The 2023 Peanut Butter Challenge – October 1-31, 2023

2021 Peanut Butter Challenge donation pick-up with Kaitlyn McCarty & Olivia Zugay, Indian River County 4-H.
2021 Kaitlyn McCarty (4-H Agent) and Olivia Zugay (4-H Program Assistant) with Treasure Coast Food Bank worker during peanut butter pick up in 2021.

UF/IFAS Extension Indian River County is excited to begin our fall Peanut Butter Challenge 2023!  Indian River County Extension staff are hoping to foster a little friendly “collection competition” among our Indian River County 4-H clubs to see which club can collect the most pounds of peanut butter for the hungry.  Collection begins October first and runs the whole month of October only.


All peanut butter donations in Indian River County will stay in Indian River County to help fight hunger right here at home. All peanut butter collected this year will be given locally to the Fellsmere Community Fridge, the Mueller Center Community Fridge, and the Gifford Community Fridge.


We look forward to reporting upcoming totals weekly.  So far, our Indian River County Florida Master Gardener Volunteers have collected 23 pounds of peanut butter to get our Peanut Butter Challenge off to a great start.

Indian River County peanut butter collection sites are in the lobby of the following:

  • Indian River County Administration buildings A & B 1800 27th STREET, Vero Beach 32960
  • North County Library 1001 Sebastian Blvd, Sebastian, Florida 32958
  • Brackett Library on the Mueller Center campus, 6155 College Lane, Vero Beach Florida, 32966


Some fun facts about peanut production in Florida:

  • 75% of peanuts produced in Florida become peanut butter
  • To grow well, peanuts need 120 to 140 frost-free days
  • The peanut is a legume- a bean!- this plant adds atmospheric nitrogen to our soil where it is needed
  • The peanut develops under the ground
  • Mature peanuts are dug from the ground sometimes weeks before “harvest” occurs
  • Peanuts have more protein than any nut
  • The peanut contains more than 30 essential vitamins and minerals
  • Peanuts are a good source of fiber and healthy fats
  • The average American will eat 1,500 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches before graduating high school
  • In a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter there are roughly 540 peanuts
  • One acre of peanuts could make 35,000 Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches!


National Peanut Board-

Florida Agriculture in the Classroom-

2 Fun Peanut Butter recipes

Mixed-Up Peanut Butter & Jelly Spread

A jar of peanut butter and a jar of jam waiting to be mixed together for a sandwich
A jar of peanut butter and a jar of grape jam waiting to be mixed up. Photo by Yvonne Florian, UF/IFAS Extension Indian River County Staff Assistant


  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Grape jam
  • favorite bread

When I was young, I had a babysitter who saved a little time when making 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by pre-mixing the peanut butter and the jelly together, spreading this mixture on white bread once and it was done.  This may sound simple, but it really changes the flavor of your average PB & J sandwich.  And it’s easy to try, even for the kids.

Mix together equal parts creamy peanut butter and grape jam.  Spread on a slice of bread.  Top with another slice of plain bread and enjoy.  And there’s no jelly squirting out from between the slices of bread.


Chicken marinade ingredients: peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar and 5-spice powder
Mix the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl with a fork. Photo by Yvonne Florian

Peanut Butter Chicken marinade (aka: Chicken Satay, minus the skewers) 


Fold aluminum foil to make a disposable broiler pan for messy recipes
Disposable foil broiler pan Photo by Yvonne Florian
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup (+-) low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Asian 5-spice powder__________
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken pieces – chicken thighs work best


Place the first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Mash and mix with the tines of a fork till smooth.  It will look curdled half-way through the mixing process but don’t loose heart, it will smooth out.  If it’s too thick, you can add a splash or two more soy sauce.  Once smooth, submerge the chicken pieces in the sauce, being sure to coat them on all sides.  Leave the chicken in the marinade in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

a digital meat thermometer inserted into chicken cooking on a grill
Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of chicken on the grill. UF/IFAS Photo


This peanut butter mixture makes a real mess on the broiler pan.  So I make a disposable broiler pan out of aluminum foil: cut a piece of foil slightly longer than your oven rack is wide.  Double-fold 3/4-inches on all 4 edges of a piece of foil, making a right angle up at each corner to give the sheet some sides.  Place your oven rack on the highest position for broiling (for electric ovens) and place the foil pan on it.  Place your marinated chicken on the pan as flat as possible for quick cooking.  Or you can cook the chicken on the outdoor grill without a foil pan.  Broil chicken for 6-7 minutes on each side, or grill the chicken till cooked through, turning often.  Serve with side dishes of rice and steamed broccoli.


If there are any chicken pieces left over (ha!), they make a great cold sandwich on a lightly toasted bagel with a little spicy mayonnaise and fresh spinach leaves.

Spicy mayonnaise


  • spoonful of mayonnaise
  • dash of Sriracha hot sauce
  • pinch of sugar

Mix together till the sugar dissolves.  Spread on sandwich as needed.  Store remaining sauce in the fridge.

the UF/IFAS EDIS (University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Electronic Data Information Source) publication, “Food Safety at Tailgating” is a handy publication with references to grill cooking temperatures and food safety for each meat you could grill.



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Posted: September 28, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth, Clubs & Volunteers, Community Volunteers, Crops
Tags: Peanut Butter Challenge, Peanut Butter Recipes

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