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DYI reduced fat peanut butter...my latest harebrained scheme

I love peanut butter, even more so since I switched to all natural (less sugar, more peanut flavor) and EVEN more so since I found the Santa Cruz dark roast crunchy at Whole foods. But...it's making me fat. As I was stirring in the separated oil on top of my newly opened jar last week the thought occured...why not just pour if off? The resulting product would be sludgey and hard to spread...but still taste mostly the same...right? And it would be lower fat...how much lower, i wonder?

has anyone done this? where is the flaw in this plan? My main uses for pb are pbj sandwiches, making asian dipping sauces or soba noodle sauces, and eating out of the jar w/ my finger, along with a few chocolate chips. (god help me)

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  1. I think it's fine. As long as you can spread it on your bread, there should be no reason that it can't be done. I do something similar with coconut milk. When I make coconut milk curries, I first cook the sauce until the fat separates. I then remove the fat (sometimes by putting it in the fridge) and then add my meats, veggies, etc. It doesn't have the same mouthfeel or flavor as full-fat coconut milk, but it's healthier.

    And for some reason, I hate those reduced-fat coconut milks. That just really doesn't taste the same. And as I like to stir-fry a lot of my curry pastes in the "fatty hard" portion of the coconut milk, I wouldn't be able to do it with the "lite" version.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Miss Needle

      I know it's OK to do since I've been doing just that for a while. Did it this morning in fact with my Smuckers Natural. The peanut butter isn't as creamy as it would be if you stirred in the oil but pouring it out makes me feel like I'm saving a couple of grams of fat.
      Please don't anyone burst my bubble.

    2. I've done it too. My only issue is that since the natural peanut butter requires refrigeration, it gets hard enough that it's basically impossible to spread on soft bread.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cookie monster

        Try microwaving the peanut butter jar for 20 to 30 seconds (depending on your machine and how much is left in the jar). Softens right up so it's easy to spread.

      2. Yes & save the excess peanut oil for other cooking/flavoring uses or to add back in to achieve your desired spreading consistency. When you've determined that, stir it all up & store in the fridge. . . enjoy!

        1. Often the last half of my jar of natural PB ends up dry like this just because I fail to mix it well enough. The initial servings are richer in oil, the last poorer.

          1. Since it's going to end up rip-holes-in-bread hard to spread, a couple of possibilities occur to me. First, try heating the really thick peanut butter in the microwave for a few second to see if that helps make it more spreadable. If that doesn't work, then since it has to be refrigerated anyway, try thinning it to spreading consistency with water. If neither of these works, then maybe a jelly sandwich with a spoon and the jar of pb on the side? Good luck! '-)

            3 Replies
            1. re: Caroline1

              Thanks all...I'm going to try it with my next jar...but...this is the first I've heard of refrigerating natural peanut butter. I've been storing the stuff int he pantry ever since I made the switch, maybe 3-5 years ago. Still not dead. Maybe this is proof that I eat too much of the stuff? Seriously, it last a couple of months at least.

              1. re: danna

                The purpose of refrigerating is to try to slow down the separation, once you've mixed it.

              2. re: Caroline1

                A spoon in the jar sounds dangerous! Personally, I'd end up eating more PB that way ;)

              3. we used to defat our PB - pour off top oil, then put paper towel across the top of the jar (folded up to make a few layers, screw the lid back on, and turn the jar upside down to allow the towel to absorb oil. change the paper towel daily for a few days. this results in a very thick, difficult to spread, but yummily chewy PB...instead of "spreading" on bread, you can kind of dob it on in little bite size portions... i think it's best on its own given its great texture. i'm sure it would be fine once warmed and put into sauces.