Eastwind Nut Butters Company

Dear Eastwind Nut Butters Company,

You don’t know me or my wife, but let me tell you that my wife, Kris, is your fan. She’s recently taken a liking for almond butter. She’s the sort of informed person who studies up on things so much she’s right there at your level, and that means she’s raised her liking for almond butter to the point of liking organic almond butter. The sort that doesn’t mix well, and you know what I mean.

I’d like to make a suggestion for you, and mind you this comes from someone who only rarely eats her almond butter. I admit to liking it, but that’s not important.

You’ve got a crink in your system when it comes to jarring your fine-tasting organic (non-mixing) almond butter. Here’s what we are finding, and I’m betting you’ve heard this before. But I’ve got a solution you perhaps haven’t thought about. I’m not charging you for my counsel, but someday you might want to buy me a cup of coffee.

The crink is this: at the bottom of the jar the almond butter is dry and sticky and not very buttery, sort of like some of my mom’s roasts back in the 60s when we had been at church on Sunday and the preacher got himself worked up into a long sermon. But at the top of the jar the almond butter is moist and almost gooey, but at any rate it’s too oily and too much butter and not quite enough almond. The middle, of course, is perfect, but it’s hard to get to.

So what we have to do is stir the stuff, but that always reveals another crink. The oil spills out, and it’s the sort of oil that is messy and not easy to clean up from our counter. (There’s another problem here; our counter is dark, we are not young birds, we don’t get into bright lights at breakfast time, so we don’t always get it all cleaned up, which makes for problems later, say at lunch. But I digress. Back to the point…) The almond butter in the middle is the best but it’s not easily accessible, and the jar’s shape makes it hard to stir the almond butter into an even consistency. (My friend sometimes pronounced that word “constituency,” and I pointed that out once but he never learned and it got quite fun to hear him get the words confused.)

Anyway, I think I fixed both crinks with one trick. Someday grab yourself a medium sized tupperware bowl (with a lid, of course) and put all of the contents of said almond butter in the bowl, and put the bowl in the refrigerator over night, and then the next day at breakfast you’ll have the middle of the jar everywhere. I don’t know why it works, but my wife knows it works. She gets a bit of a kick out of this every morning when she has her English muffin (the sprouted whole grain kind) with some almond butter and a scrape of jelly (organic, too).

My suggestion for you: spread out the jar so the oil can spread more evenly.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Yvette

    Aahhh, grocery stores would be unhappy. Shelf space.

  • EricMichaelSay

    Great idea from a design standpoint. And from a marketing standpoint the non-standard shape would differentiate east wind from the herd!

  • Joe Canner

    This happens with natural peanut butter too. Another solution is to turn the jar upside down for a while: the oil always goes to top and at some point it will be evenly spread throughout the jar.

  • EricW

    I had to look up “crink.” (Never used it anywhere I’ve lived – Iowa, Missouri, Washington, D.C., Texas.) I found a definition saying “bend, twist.”

    I also found out that it’s a street name for methamphetamine or meth. :o

  • Georges Boujakly

    Great suggestion for all nut makers. I use a lot of sesame seed butter (Tahini, that is) and the exact same problem you describe exists.

    But as for me and my house we will make our own nut butters. Nothing easier, always fresher, no preservatives necessary, great feeling of doing it.
    In case interest is peaked:
    Roast almonds till lightly brown.
    Blend till smooth, with a little olive oil, or oil of choice, a dash of salt.
    Use on mana bread with a date and fig butter (also home made). Heaven comes down and glory fills the soul!

  • EricW

    @Georges: What do you use to blend the almonds – just a regular kitchen blender?

  • Juniper

    I live in almond country. I’ll have to ask around for the best organic almond butter. Maybe one of the manufacturers has solved the problem.

  • TriciaM

    I second storing upside down before stirring. It works a treat with Adam’s peanut butter, but then the Adam’s jar is a nice shape.

  • Bob3

    The problem is not in the manufacturing but in the storage. Any solution that includes an oil will separate naturally over time. Turning the jar over only temporarily redistributes the oils. Adding more oil only creates a dilution, something Scot never recommends, especially with tea. The only way you will get smooth, natural nut butter is to make it yourself, as #5 suggests. A new vocation / enterprise for you Scot and Kris.


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