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(article, Ashley Griffin Gartland)
These days choosy moms don't always choose Jif. Sometimes they choose natural peanut butter. Unlike its conventional competitors, natural peanut butter typically has fresher flavor and more nutritional perks, including little to no added fat (including the dreaded trans fats) or sugar. The major drawback? Without trans fats as stabilizers, natural peanut butter naturally separates into oil and ground nuts. Eaters must stir the oil back into the nuts, a stiff and sticky struggle. [%image gadget float=right width=250 caption="A hand-crank mixer from Witmer."] The R.N. Witmer Company believes it has solved this conumdrum with its [%amazonProductLink "Natural Peanut Butter Hand Mixer" asin=B000A3I3BA newpage=true], a hand-crank-in-a-lid that promises to "easily stir the peanut butter in the original container without splashing the oil." With two models — the Twist Knob Mixer and the Crank Mixer — you can even pick one that suits your preferred style and size of jar. Don't want to splurge for a gizmo? Home mixing options include dumping the entire jar of PB into a bowl and mixing by hand before putting the goop back in the jar (or another container); keeping the peanut butter in the fridge, to prevent some of the oil separation at the cost of harder, less spreadable PB; and simply storing the jar upended, so the oil floats to the top (in this case, bottom) of the jar for easier mixing once opened. None of these tricks are hassle-free, but they sure beat opening the jar and stabbing away with a knife.