Portioning Peanut Butter

After my little gain, I decided to be super double extra careful with portions.  It has paid off — I’m back on track.  One of the toughest foods for me to portion has been peanut butter.  A serving is 1/2 tbsp, not the half jar that you see here.

Photo by Dano

Photo by Dano

With a 1/2 tbsp measure, you end up with more peanut butter left on the spoon than you do on your plate.  I read on several forums that the best way to portion peanut butter is to use a kitchen scale.  If you recall, my $5 kitchen scale is analog, and although it’s excellent for portioning meats, it lacks the precision to do peanut butter.

I picked up this Biggest Loser Kitchen Scale at Bed, Bath, and Beyond over in their “Beyond” section for less than $20.  It can measure down to a gram, which is plenty of granularity for my purposes.

The Internet gave various ways to measure peanut butter.  One person puts her jar on the scale, tares it, and then measures how many grams of peanut butter she has removed.  I place my cracker/toast/what have you on the scale, tare it, and measure how much peanut butter I add.  Both seem reasonable.

How many grams are in a serving of peanut butter?  I found this out by weighing my 1/2 tablespoon measure empty, weighing my 1/2 tablespoon measure filled to level with peanut butter, and subtracting.  I got somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 or 9 grams.  Your mileage may vary.

I’ve since started using the scale for other things, too.  Instead of saying I ate “a banana,” I weigh the fruit and log how many grams it was.  My last banana was 83 grams, which is just a hair over a fruit serving.  Other bananas need to be halved.  I also find it useful to weigh miracle whip and cheese for sandwiches using the tare & add approach.

How do you measure peanut butter?

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6 thoughts on “Portioning Peanut Butter

  1. byebyeyoyo says:

    Nuts and nut butter are definitely my hardest foods to control portions. I always want more! Never thought of using the scale for peanut butter, but I have one, so maybe I should start.

  2. Cindy Gates says:

    You’ve come a long way, Danny, from our first meal together at the Olive Garden in Peoria! Congrats!!

    • Are you sure it wasn’t Applebee’s?

      The thing is, I didn’t set out to be the guy who measures his peanut butter by the gram. I just wanted to NOT be the guy who was too fat to get behind the wheel of a full size van.

      I see my old self all over town — folks who want to change but can’t seem to be able to. It has truly been a journey, and one that requires a different path for each individual. I truly appreciate how difficult it must have been for you to know my former self, bad habits, decisions, and all.

  3. Elena E. Lovelace says:

    Glad You Are Back On Track. Keep Working Hard.

  4. John says:

    I so relate to this. I am reminded of this every time I spread peanut butter for my kids. I spread it out in a real thin layer. Then when I do mine I just slather it on. Have to change that, and I don’t mean starting to slather it on my kids’ toast!

  5. […] I live and die by my food scale, which I picked up for less than $20.  When measuring calorie-dense foods, it’s important to me that I know that I’m eating the right amounts.  Here’s an older post I wrote about this topic. […]

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