The Mess-Free Way To Stir Nut Butter

If you're a nut-butter fiend, you've probably noticed one major difference between the big brands and the fancy natural ones: separation (via Food and Wine). Through the glass of their reusable jars, it's pretty easy to spot a pool of oil that sit on the tops of natural nut butters. You wouldn't think that splurging on the fancy stuff would come with manual labor, however most of the time you're stuck stirring it for minutes on end. Then, after your hard work is done, you're left with a mess across your counters and hands that requires an environmentally irresponsible amount of paper towels to clean up.

If you've ever wondered why your natural nut butter requires so much effort, it really comes down to the fact that it's natural. Bigger brands like Jif add hydrogenated oils that act as stabilizers and prevent oils from melting at room temperature (via Food and Wine). However, natural nut butter leaves out the stabilizers, relying solely on the organic oils of the nuts themselves. These oils are naturally liquid at room temperature, causing them to separate and collect at the top of the jar (via Insider). While this is a good sign that your nut butter is in fact natural, it leaves you with a bit more work. Even though separation is inevitable, you can at least save yourself the cleanup time with these mess-free stirring hacks.

Store it upside down

This method from HuffPost is simple: just flip your jar over and store it upside down. While this may be the easiest method, it will not suit those of you who are hoping to use your nut butter as soon as you get home from the store. On the bright side, it could help you practice peanut butter moderation. After putting your nut butter away upside down, the oils will need time to work their way back through the mixture and to the opposite end of the jar. In the process, they'll do the hard work of recombining themselves, evenly distributing their natural oils all on their own (via Readers Digest).

After at least 24 hours, Simply Recipes states that the oils will have worked their magic – leaving you with a jar of beautifully creamy and natural nut butter that will spread gorgeously across your morning toast. Not only does this method require little to no effort on your part, but it is guaranteed mess-free. To maintain its even and creamy texture, continue to flip your nut butter after each use or do what Real Simple recommends and put it in the fridge to stop the separation process. If you're someone who normally keeps your nut butters inside of the fridge, HuffPost recommends flipping your nut butter over prior to putting it inside. 

Use an immersion blender

If your nut butter comes in a jar with a wide rim, Simply Recipes recommends using an immersion blender. If you don't have one, One Lovely Life states that a hand mixer also works great. Either way, this method works wonderfully for those of you who need your nut butter stirred as soon as possible or love putting your kitchen machinery to good use. Plus, you only have one thing to clean when you're finished. If you've ever tried stirring nut butter by hand, you know that the bottom of the jar is the hardest and the most difficult to stir. An immersion blender solves all of that, you gives you glorious results by recombining the separated oil, without the mess or hand cramps.

So break out your chosen hand-held appliance, plug it into the outlet, and get ready to have a perfectly mixed nut butter in minutes. Pop Sugar states that you'll want to start mixing from the bottom of the jar. So place the blender or hand mixer as deep into the jar as you can. Make sure that you have a good hand on it to keep it from flying out from under you, and then start blending on the lowest setting. Continue blending while moving the blender up and down and adjusting the speed as needed. After about two minutes, you should have a perfectly blended jar of nut butter that's smooth and ready to be used on a classic PB&J sandwich.