Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A much better peanut butter at Costco Wholesale

Peanut butter is a semi-solid and can therefor...
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Creamy peanut butter 
(not from Costco Wholesale).


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.

Quick meals

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).
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  1. Did you find your Kirkland Signature Peanut Butter to be very liquid like? The jar that we purchased did not contain a peanut butter that has the same consistancy as anything we have eaten previously.

    1. We had the same experience and actually my husband found it really gross. I haven't gotten up the nerve to taste it, because honestly it just looks like a bunch of oil.

  2. You're absolutely right. The better, natural peanut butter turned out to be too dense to enjoy, because the oil separates out of it and forms a pool at the top of the jar.

    We didn't try the Kirkland Signature Natural Butter for a couple of weeks after I brought it home from Costco, and by the time we did, the oil had separated out (as noted on the jar)and it was too thick to stir it back into the solids.

    The first time I served it to my 14-year-old son, he didn't like how dense it was, but I loved the peanut taste when I tried a spoonful. Then, my wife tried it, and didn't like it, either.

    I took the open and unopened jars back and got a full refund, without the receipt. So I again bought the Skippy brand, which has added sugar and oils and other stuff to prevent separation, and a less dense texture.

    1. Thanks Victor. We will probably return our jars as well. Stay well.

  3. I love shoprite natural peanut butter. My father has had 2 heart attacks and his dr. said "anything with partially hydrogenated oils " is what causes plaque to build up in your arteries. I always make sure my peanut butter is free of that!

  4. Responding to a comment on June 8, 2012, the oil separation turned off customers to a peanut butter with a deep peanut flavor.

    When the oil separated, the peanut butter was too thick to handle.

    I was having a tablespoon every other day or so, but decided to take it back for a refund.

  5. I noticed everyone is being deterred because of the separation. All I do is use a hand mixer or food processor to mix and then it's perfect, oh and keep it stored in the fridge to prevent further separation. It's delicious, don't give up on it so quickly.

  6. I might try buying it, mixing it up and refrigerating it, but then it would probably be too hard to spread.

  7. Kirkland peanut butter is the best. In fact, my store hasn't had it in weeks and my kids are going through withdrawal. Any natural peanut butter is going to separate. No hydrogenated oils to keep it solid. Store it upside down, when you open it the oil is on the bottom. It is a pain in the butt the first time you mix it, but once you're done, put it in the fridge. It will not separate again. It is NOT too hard to spread from being in the fridge either. Don't give up.

  8. I use costco peanut butter -- yes it does separate -- and it took a little to get it mixed up the first time -- helps to keep turning jar upside down and right side up and letting it sit -- and scooping from the bottom up. It is a little on the thin side, but it has excellent flavor!

  9. You really do need to refrigerate it after opening. I doesn't get too thick and within minutes, it starts to soften. I love it and use it all the time. The first stir is alway a bit messy, but I only have to stir once per jar.
    Doesn't it make you wonder how the other brands stay together?'s all the hydrogenated oils, and that's not "natural", it's nasty! I feel it is well worth the initial work. Remember, the fewer ingredients in the food you buy, the better.

  10. Does Costco still sell their organic peanut butter? I want to verify this before I make it a priority to stop by Costco in the middle of the week...

  11. I don't believe it is organic. Costco calls it "natural" -- it's just peanuts.

  12. FWIW, I bought peanut butter at Costco. I used to buy the Kirkland natural until they discontinued it because of problems with the valencia peanuts. When I was buying it, it was a process to remix the separated oil. Of course it will be dry and dense if you do not mix the oil. When they stopped selling it, I switched to Jiffy. Then Costco indeed re-introduced their "natural" peanut butter. So, I decided to compare the labels. From memory there is a slight difference in calories Jiff=180, Kirkland=200; the was 1g more sugar in the Jiff and a little more sodium. Nothing drastically different. The price per ounce is a cool dime less for Jiff. I'm ok with Jiffy.

    1. But the Kirkland Signature peanut butter has no sugar, and if you mix it and immediately store it in the refrigerator, there is no separation problem, either. Not to mention the superior taste of Costco's product.

  13. best way to prevent separation I've found is to use a butter knife and alternate gently stirring it and lifting the knife up and down in it. It pushes the oil down into the peanut butter without it spilling over. It takes practice but it works every time now when done carefully.

    1. Thanks. I just refrigerate the jars as soon as I get them home.

  14. I have the jar of Kirland Organic Peanut Butter and I find it extremenly runny. The ingredients mentioned are Dry Roasted organic peanuts and sea salt. There is no mention of Hidrogenated Vegetable Oils (which are very bad fr your liver, kidneys and heart). There is allot of oil in this jar and I am hoping it's not the dangerous Palm oil.

    1. There's no mention of other oils, because they are not in there, as far as I know. The ingredients are the same for the non-organic Kirkland Signature Natural Peanut Butter (creamy).

      There are instructions on the label that you apparently missed: "Oil separation occurs in natural peanut butter. Stir well and refrigerate after opening."

      I not only stir the peanut butter and put it in the fridge. I store the second, unopened jar upside down in the refrigerator.

      Peanut butter is not that popular in my house, but we keep it on hand for guests of my teenage son. There is only about 1 inch of peanut butter in the first jar, which is in the refrigerator, and I just looked at it to see whether there is any separation. Absolutely none.

      So, no need for fear mongering on what ingredients Costco may have sneaked into the peanut butter.

  15. After I published the previous comment, I looked over my comments dating to 2012, and see I had the same problem as the last person until I started refrigerating the peanut butter.


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