In this article, we will answer the question “How long is peanut butter good for?”, and how to tell If peanut butter is bad?
How long is peanut butter good for?
The following table provides the estimated shelf-life of different types of peanut butter in different storage conditions.
|In the pantry||In the fridge|
|Smooth peanut butter(opened)||3-4 months||6-8 months|
|Smooth peanut butter(unopened)||1 year||1 year|
|Crunchy peanut butter(opened)||3-4 months||6-8 months|
|Crunchy peanut butter(unopened)||1 year||1 year|
|Homemade peanut butter||Not recommended||3-6 months|
|Natural peanut butter(opened)||3-4 months||6-8 months|
|Natural peanut butter(unopened)||2-3 months||3-6 months|
Peanut butter lasts quite long due to its composition i.e the high-fat content and the low moisture levels. Besides, store-bought peanut butter jars have a lot of stabilizers in them. Stabilizers like hydrogenated vegetable oils or palm oil provide structural integrity to the nut butter. It keeps the oil from separating.
Moreover, preservatives like Sodium Benzoate are added in small amounts to inhibit microbial growth.
Natural peanut butter may or may not contain stabilizers or preservatives, therefore, it requires to be refrigerated for a longer shelf-life. This is also the reason why you often see a layer of oil floating over your natural chunky peanut butter jar.
Natural peanut butter may also contain peanut chunks that render it is shelf-life short. Therefore it needs to be stored with care.
Peanut butter powder, which is composed of the essential oils extracted from roasted peanuts and peanut powder, can be kept in the pantry for up to a year if the jar is unopened. Once the seal is broken, the shelf-life is reduced to 4-6 months only.
How to tell if peanut butter is bad?
The best-by date is not a very reliable indicator of the health of peanut butter. If stored properly, peanut butter tastes good past its best-by. The spoiled peanut butter will no longer have a creamy texture and lustrous sheen.
It develops a dull and drab appearance and the texture feels hard rather than soft. The desirable tan peanut-y color of the peanut butter changes into an undesirable darker tone. A pungent, bitter, or soapy smell is also a good indication of bad peanut butter.
How to store peanut butter?
The rule of thumb is to always store the peanut butter jar in a cool and dark place in your pantry. However, keeping it in the fridge will extend its shelf-life. Every time you open the jar, put the lid back on tightly, or else the peanut butter will become rancid due to higher fat levels.
Do not use wet or dirty spoons to scoop out peanut butter. This can increase the chances of spoilage and contamination. Keep the powdered peanut butter in a dark, cool, and dry place.
Health benefits of peanut butter
Excellent source of protein
A 100g mass of rich creamy peanut butter will provide 20g carbs, 25g proteins, and 50g fat. In other words, 15% of the calories in a100g portion of peanut butter is provided by proteins. This is a pretty decent amount for plant-based food.
However, the protein that comes from peanut butter lacks the essential amino acid; methionine. It is better to not rely on beans or peanut butter for methionine.
Low carb levels
People that are on a carbohydrate-restricted diet should include peanut butter in their daily life. It is a perfect choice for people who want to lose weight or people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Peanut butter reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 21%. Other factors like oleic acid level and anti-oxidant content also play an important role.
Rich in healthy fats
Peanut butter is a fat-rich food. But half of the fat is made up of a monounsaturated fatty acid; Oleic acid. Oleic acid has been found to possess many health benefits along with improving insulin sensitivity. It also provides decent amounts of linoleic and omega-6 fatty acids.
Full of vitamins and minerals
The following percentages apply to a 100g portion of peanut butter.
- Vitamin E: 45% of the RDA
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 67% of the RDA
- Vitamin B6: 27% of the RDA
- Folate: 18% of the RDA
- Magnesium: 39% of the RDA
- Copper: 24% of the RDA
- Manganese: 73% of the RDA
Moreover, it also contains biotin, vitamin B5, iron, potassium, zinc, and selenium.
Good source of anti-oxidants
High levels of resveratrol and p-coumaric acid, prevent the risk of heart disease and arthritis.
In this article, we answered the question “How long is peanut butter good for?”, and how to tell If peanut butter is bad?