An open jar of crunchy peanut butter with bread and a knife.
Photo by: CaseyHillPhoto
Knowing when to refrigerate peanut butter can be a bit of a head-scratcher, especially if there arent any instructions on the jars label. So, does it go in the fridge or doesnt it? The bottom line is: It depends.
Processed brands of peanut butter are made to have a long shelf life thanks to the addition of stabilizers like palm oil and hydrogenated oils, so once opened, theyre fine to store in a cool, dry cupboard. According to the National Peanut Board, opened jars of commercial processed peanut butter stored this way will last for two to three months. After that, they recommend storing jars in the refrigerator, which will extend their shelf life by another three to four months. Unopened jars will last six to nine months in the pantry, but be sure to check the jars expiration date, too.
If you buy all-natural peanut butter these are the ones that are unrefined and likely made with just ground peanuts and salt youll want to store jars in the fridge after opening, since the oils can go rancid very quickly. That said, if you go through jars quickly (within a few weeks), its fine to leave jars of all-natural peanut butter stored in a cool, dry place. If youre not refrigerating your all-natural peanut butter, its important to never double-dip or introduce jelly-smeared knives to the jar; if you notice any mold or strange smells, toss the jar.
When it comes to peanuts (shelled or unshelled), the National Peanut Board says theyll last in a bag or sealed container for a month or two. But because nuts have a high oil content, they tend to go rancid quicker if theyre not kept cool. Store nuts in the fridge to extend their shelf-life to four to six months.
Want to extend nuts shelf-life even further? Chef Carla Contreras, founder of the online cooking school Cook+Chop and a former personal chef, recommends freezing them. Since nuts have such low water content, they wont freeze. I am crazy about storing nuts and seeds in the freezer. It extends their shelf life, Contreras explains. I take out small amounts and store them in glass containers in the fridge and replenish as needed.
Now that you know where to store your peanut butter, go nuts with some of our favorite sweet and savory peanut butter recipes.
Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
Photo by: PACIFIC TV
Ree calls for smooth peanut butter to add a creamy richness and nutty flavor to the peanut dipping sauce that accompanies skewers of chicken satay.
Healthy Peanut Soba Noodles with Vegetable Salad
Food Network Kitchens Peanut Soba Noodles with Vegetable Salad for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.
Photo by: Tara Donne
Creamy peanut butter lends a savory note and a protein punch to the sauce that coats soba noodles in this healthy noodle and veggie salad.
Trisha relies on extra-crunchy peanut butter to give these energy-boosting power balls a one-two punch of protein and texture.
Healthy No-Bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars
Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All rights Reserved
Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All rights Reserved
Peanuts do double duty in this healthy no-bake bar recipe: creamy peanut butter is folded with Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese to create a luscious filling, while a scattering of chopped, roasted peanuts add crunch.
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