Grit Blogs > The Vermont Homesteader

Local Food: Peanut Butter Style

A photo of Melissa Brooks SenesacI have fond memories of my childhood. It was a great time, I had the best parents ever (still do, in fact). I remember hanging out at home when I was really little eating a peanut butter and fluff sandwich with some chicken noodle soup while watching The Price is Right. Rubbing my little toes into the shag carpet (ok, not sure if it was really shag, but you know, it was that beautiful, shag-like, orange carpet) I’d munch away on some serious comfort food.

I don’t watch The Price is Right anymore; it just isn’t the same without Bob Barker (no offense Drew). But anytime I hear the theme music or any reference to it I have an instant craving for a PB & fluff sandwich with chicken noodle soup. To me, peanut butter is the key to some seriously hearty, easy meals and snacks: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter and honey on toast, peanut sauce and noodles, peanut butter cookies, buckeyes (peanut butter balls covered in chocolate), peanut butter on a spoon. Yum.

Peanut butter is right up there with eggs as being a super-food. Full of great stuff like protein, fiber, vitamin E, iron, calcium, and potassium (though not as great a source as bananas, still pretty darned good), it’s my favorite thing to bring on a day hike or bike ride up here in the mountains of Northern Vermont.

If you buy what I call “traditional” peanut butter, you could be outweighing these healthy aspects with negative things like additional trans-fatty acids and carcinogenic mold. So, buy all-natural, organic peanut butter. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

I have to say that I am one lucky gal that we’ve got a local company that makes up their very own peanut butter (as well as almond butter). The Vermont Peanut Butter Company is situated right in the heart of Stowe, Vermont. You can get everything from plain creamy or chunky peanut butter to my favorite: Champlain Cherry, which is a combination almond butter with chocolate and dried cherries mixed in. Just thinking about it makes me drool all over my keyboard. The Vermont Peanut Butter Company very well could be the biggest Vermont thing to hit the globe since Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Although, currently, they’re not nearly as large-scale as B & J’s, that is one of the things that is most important. The Vermont Peanut Butter Company isn’t owned by any big corporations (like Ben and Jerry’s Unilever), run from a distance by people in business suits in a highrise. (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream who, I hear, is going fully Fair Trade!) It is owned and operated by a handful of local folks (one of which happens to be a very dear friend of mine) who you could easily happen upon during an outing here in the Green Mountains.

Now, you can’t find their peanut butter just anywhere. No, they don’t supply the big chain stores like Price Chopper and Hannafords (trust me, I’ve looked), but you can get your very own jar of delicious goodness (or Karma, or Harvest) shipped straight to your house. “How?” might you ask. Well, my dear friends, they’ve got a nice little website where you can check out their story and maybe pick up a jar or two of anything that strikes your fancy. I’ll make a suggestion: get at least two jars. Kyle and I went through a jar of Champlain Cherry in a week.

**I should note that I have not been paid or otherwise compensated for this endorsement – I’m just a girl loving her locally-produced products.**

9/1/2010 8:16:34 AM

Hi Melissa! We are not too far from you, living on the border of Quebec and NY state. I'm gonna try that PB you talked about! It always makes a great sandwich. Dave had a great suggestion with the strawberry preserves! Great memories of good food. Keep writing about your life,we enjoy hearing from you!

3/31/2010 6:33:37 AM

@Nebraska Dave: thanks for sharing! Now I'm craving a Twinkie!! haha :) I LOVE peanut butter on ice cream- only if it is mint chocolate chip ice cream, though. @MountainWoman: Awesome! Hope you enjoy their products as much as I do! :)

mountain woman
3/30/2010 2:43:29 PM

Checked out the website and placed my order. Thanks so much for sharing the info!!! I always buy Vermont products first and try to support our local businesses.

nebraska dave
3/30/2010 1:47:55 PM

Melissa, Peanut butter, oh yeah. My favorite lunch time sandwich for school was strawberry preserves and peanut butter. Oh yum yum. For two years while attending a country one room school house (yeah I know I’m an old guy) I had the same lunch and loved it. The lunch was one apple, one sandwich described above, and a Twinkie. Yup doesn’t get any better than that. I’m with you on grabbing a spoon and gouging out a wad of peanut butter right out of the jar. Now days I eat my favorite lunch far less than back in the school days, but I still enjoy a good strawberry preserve and peanut butter sandwich. My wife came from New Jersey and introduced me to the Fluffy Nutter. It consists of peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, and a banana cut length wise and put on the sandwich. Actually, it’s not bad. I have found a source of pretty healthy peanut butter from Smuckers. It has only two ingredients, peanuts and less than 1% salt which equates to about 90mg for 2 tablespoons. It doesn’t have sugar or any thing that can’t be pronounced. There’s only one other thing I like better than peanut butter and that’s peanuts right out of the roasted shell. I buy them by the bag full to munch on almost daily, unsalted of course. Now ice cream, eeh, not so much unless it’s homemade the old fashion way with a crank handle freezer. Oh man talk about childhood memories. Those were the best days. Thanks for sharing your childhood.