, and skin are made up of mostly proteins. Not only tastes great but is healthy for you too as it is a vegetable protein.

Peanuts and peanut butter contain mostly beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats as compared to saturated fats have been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels. Lowering your blood cholesterol level may reduce your risk of coronary heart disease.

Peanut Trivia

Arachibutyrophobia? That is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth!
The high protein content of peanut butter draws moisture from your mouth and that is why it sticks. Just like a sponge soaks up water.

November 6, 1993, the world’s largest PB & J sandwich was made. It was 40 feet long and used 150 lbs. of PB and 50 lbs. of jelly. It was made in Peanut, PA.

It takes 550 peanuts to make one 12 ounce jar of peanut butter.

98% of US peanuts are grown in 7 states: Georgia, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, and Virginia. Forty percent of the peanut crop is used for peanut butter.

Two peanut farmers have been elected President: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter

Uses for the shells: kitty litter, fireplace logs, paper and animal feed

One acre of peanuts makes 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.

Peanuts are not really nuts-they are legumes like peas and beans.

Peanut butter makes a great mouse catcher as opposed to cheese. The mice prefer it and its stickiness prevents the mouse from stealing the bait and running off. Peanut butter is a
also a good food choice for squirrels.

History of peanut butter….

Chopped peanuts were used by the Chinese in sauces for centuries. The Africans ground peanuts into stews since the 15th century. And American Civil War soldiers ate “peanut porridge.” However, none of these items bore any likeness to today’s peanut butter.
In 1890, a physician, George A. Bayle of St. Louise, recommended this peanut paste as a nutritious supplement as a source of protein for his patients with poor teeth who could not chew meat. He ground the peanuts in a chopper and sold the paste for 6 cents a pound.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Michigan also was experimenting with peanuts. In 1895, they established a patent for the manufacture of nut meal. Soon there attention turned to cereal. However, Joseph Lambert, a Kellogg employee, began selling his own peanut grinders and his wife published a cookbook on using nuts in cooking. Two years later in 1898, the Lambert food company was founded.

It was not until 1922 that peanut butter as we know it was manufacture. Rosefield began to sell it in California as a churned smooth peanut butter. Joseph L. Rosefield received the first patent for a peanut butter with a stable shelf life of one year as the oil did not separate from the peanut butter.

The Swift Company began to produce this smooth peanut butter in 1926 and renamed it Peter Pan in 1928. In 1932, Rosefield in a dispute with the company began to manufacture peanut butter under the Skippy brand. He was the first to introduce crunchy peanut butter in 1934. Proctor and Gamble in 19858 introduced Jif and is now the largest peanut butter plant in the US with 250, 000 jars made per day.

Planting and Harvesting

Peanuts are planted after the last frost in April when the temperature of the soil is about 65 to 70 degrees. The shelled peanut is the seed and it is planted two inches deep and about 1-2 inches apart in rows. The plant pushed through the soil about 100 days later and grows into an oval leafed plant about 18 inches tall. The plant is unusual as the yellow flowers appear above ground about 40 days later but the fruit (peanuts are below the ground). The flowers pollinate themselves, the flowers fall off, and the “peg” grows into a vine penetrating the soil where the peanuts mature under the ground.

About 120 to 160 days later, the peanuts are harvested. The farmer drives a tractor with a digger -shaker that pulls the plants out of the ground and shakes off the loose soil. A columbine later pulls the peanuts off the vine and the peanuts are deposited in peanut wagons to dry.

The peanuts go to a packing plant where they are shelled and packed. Then it’s on to the manufacturer. The peanuts are roasted, cooled and blanched (takes the skin off the peanut). The peanuts are ground in two stages: first the peanuts alone and secondly, the salt, sweeteners and stabilizers are added.

Homemade Peanut Butter


A Blender or a Food Processor
2 cups of canned peanuts or fresh roasted peanuts, remove shells
1 tablespoon of oil


Put 2 cups of peanuts and oil into the blender or food processor. Turn it on low to start. Then slowly increase speed until the mixture becomes creamy and smooth. If you prefer crunchy, stir in with a spoon �½ cup of chopped peanuts.

To create your own unique recipe, add in one of the following items or use your imagination:
your favorite jam, marshmallow cream, rice krispies or your favorite cereal

Peanut butter should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It should last 3-5 days. If you notice the oil rising, just stir the mixture.

Recipe for Toasted Monkey Sandwiches


1/4 cup of creamy or crunchy peanut butter
4 slices of white bread (may use wheat, cinnamon, or other favorite bread)
1 medium banana, sliced
Butter or nonstick cooking spray
Griddle or skillet

1. Spread the peanut butter on 2 slices of bread. Top with slices of banana and the remaining bread slices.
2. You may wish to spread butter on the outside of the bread slices or use the non- stick cooking spray instead
3. In a skillet or on a griddle sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray, cook sandwiches over a medium heat until brown about 4 minutes.

Peanut butter is suitable for crafts as well as for eating. This pine cone bird feeder is an easy craft to make and helps the birds especially in the winter when food is not as plentiful.

Pine Cone Bird Feeder:

Items needed:

Pine cone
�½ cup of peanut butter
�½ cup of bird seed
Twine about 20 inches long

1. Tie the twine around the bottom of the pine cone (large end) and leave at least 10
inches to tie it around the tree branch
2. Carefully spread peanut butter on the pine cone
3. Spread bird seed on newspaper and roll the pine cone in the seeds which will stick to
to the peanut butter
4. Hang up the pine cone for the birds to feast on

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