More and more often, schools are becoming peanut-free zones, due to the danger of peanut allergies. However, peanut butter remains one of our most-loved foods and, without a doubt, is one of the most versatile foods out there. You can make a sandwich. You can cook with it. You can have it for dessert. You can eat a big spoonful to get a burst of energy and kill those sweet cravings. It is high in protein. It makes us happy. And, who knew, it can be used around the house to help with chores!
Peanut butter is a traditional kids’ favorite, and has become a go-to for health and fitness observers. But, peanut butter has a wide variety of uses most of us are probably unaware of it having. For instance, did you know you could use peanut butter to:
- Catch mice: The idea that mice love cheese is a long-held one, but you’ll do better with that mousetrap if you bait it with a little peanut butter.
- Shave: Yes, that’s right, you can actually shave with peanut butter in a pinch. Using creamy peanut butter—obviously, chunky would not be good for this, but it never hurts to mention such details—just “lather” it on as you would any shaving gel and shave. You’ll not only get a close shave, the oils from the peanut butter will moisturize your skin nicely.
- Lubrication: Speaking of peanut butter oils, this aspect of peanut butter makes it a good lubricant for household and yard chores. For example, this time of the year, your garden tools may not be snipping and clipping with the greatest of ease. Use a bit of peanut butter in place of a traditional lube to get them going again. Or, if that screen door is squeaking as it swings open, a bit of peanut butter can fix it right up and quiet it down.
- Remove price tags: Don’t you hate it when you bring home a new purchase and it has a price tag stuck right to it? They never pull off completely, and sitting there and picking it off is impossible. Besides, even if you can get all of the tag itself, sticky residue will remain. A little peanut butter will help it slide right off—just rub the peanut butter on, wait a minute, then rub off with a cloth.
- Offer your pet his medicine: I once had a pet who needed medication twice daily, and giving a dog a pill is no easy task if you try to do it straight-up. Make it easier on yourself—and your pet—by disguising the pill in a bit of peanut butter. Dogs love peanut butter, and he’ll love you when he starts getting a “treat” every day instead of meds. Works for cats, too—and, hey, if your young kids don’t want to take their meds, this is a great option for them, as well, as long as they do not have a peanut allergy, of course.
- De-fish your home: Most of us love fish but hate the smell it can leave behind. After cooking fish for dinner, add a spoonful of peanut butter to the pan and cook for about two minutes. It will take away the fishy smell and leave a wonderfully peanutty scent in its wake.
- Removing gum: Peanut butter and its wonderfully oily properties has a lot of practical uses, and removing gum is one of them. Have gum in your hair? Work a bit of peanut butter into the spot and slide it out, using a cloth to get the last remains. Gum on your shoe? Similar to removing a label—pull off what will come off, then rub the remaining residue with peanut butter. Leave for a minute or so, then rub off the remaining gum with a cloth. Gum in the carpet? Pull out as much gum as you can, then rub on and slide out with a cloth, kinda like the hair trick. Of course, I might not choose to do this one on a lightly shaded carpet, like white, but then with a big blob of gum stuck in your carpet, perhaps it would be worth taking the chance on cleaning out the excess peanut butter—up to you.
- Glue on hands: Don’t you hate that feeling of having dried glue on your hands? Nothing seems to get it off, but peanut butter can. Just rub some peanut butter on the spot and wipe it off with a paper towel.
- Replacing butter: It sounds odd, but replacing butter with peanut butter when you are out of the real thing can work just fine in a recipe—as long as it will work with the peanut butter taste!
So, the next time you are putting peanut butter on your shopping list, you may want to add an extra jar—you may be using a lot more of it now that you know just how versatile it really is!
To read more about the West Milford banning of peanut butter, visit NorthJersey.com.