Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Beware:Oils Separate Easily!

Remember when you were a kid and you found interesting ways to entertain yourself at home during those lazy summer days? In the backyard, you'd play for hours making gooey mud pies which you would serve to your dog on a balmy afternoon, pretending to be the ultimate chef? Remember how the mud pies would look when they were not the right consistency? Murky cocoa-like water on top, with the rich brown mud settling down to the bottom of the pan? (Do I need to point out here that I grew up in a small town without a sibling close in age and a LOT of time on my hands?)

Well, my foray into organic foods gave me flashbacks of those muddy dessert creations this week. After reading an article touting that the vegan diet may be most optimal for diabetics and after reading this book, I decided to brave the organic foods aisle. It isn't that this row in my supermarket has not intrigued me previously. It is that I'm damn frightened of it, to be perfectly honest.

Flax seed? Pure-pressed mayonnaise? Stevia-sweetened? Gluten-free? It is like speaking another language to this granddaughter of a rural Texas cattle-rancher. And, I don't know where to begin! I'm trying to cut out artificial sweeteners when I can, so the little packs of Stevia did make it into my cart, to replace my much-loved Spenda. I found some lovely little crackers called Nut Thins which were wonderfully tasty. I say were because I ate them so quickly they were gone before the air reached the crackers. (And, also before my family knew of them, as I kept them well-hidden!)

But, my big purchase was an attempt to replace my dearly beloved jar of crunchy peanut butter. Darling P.B. has gotten me through many a hunger pain. I am an authority in the field of nutty goodness. Peter Pan crunchy is ideal if you need a little sweet fix along with your "sammy." Jiff Extra Crunchy is the cat's meow for the nutty muncher in all of us. Yes, there is nothing that peanut butter cannot fix, in my book. The irony does not escape me in that this chunky nut spread obsession has, in fact, turned me into the quintessential "chunky blonde" as well. I know where my rolls come from, my friends. Spoon by spoon in the roof of my mouth, and straight onward to the love handles.

So, back to those mud pies? Yes, that is what the organic peanut butter resembled when I opened the jar. I noticed a big note on the label that read "Mix well as oils separate easily. Refrigerate upon opening." Well, now, that was an understatement.

So, I diligently mixed and stirred as I meditated my mind into a positive open space ready to find something tasty and better for my arteries. You know how peanut butter so nicely sticks to the roof of your mouth? Well, organic peanut butter does the same. Only, unlike a spoon of P.B., it tastes as if you dove too deep at the beach, ingesting some sludge from the bottom of Galveston bay. N-A-S-T-Y!

So, I told myself that it must be the refrigeration. Just put it in the icebox and try again, MomCat. Your health demands it. Don't judge hastily, now. But, as I went to wash my hands of the oily nut spillage, I found that it did not come off easily. It was as if I'd dipped my palms in shortening! Hmm...if this isn't appealing to eat, perhaps I've found the secret to wrinkle-free skin?

On day two, I decided to dip some whole wheat pretzel sticks into the now-refrigerated butter. It did have a better consistency, I admitted. And, so I dipped.

Nope. More Galveston mouth. Sigh. I don't think I can do this. Full-fat, full-sugar peanut butter is just not something I can replace.

You know, when thinking back to those mud pies, I remember fondly how I'd come to the back door and my mom would insist upon hosing me off on the back porch before I set foot in the house. My kids don't get dirty enough to have mud pie fun usually. But, I think that I should let them dig a little this summer and create. Life is short and there's not enough time to worry about getting dirty.

And, as for the organic peanut butter? I will do everything in my motherly power to ensure that it never, ever touches their innocent lips!


Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

Oh, MomCat, give it a chance. The only difference between the organic PB and that Jif you crave is sugar - lots and lots of sugar. We prefer Teddy all natural if you can get it. It mixes up beautifully and stays mixed in the fridge.
I can't get my beloved Teddy Peanutbutter where I live now, but I'm having Grambug bring me some next time she visits!!
If you don't like this organic one, try another all natural. Do it for your health!! Just think - If there's no sugar in it, you can eat more of it...

5:53 AM, August 03, 2006  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Peanut butter is no longer peanut butter without sugar, no matter how you spread it. Some things were never intended to be pure and natural. It's just wrong, I tell ya.

8:44 AM, August 03, 2006  
Blogger Babs said...

Galveston mouth... awesome description! Never tried organic PB, but it reminds me of how I feel about fat-free cheese. YUCK.

8:53 AM, August 03, 2006  
Blogger Nicole said...

It's true, some "natural" things just aren't..natural. Like fat-free Ranch dressing. What's the point???

10:45 AM, August 03, 2006  
Anonymous Angela said...

Haha... I do know what you mean about the consistency, but honestly once I got used to the new flavor of the organic peanut butter I could taste the "fakeness" of the regular old Jiff and Peter Pan types. I love how organic peanut butter retains that yummy peanut taste instead of covering it all up with sugar and extra ingredients :) Give it another try with a different brand--I'll bet it really grows on you!! (Hehe, funny... bc it's organic... grows on you... organic... ha?)

11:16 AM, August 03, 2006  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

LOL, Nicole!

Hmmm...I was leaning towards siding with Jennifer on this one. But, maybe I just bought a bad brand? It's a thought...I know nothing about brand names on that aisle. I'll have to watch for Ladybug's favorite...

11:55 AM, August 03, 2006  
Blogger Daisy said...

I haven't tried organic PB, but I'm with babs -- fat free cheese just isn't cheese. I'd rather cut the portions down and eat the real thing. Can you tell I'm from Wisconsin, the dairy state?

8:21 PM, August 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't had much natural PB, but your description sounds like rancid PB. Do you know anyone that does natural food? Try their PB first. ;)

9:21 AM, August 04, 2006  
Blogger Masked Mom said...

Listen, I'm not even a regular peanut butter fan so the thought of organic peanut butter is enough to make me cry.

3:49 PM, August 04, 2006  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I'm with Angela. I only buy natural peanut butter now--just peanuts and salt. Now that I've adjusted to it, the other stuff tastes too sweet and kind of plasticky. I get Laura Scudders--you can get it at H-E-B with the regular peanut butter. You have to stir it up really good when you first get it, but the consistency is good after that.

11:58 PM, August 05, 2006  
Blogger eve said...

You should try almond butter, it's delicious! But the organic is so much better and no hydrogenated oils! You really do train your taste buds when you start eating healthier, you don't want the bad stuff anymore. Recently I was walking down the candy isle and all I saw was cancerous food coloring, sugar and artificial grossed me out to think what that does inside my body, so I bought some fresh blueberries & peaches instead. It gets easier the more you learn so keep up the good work!

6:40 PM, August 07, 2006  

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