The first peanut butter was made by the Aztecs about 3,000 or so years ago. Their version was little more than crushed peanuts, but we think it qualifies since many of today’s “natural” peanut butters end up the same way. The peanuts they used at the time were different than ours today as well. Still, peanut butter in any form is a good thing, and most people love it.

National Peanut Butter Day

peanut butter on a teaspoon and spreading it on bread

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Peanut butter didn’t become popular in the rest of the world until the late 20th century. Innovations in farming made growing peanuts easier and increased production. That led to more experimentation and popularity for the versatile legume. Today, several brands of peanut butter off us a wide range of flavors and textures. We celebrate National Peanut Butter Day on January 24th annually as a result.

There’s much more to the peanut and peanut butter than just tasty foods. The oil from peanuts is used for several things including cooking and developing plastics. The shells surrounding peanuts are used in composts and naturally repel some insects if used in or around your garden. The number of foods and uses that come from the tiny peanut is truly amazing when you dig into it.

Interesting Facts About the Peanut

Contrary to its name, the peanut is not a nut at all. Nuts grow on trees, not in the ground. Peanuts grow underground in a shell and belong to the Leguminosae family. Peas and beans also belong to this family. Peanuts are packed with protein and typically have about 8 grams of protein per ounce. A spoonful or two of peanut butter helps you fight off hunger between meals, and it's good for you.

Peanuts are packed full of essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B6, iron, zinc, and several more. Studies suggest that peanuts help you absorb more nutrients from food. When feasible, pairing peanuts with other foods enables you to get the most nutrients out of your meal according to The Peanut Institute.  

Peanuts were used to feed livestock throughout much of their history. It wasn’t until the late 1800s when farming started to get easier that they became a staple for people. George Washington Carver is credited with discovering many of the uses we have for peanuts. During a crisis when weevils decimated cotton crops in the US, Carver’s insight and farming technology helped save many farmers from financial disaster.

Carver published his research in 1916 and is credited with discovering more uses for peanuts than anyone else. He found ways to use the peanut and its shell for shaving cream, cosmetics, plastics, and even a few ideas related to coffee. We still benefit from discoveries Carver made more than 100 years ago. A few other cool facts include:

  • ​One acre of peanuts equals over 25,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
  • ​It takes about 550 peanuts to make 12 ounces of peanut butter.
  • ​In the US, peanut butter must legally contain at least 90% peanuts
  • ​Peanut and peanut butter candies and snacks make up about two-thirds of the market
  • ​Nearly half of school-age children eat over 2,000 peanut butter sandwiches before graduation

The interesting facts about peanuts and peanut butter are almost endless, but we don't have the space to list them all. Hopefully, we picked the most interesting points for you. Do a little research on peanuts yourself; we're sure you'll find them as exciting and we did while writing this article. The most exciting part for most people are all the different ways to cook them, so let's get to the recipes.

How to Celebrate by Eating Peanut Butter

apple with peanut butter on top

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We all know how to eat peanut butter. You only need a slice of bread, maybe some jelly, and you're on your way to a great sandwich. It's good straight out of the jar as well, no bread or jam is necessary to enjoy peanut butter. We consume enough peanut butter every year to circle the Earth with a ribbon the size of Texas. That’s a lot of peanut butter sandwiches.

You can enjoy peanuts in tons of ways that don't involve a sandwich. The day is called National Peanut Butter Day, but the real champion of the day is the peanut. You can find recipes for everything including peanut butter cookies, peanut butter donuts, peanut butter cakes, peanut pudding, peanut bread, and even peanut soup. No really, you can make peanut soup.

If it's National Peanut Butter Day, no one is going to fault you for eating more than your share of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, or any number of candies that include peanut butter. Ok, your personal trainer might, but they probably don’t understand how important this day is to peanut butter lovers. Here’s a list of some of our favorite dessert recipes that include peanut butter:

That’s just a taste of the thousands of dessert recipes that include peanut butter. A quick Google search will net you hundreds of recipes and several collections of recipes. Almost any dessert is better with peanut butter added to the mix in some way. Don't stop with sweets. You'll find plenty of recipes for sandwiches, soups, breads, and even protein shakes. For example:

Throw a National Peanut Butter Day Party

Ok, we admit this is partially just an excuse to eat peanut butter desserts and candy plus throw a party, but you only get to do it on National Peanut Butter day once a year on January 24th. So, why not throw a party to celebrate the fantastic peanut and the wonderful foods we make from it? We couldn't think of a good reason either.

Start planning your party like any other party. Determine how many guests you want to invite and if you want to add a theme to the party. We’re not sure how many costume ideas you can come up with other than Mr. Peanut, so a costume party is not the best idea. Still, ask guests to bring something peanut related or bring their favorite peanut butter enhanced recipe.

Once you have all of that out of the way, post your party date on social media, if you want a big party, or send out some email invitations to your closest friends. It’s probably a good idea to have some peanut-free food on hand for anyone with a peanut allergy. That said, most people with a peanut allergy aren’t going to set foot near a peanut butter party but play it safe anyway.

Peanut butter doesn’t work well with most games, but peanuts can be used to play several party style games. Play table hockey with a peanut and bendy straws or try tossing peanuts into cups. We want to suggest some kind of peanut butter eating contest, but that would probably end in disaster. Get creative and look for ways to use peanuts in your favorite games.  

If throwing a big party for adults isn't something you're interested in, consider using our tips to put together a party for the neighborhood kids or your children's friends. Depending on their ages, it could turn into a day of fun arts, and crafts using peanuts or follow along with the same path as an adult party, minus the alcohol of course.

Conclusion

a group of peanut

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Peanuts alone are a yummy and versatile food. Peanut butter takes the peanut to another level, and let's not forget all the fantastic products that stem from peanuts including cosmetics and some plastics.

Peanuts and peanut butter are both packed with many essential nutrients, and a spoonful or two between meals helps fight cravings. Many people who are trying to lose weight praise peanut butter’s ability to help them make it to their next meal without cheating.

If you like our idea about throwing a party to celebrate peanut butter, try some of the dessert recipes on our list. You won’t be disappointed. Don’t limit your appreciation of peanuts and peanut butter to one day a year, look for recipes online and find out about all the way you can use peanuts in everyday meals from main courses to side dishes.

You don’t need to throw a party to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day to enjoy peanut butter, but it won’t hurt.

If you’re lucky, someone else might throw a party near you, or you could attend one of the over 300 National Peanut Butter day celebrations that take place across the US. Check social media and Google to find out what events occur near you. Whichever way you choose to celebrate the day, be sure to enjoy it and enjoy some peanut butter.

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