National Peanut Butter Day. Photo: KnowInsiders
National Peanut Butter Day. Photo: KnowInsiders

When is Peanut Butter Day?

January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day. This sticky and delicious food is so loved that it is given its own national day.

The early peanut butter made by the Aztecs and Incas around 1000 BC was more of a paste and not nearly as creamy as the peanut butter we know now.

What is peanut butter?

Peanut butter is a spread or paste that is made from ground, dry roasted peanuts. The peanuts can be ground alone or combined with other ingredients to modify the taste of them.

The most common extra ingredients are salt, sugar and emulsifiers of some sort. Peanut butter has the same texture as cashew butter and almond butter.

Oil is often added to peanut butter to give it a smooth and creamy texture. Honey, sugar and other sweetness will change the flavor to a sweeter taste.

Peanut butter is used in all sorts of recipes from bars to savory dishes and the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can even make a ghostie sandwich for Halloween.

Who invented peanut butter?

There is evidence that ancient South American Inca Indians were the first to grind peanuts to make peanut butter. In the United States, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame) invented a version of peanut butter in 1895. Then it is believed that a St. Louis physician may have developed a version of peanut butter as a protein substitute for his older patients who had poor teeth and couldn’t chew meat. Peanut butter was first introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Photo: HolidaySmart
Photo: HolidaySmart

Peanuts and peanut butter became an integral part of the Armed Forces rations in World Wars I and II. It is believed that the U.S. army popularized the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for sustenance during maneuvers in World War II.

History of National Peanut Butter Day

Peanut butter is a culinary treat that actually most people think is a fairly modern invention, as food histories go. However, that may not be exactly the case.

I’m going to take this God-given gift of being funny, and I’m going to spread it out like peanut butter on everything I do.

Peanut butter, as it is known today, has only been around for a little over a hundred years. But, actually, there is some evidence that ancient Aztec and Inca peoples may have been grinding peanuts into a sort of paste several hundred years ago (or maybe even a few thousand years ago!).

As far as the modern world is concerned, peanut butter arrived via the United States at some time in the late 1800s. Some theories claim that, like many foods, peanut butter probably started in someone’s kitchen in their home. One popular theory suggests that a woman named Rose Davis started making peanut butter in New York at some point in the 1840s. She got the idea from her son, who had learned about something similar that was being made in Cuba at the time.

Many people credit George Washington Carver with the invention of producing peanut butter but, while he was an amazing inventor credited with more than 300 uses for peanuts and is considered the father of the peanut industry, Carver did not actually invent peanut butter.

The creation of modern peanut butter, along with its production processes, can be traced back to at least three more people. In fact, it was Canadian Marcellus Edson who patented “peanut paste” first, back in 1884, but this was created from roasted peanuts. In 1895, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, of the famed Kellogg’s cereal company, filed to patent a process using raw peanuts to create peanut butter, which was then referred to as “nut meal”. Then, in 1903, a peanut butter-making machine was patented by Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis, Missouri.

As far as National Peanut Butter Day is concerned, it seems that this auspicious occasion was created many years ago, to allow peanut butter lovers to celebrate the creation of this wonderful food. And celebration is the whole purpose of the day!

Peanut Butter Day Importance

Photo: There is a Day for that!

Peanut Butter is Perfect for All Occasions

Peanut butter is versatile. You have the option of spreading it on something, baking it, mixing it with noodles, coating meat with it or turning it into a delicious sauce, just to name a few. Seriously, the options are endless.

Peanut Butter Can Help You Stay on Your Diet

Even though peanut butter has a good amount of fat in it, it’s also a very filling food. Therefore, it keeps dieters fuller for longer, helping them resist the urge to mindlessly snack. Researchers at Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found in a study that people eating moderate-fat items, like peanut butter, were able to stay on a diet longer and keep weight off for a longer period of time than those who ate a low-fat diet. Is that good news or what?

Peanut Butter is Good for the Planet

Each time you eat a PB&J for lunch instead of red meat, like a burger or a ham sandwich, you’re shrinking your carbon footprint by almost 3.5 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. You’ll also save 133 gallons of water and 24 square feet of land per each peanut butter and jelly lunch. Going green never tasted so good!

How to Celebrate National Peanut Butter Day

Go Peanut Butter Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

As a fun challenge, see if you can eat peanut butter in every meal today. You could start with peanut butter on a bagel in the morning, perhaps a peanut butter based dressing for your lunchtime salad, and even a Thai peanut curry (which often uses peanut butter as an ingredient) for dinner!

Host a Peanut Butter Party

Sure, there are parties for foods like pizza, but why not have some nostalgia for that smooth or crunch food you had growing up? It makes a great party for the kids, too!

Get Your Sweetie Something Nutty

Photo: Parade
Photo: Parade

Gifts are always good, but surprising gifts on unexpected occasions are even better! If peanut butter is one of his or her favorite foods, surprise them with a gift that says you noticed!

Try Some New Peanut Butter Recipes

Families and friends can celebrate National Peanut Butter Day by getting together and creating delicious recipes containing peanut butter, from cookies and cakes to sauces. These can of course be consumed at home, or some prefer to make a day of it and go on a picnic-style outing. No matter what way it is eaten, getting creative in the kitchen with peanut butter can be a whole load of fun!

Try out some of these ideas for creating peanut butter dishes:

* Crispy Tofu Stir Fry with Cauliflower Rice. Super delicious and vegan (which is great for the health and the environment), this Asian inspired dish tosses cubes of tofu into a peanut butter marinade sauce after being baked and also pan fried.

* African Peanut Soup. Filled with chicken, nutritious sweet potatoes and other vegetables, this peanut soup is super healthy and also delicious!

* Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt. Easier than it sounds, this recipe simply requires combining premade yogurt, peanut butter, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Place in bite-sized dollups on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze (or make them into popsicles). A perfectly delightful summer snack for kids and adults!

* Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream. Speaking of frozen treats, why not make one out of the tasty ingredients of this classic American sandwich? The combination of sweet with salty is fabulous–especially when using crunchy peanut butter!

Facts about Peanut Butter Day

* Peanut Butter was officially introduced to the world at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, USA where a businessman named George Bayle started selling it. But it still took some time to gain popularity.

* The first recorded recipe for a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich was in 1901. It was written by Julia Davis Chandler and published in the Boston Cooking School Magazine.

* In the United States, in order for a product to be labeled as “peanut butter” it must contain at least 90% peanuts. This rule keeps the manufacturers from substituting other ingredients into the mix.

* The US has elected two different peanut farmers to represent them as the President of the United States of America. These include Thomas Jefferson of Virginia (who was president between 1801 and 1809) and Jimmy Carter of Georgia (who was president between 1977 and 1981). However, since peanut butter didn’t yet exist when Jefferson was president, the peanuts grown on his farms were probably not used to make this delicious treat.

* The earliest peanut butter spreads were made by the Aztecs and Incas about 1000 BC. This paste was not early as creamy as the peanut butter we love.

* George Washington Carver showed us 300+ uses for using peanuts and that included making peanut butter.

* The inventor of peanut butter was Marcus Gilmore Edson.

* Dr. Ambrose Straub patented a peanut butter making machine in 1903. Americans were first introduced to peanut in 1904 at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis.

* To make a 12 ounce jar of peanut butter, you will need about 540 peanuts!

* Men like chunky peanut butter, but women and children prefer the smooth type.

* There is a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most peanut butter and jelly sandwiches eaten in one minute. The record is 6 sandwiches set by Patrick Bertoleti in 2012.

* Americans spend more than $800 million in a year on peanut butter.

* One episode of the program Lost featured an imaginary jar of peanut butter being eaten by Claire.

* The average peanut farm is 200 acres.

* 2 Peanut Farmers have been elected president of the USA – Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson and * Georgia’s Jimmy Carter.

* One of Bill Clinton’s favorite sandwiches featured peanut butter and bananas.

* During Girl Scout Cookie Season, bakers use about 230,000 pounds of peanut butter each week to bake Tagalongs and Do-si-dos.

* Peanuts grow underground like potatoes do.

* Peanut butter was originally made for people who had no teeth!

Photo: HolidaySmart
Photo: HolidaySmart

* Each year Americans consume enough peanut butter to cover the floor of the Grand Canyon.

* Peanut butter is a good source of vitamin E, B6, niacin, calcium, potassium and iron.

* Some many restaurants and shops sell only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches such as the PBJ in Los Angeles and Illinois based According to a survey conducted by Peanut Butter & Co in 2019, most people prefer smooth peanut butter, whereas 29% love the chunky ones and around 20% of the people would gladly dig into Mostly the men preferred the crunchy ones, whereas women and children were likely to go for the creamy version.

* Peanut butter and jelly has become a viral combo since the army got a taste of it. Even Astronauts don’t leave the planet without their share of peanut butter and jelly. The peanut butter and jelly jars are taped with velcro tapes due to the absence of gravity and bread slices are substituted with tortillas.

* “The peanut butter jelly time” jingle released by the Buckwheat Boyz became an internet phenomenon in 2002 and had been featured in shows like Family Guy and Fortnite.

* Due to the presence of healthy fats, peanut butter keeps you filled. Besides, the research from Harvard, Brigham, found that opting for food items with moderate fat, like peanut butter can help you keep to stick to your diet.

More peanut butter days of the year

* November is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month

* Peanut Butter Day Lover’s Day is celebrated on January 24.

* Peanut Butter and Jelly day gets recognition on April 2.

* Peanut Butter Cookie Day is honored on June 12.

* Peanut Butter and Chocolate day is celebrated on July 23.

* We celebrate Peanut Butter Fudge Day on November 20.

* And if that isn’t enough, peanut day is September 13 and peanut month is every March.

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