Peanut butter is a food made from ground peanuts. Depending on the product, it can also contain plant-based oil, salt, and/or sugar. Peanut butter is used as a sandwich spread and as an ingredient for sauces, vegetable dishes, and baked goods.
Peanut butter has an intense, distinctive peanut flavor and a thick, creamy consistency. When people think of peanut butter, they often first think of peanut butter sandwiches, especially in countries such as the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. But peanut butter is also used to make a wide variety of baked goods and sweets, and it tastes great as an ingredient in sauces and smoothies. In many Asian countries, peanut butter is a favorite ingredient in traditional dishes, wok dishes, and vegetables stews and casseroles.
Crunchy peanut butter contains small peanut pieces as the peanuts are not as finely ground as in the variety creamy peanut butter.
Since peanut butter frequently includes additives such as stabilizers, sugar, or other plant-based oils, it is important to read the label. It is best to buy organic peanut butter that contains 100% peanuts and no trans fats or other additives.
It is very easy to make your own peanut butter. And if you want to have raw peanut butter, then making your own is an especially good option. Place the desired amount of raw, unroasted peanuts in a food processor and process until it reaches the right consistency, seasoning with salt and sugar as desired. It can be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for 1–2 weeks.
From Wikipedia: In a 100 gram amount, smooth peanut butter supplies 588 calories and is composed of 50% fat, 25% protein, 20% carbohydrates (including 6% dietary fiber), and 2% water. Peanut butter is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of dietary fiber, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, niacin, and vitamin B6. Also high in content are the dietary minerals manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. Peanut butter is a moderate source (10–19% DV) of thiamin, iron, and potassium. Both crunchy/chunky and smooth peanut butter are sources of saturated (primarily palmitic acid, 21% of total fat) and monounsaturated fats, mainly oleic acid as 47% of total fat, and polyunsaturated fat (28% of total fat), primarily as linoleic acid).1
For people with a peanut allergy, peanut butter can cause a variety of possible allergic reactions, including life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potential effect has led to banning peanut butter, among other common foods, in some schools.1
Peanut butter is a food paste or spread made from ground dry roasted peanuts. It often contains additional ingredients that modify the taste or texture, such as salt, sweeteners or emulsifiers. Peanut butter is popular in many countries. The United States is a leading exporter of peanut butter and itself consumes $800 million of peanut butter annually.
Peanut butter is served as a spread on bread, toast or crackers, and used to make sandwiches (notably the peanut butter and jelly sandwich). It is also used in a number of confections, such as peanut-flavoured granola bars or croissants and other pastries. A variety of other nut butters are also sold, such as cashew butter and almond butter, produced in comparable ways.1
The two main types of peanut butter are crunchy (or chunky) and smooth. In crunchy peanut butter, some coarsely-ground peanut fragments are included to give extra texture. The peanuts in smooth peanut butter are ground uniformly, creating a creamy texture.
In the US, food regulations require that any product labelled "peanut butter" must contain at least 90% peanuts; the remaining <10% usually consists of "...salt, a sweetener, and an emulsifier or hardened vegetable oil which prevents the peanut oil from separating". In the US, no product labelled as "peanut butter" can contain "artificial sweeteners, chemical preservatives, [or] natural or artificial coloring additives." Some brands of peanut butter are sold without emulsifiers that bind the peanut oils with the peanut paste, and so require stirring after separation. Most major brands of peanut butter add white sugar, but there are others that use dried cane syrup, agave syrup or coconut palm sugar.1
A slang term for peanut butter in World War II was "monkey butter". In the Netherlands peanut butter is called pindakaas (literally "peanut cheese") rather than pindaboter ("peanut butter") because the word butter was a legally protected term for products that contain actual butter, prompting Calvé, the company which first marketed it in the country in 1948, to use kaas instead. In the US, food regulations require that "peanut butter" must contain at least 90% peanuts, otherwise it must be called "peanut spread."1