Peanut butter is considered a condiment. It is a spreadable food product often used to enhance the flavor and texture of sandwiches and other dishes.
There’s something more comforting than the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It takes me back to my childhood with each nutty and sticky bite.
Peanut butter is loved by many and has been incorporated into many different foods, from Thai-inspired Pad Thai to celery and even hamburgers! It’s unlike anything available.
Chances are we’ve eaten it for a long time. But do we know what food category peanut butter belongs to? Does it count as an ingredient? Dip? Spread?
Read on to find out why peanut butter is regarded as a spread, not a condiment. Also, learn how it is utilized, the food group it belongs to, nutritional information, and health-related benefits.
Before we can look at the different types of peanut butter (and what it does not mean as an ingredient), it is crucial to know exactly what a condiment is.
An ingredient is an ingredient or sauce added to food items to increase the taste after cooking. However, condiments may be used at any time during your cooking.
For instance, you can add an ingredient like mayonnaise or mustard onto a hamburger, hotdog, or turkey sandwich, which can improve the taste of any food!
Most popular condiments include hot sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise along with mustard.
What makes condiments distinct is that they’re never consumed as a whole. Eating one spoonful of ketchup or hot sauce for snacks is not a good idea.
This is the main aspect of peanut butter: it is usually consumed on its own, in contrast to the other sauces.
Yes, peanut butter can enhance foods like celery, but it is also an essential ingredient in other food items.
Is Peanut Butter A Condiment?
Peanut butter isn’t an ingredient; it is more than a spread.
Spreads are defined as a substance with a greater thickness that is spread using either a knife or spoon on food like toast, bread, or even an ingredient like a vegetable or fruit. Like condiments, they can also be used to enhance the taste of food.
The major distinction between spreads and condiments is the texture. Condiments are generally slightly thinner, and spreads tend to be very thick.
A few popular spreads comprise butter, cheeses, such as goat cheese, and fruit preservatives. Like other condiments, spreads can be used in crackers or bread to give flavor.
But peanut butter is distinctive in that it enhances the flavors of other foods like other spreads, but it can also be eaten on its own.
It is an exceptional food item. It is believed to be in its category between the two. Therefore, even though it is usually referred to as a spread, it appears to belong distinct from the other types.
How Is Peanut Butter Made?
Due to its thick and spreadable characteristics, It is possible that you are wondering how the crunchy peanuts could be turned into peanut butter.
Based on the type of peanut butter you own or purchase, some are more natural than others, but the process is similar across all peanut butter brands.
For making peanut butter, the peanuts are crushed through two stages. In the first, they are ground to what is known as a moderate grind. The peanuts are broken into small pieces.
Following this, they begin the second stage of grinding, using the ground peanuts and grinding them until they are an even paste.
Depending on the kind of brand or butter being made, the company may decide to roast their peanuts before grinding or to use raw peanuts.
To create crunchy peanut butter, add extra chunks of peanuts to create a crunchy texture.
Other peanut butter ingredients are sugar or various oils such as palm oil.
Making peanut butter is simply grinding nuts until they turn into an emulsion. It is possible to make peanut butter with a food processor.
We recommend having a high-quality food processor and a lot of patience because the process can take time.
To make peanut butter, grind the peanuts in the same way in two steps. First, grind them once to a medium grind, and continue the process until you’ve got an even peanut butter.
How Is Peanut Butter Used?
Because it’s unique, peanut butter can be used in various ways.
Of course, the most well-known peanut butter is included in the peanut jelly and butter sandwich, which is children’s favorite.
It’s an alternative to the fruits and vegetables such as apples or celery to add some protein to these foods.
The same can be said about smoothies. Peanut butter gives you more protein and contributes to an incredibly smooth and creamy consistency.
It’s a favorite ingredient in a wide variety of sweets, including famous candy items, such as Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, cookies, banana bread brownies, and brownies, and even used as an ice cream topping and flavoring.
Peanut butter is also used in savory recipes, such as the spicy peanut sauce used to dip spring rolls or drizzle onto the Thai-inspired salad.
More adventurously, restaurants have added it to hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches for the flavor of the sandwich.
In reality, the possibilities are limitless!
What Is Peanut Butter?
You might be shocked to learn it is true that peanut butter could be a protein food category.
For a quick refresher, there are currently five food categories: fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein. The USDA recommends eating a nutritious mixture of all five food groups.
While peanuts have an element of “nut” in them, they’re actually a part belonging to the legume family of which peas or beans are also components. They are distinctive in that they offer the nutrition benefits shared by legumes and nuts.
Legumes are well-known for their protein levels. Particularly for vegetarians and vegans, legumes increase the amount of protein they consume.
This is the reason why peanut butter, since it is made from legumes, is considered to be a protein food. Only two tablespoons of peanut butter contain 8 grams of protein.
If you are comparing the protein content of beef, 1 tbsp of peanut butter contains exactly the amount of protein that an inch of meat cooked, according to the USDA.
As you will see, peanut butter can be an ideal addition to their meals for those who require protein or don’t consume meat or other protein-rich products.
Health & Nutrition Benefits of Peanut Butter
Although natural peanut butter is a great source of numerous advantages for health, it’s vital to study the ingredient lists before buying the Jar.
Certain companies add sugar and unneeded trans fats or oils that could reduce the health advantages that peanut butter can provide.
You’re looking for peanut butter with no ingredients other than salt to guarantee the best standard peanut butter.
If you choose natural peanut butter, you will reap many advantages. In just two spoons of peanut butter, you’ll find 8 grams of protein 18, 18 grams of (good) fat and 3 grams of fiber, and only 1 gram of sugar.
It is a good source of vitamins, including vitamin E Niacin (B6), Vitamin B6, and magnesium.
All of these benefits provide the perfect reason to add peanut butter to your daily diet is a wonderful idea! But there are some points to be considered:
Peanut butter is quite high in calories. For 2 spoons of peanut butter, there are 190-200 calories.
Just like with food, making your meals following your objectives and nutritional requirements is recommended.
What Are The Best Brands Of Peanut Butter To Buy?
To ensure you’re getting the highest amount of nutrition and benefits for your health from peanut butter, make sure to search for natural peanut butter. It is best to avoid added sugar or vegetable oils (palm oil is okay).
There’s also the option of either creamy or crispy peanut butter. Creamy is smooth, while crunchy is made of small pieces of peanuts.
My favorites are MaraNatha Organic Peanut Butter, Laura Scudder’s Old Fashioned Nutty Peanut Butter, and Santa Cruz Organic Creamy Light Roasted Peanut Butter.