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Creamy peanut butter
(not from Costco Wholesale).
By VICTOR E. SASSON
At 14, my son awoke one day and decided he want to start eating peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
I didn't try them until I was an adult, and then ate one or two every day -- until I noticed I was gaining weight. I gave them up just as suddenly.
One of my brothers customized his sandwich with the crunch of skin-on seedless cucumbers slices -- which is how I serve them to my teenager.
A couple of months ago, I grabbed two economy size jars of Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter off the shelf at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack -- each one held 48 ounces or 3 pounds of the stuff.
We're almost out, so on Tuesday at Costco, I bought two jars of Kirkland Signature Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, which I saw for the first time on the shelf next to the Skippy brand.
The Costco store-brand peanut butter is made from Valencia Peanuts, grown in the American Southwest and known for their "natural sweetness and flavor," according to the label.
The only other ingredient is sea salt. The Kirkland peanut butter has less sodium than Skippy and no added sugar.
The Skippy label tells you nothing about the roasted peanuts it uses. Other ingredients are sugar; hydrogenated vegetable oils (cotton seed, soybean and rapeseed) "to prevent separation," and sugar.
When I make a sandwich for my son, I use Kirkland Signature 100% whole-grain bread -- toasted -- and two other items from the warehouse store, Sunset-brand seedless cucumbers and a sugar-less fruit spread.
I eat very little bread, so usually have a teaspoon of peanut butter followed by a teaspoon of fig preserves.
Two 40-ounce jars of Kirkland Signature peanut butter rang up at $9.99 -- slightly more expensive by the pound than Skippy.
Dried black figs
Another natural product I found on Tuesday is a 2-pound bag of Made In Nature-brand Organic Black Mission Figs -- sun dried and unsulphured --for $8.39.
The only ingredient is "organic dried Black Mission figs."
Walking up and down the aisles, I also saw the Della-brand Organic Brown Rice I have been enjoying so much in the several weeks since I brought home a bag.
This long-grain rice requires no soaking. I prepare it in an electric rice cooker, adding dried organic lentils and other sprouted beans, plus a little olive oil.
Last night, for a filling meatless meal, I heated up cans of black beans and diced organic tomatoes; cooked fresh Chinese broccoli in boiling water for a few minutes before removing it and drizzling it with sesame oil and a little soy sauce; and then ate everything with this wonderful rice.
This morning, I heated up some of the leftover rice and lentils with bottled Mexican salsa verde, and topped them with two olive-oil fried eggs, sunny side up, sprinkled with a little salt and ground Aleppo red pepper.
That made a great breakfast with radish and cabbage kimchis, and hot black tea.
Other recent Costco buys include Kirkland Signature 100% Pure Maple Syrup ($12.59 for 32 ounces), Kirkland Signature Canola Oil ($8.45 for 5 liters), and Cabot Sliced Medium Cheddar ($7.99 for 2 pounds).