You know you are in for a treat when peanut butter hits the spotlight. That is, you can hardly stop yourself from a little indulgence once you spot peanut butter on sale. This nutritious ingredient finds its way even in the diet of some sportsmen, and there is a list of reasons for it.
For the child in you, eating peanut butter and jelly every day may sound like heaven. And with that in mind, you can get overexcited and buy a little too many jars. The good news is that the shelf life of a peanut butter container goes up to nine months when kept sealed. But you may find yourself asking “Can I freeze peanut butter?”, when you want to prolong that further on. We bring the answer to that question, along with some tips on how to freeze it properly. Today’s article will get you rethinking your stash of supplies.
Can You Freeze Peanut Butter?
As a food with a considerably long shelf life, peanut butter easily passes the test of time in your cupboard. According to the USDA, you can keep it in the pantry for six to nine months (if unopened) and two-three months (once open). After unsealing, you can store it in the refrigerator, to prevent the oil separation. This allows you to enjoy peanut butter for up to nine months.
Of course, you may also prefer to prepare your own version of peanut butter at home. For the times when you plan to make a larger batch, freezing can sound like a good option. Same as when you simply wish to postpone devouring your entire in a few weeks.
So the answer is yes, you can freeze peanut butter. A pretty straightforward process, freezing keeps PB jars safe from being quickly devoured. No midnight craving can survive the waiting time necessary for thawing, right?
Why Freeze Peanut Butter?
We mentioned already that peanut butter lasts pretty well in the pantry or the fridge. So, why freeze peanut butter?
Well, we can think of several scenarios where this method can prove useful. For example, you may want to start a diet and control your snack portions and cravings. Rather than attacking the whole peanut butter jar, you can freeze bite-sized pieces.
You can freeze peanut butter to avoid food waste. If you have a half-empty jar and you plan to leave home for a longer time, you can save the remaining amount in the freezer. You know it will be safe and tasty to consume for up to nine months, so when you get back home, you have a quick snack waiting.
You can save time preparing snacks ahead of time. Yes, you can freeze your favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Making more sandwiches ahead of time and storing them in the freezer gives you more freedom when you are on a rush. Taking them out in the morning allows thawing until lunch time, so you have them ready for eating.
Best Ways To Freeze Peanut Butter
If you are expecting a long, intricate list of steps to follow, take a deep breath. And relax, you can freeze peanut butter so easily, even your child could do it. We do not recommend that though, kids might be more tempted to scoop a spoon out of the jar every five minutes.
HOW CAN YOU FREEZE PEANUT BUTTER?
Simply, you put it in an airtight container and place that in the freezer. In a couple of hours, it should be all frozen (depending on the quantity).
Now, let’s try to clarify the process depending on the status of your peanut butter supply.
- For a sealed container (not glass jars though), all you have to do is to put it in the freezer, just as it is. If you bought a glass jar, you may want to change the container. As peanut butter expands while freezing, the increasing pressure can crack the glass. You risk getting your freezer full of glass spikes and some can even infiltrate the content of the jar. You may enjoy crunchy peanut butter, but not with glass pieces inside. If you do not want to transfer the jar content, you can remove the seal and let the peanut butter freeze. After about six hours, it should be ready, so by then, you can secure it with a sealing lid.
- If you want to preserve a specific amount of peanut butter (like half a jar, let’s say), transfer it first. Use a freezer-safe bag or container, that allows you to create an airtight environment. This way, the properties of your peanut butter will be fully protected.
- To freeze bite-sized peanut butter snacks, you can use an ice-cube tray. Put up to two spoons in each cube, leave it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once they turn solid, take them out of the tray and put them in a sealing bag. You can also make some cookie-sized versions of a PB snack. Put some spoonfuls (in the size of regular cookies) individually on a baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. After they get solid, put them in a freezer bag. You can use them as filling for homemade cookies or simply as a snack (meeting the recommended daily dose).
How To Thaw Frozen Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter tends to get harder as it cools down, so it becomes more difficult to spread. That means you need to thaw your frozen amount, if you want to get that creamy, spreadable consistency.
If you froze a full jar, it may take up to 24 hours for the entire amount to be ready for serving. Bite-sized pieces thaw in about 45 minutes. You can leave it to defrost on your counter or in the fridge. Avoid placing it under direct sunlight or high temperatures.
Do not rush the process by putting frozen peanut butter in the microwave or oven. You can try to put it in warm water, but that will not make much of a difference. Extreme temperature variations can affect the taste and consistency. Make sure you allow enough time for it to unfreeze naturally, to get the best results.
The quality of peanut butter (100% natural or with various additives) matters too. The entirely natural version may end up with the oil separating from the peanut mass. This process does not make peanut butter unsafe to eat, on the contrary. You just have to mix the two back together, to obtain that consistency you love. Of course, commercial peanut butter usually contains enough additives to prevent this separation.
3 Yummy Recipes With Peanut Butter
While PB & jelly sandwiches are a famous snack, there is more to peanut butter than that. To get you day-dreaming, here are five recipes you can try to spoil your taste buds.
- For the times when you need to think fast and cook even faster, try the Peanut Butter Noodles With Cucumbers. A super-easy recipe, relying on two ingredients most of us have at home: dry noodles and peanut butter.
- Mouthwatering, ideal for lunch or a snack and super-tasty? That would be the Sprouted Thai Veggie Wraps with Peanut Butter Sauce. You are in for a surprise with these delicious, velvety and crunchy wraps.
- After lunch, everyone likes a sweet bite. These Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are a great compromise between healthy and yummy. Crunchy and consistent, they go perfectly with a cup of milk on the side.
You may indulge in a spoonful of pure peanut butter. Or you may try the recipes above. In any case, we hope you enjoy the rich taste and nutrients of this super-food! Let us know in the comments how you like to eat peanut butter!