That Spent Jar Of Peanut Butter Is The Secret To Elevated Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate with whipped cream
hot chocolate with whipped cream - Stefan Lambauer/Shutterstock

The average American eats a huge amount of peanut butter each year: Around three pounds. It's no wonder then that TikTok's fun peanut butter hack for utilizing every last drop went viral ... with varied results. Spinning an almost-empty jar of peanut butter to get every remaining glob of goodness to rise to the top may or may not work for you, but we have a brilliant use for that last bit of peanut butter that comes with guaranteed success. The fact that it involves making some incredible hot chocolate is just the icing on the figurative cake.

If you love peanut butter and chocolate, you're not alone — and it turns out there's some legit science as to why that particular combination is so amazing. According to what Penn State University food science professor Gregory Ziegler told Mic, it's all about contrast. The smooth sweetness of the chocolate is the perfect complement to the salty, nutty heaviness of the peanut butter, which is actually a phenomenon called "dynamic sensory contrast." That, Ziegler explained, "produces these flavors that have a unique pull to people."

And that means adding peanut butter to your favorite hot chocolate might be the perfect way to create the ideal hot and sweet beverage with just a dash of saltiness ... while making sure that not a single dab of peanut butter is wasted. Here's how.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Make Your Hot Chocolate In A Nearly-Empty Jar

last peanut butter in the jar
last peanut butter in the jar - Skhoward/Getty Images

There are a few different ways to use that nearly-empty peanut butter jar to make some delicious hot chocolate, and it can depend on what kind of jar you're using. Since a glass jar will be microwave-safe, you can opt to fill it with a mix of milk and hot chocolate powder, then simply pop the whole thing in the microwave. Stir it up, then transfer it to a mug if you'd like to make it a little easier to handle, and enjoy! If you prefer plastic jars for your peanut butter, you can still use the same idea: Just heat up the milk separately, then add the hot milk and chocolate powder to the jar. Stir, and that's it.

If you don't have hot chocolate powder on hand, there are a few other ways you can turn that last bit of peanut butter into a delicious drink. Just using warm milk — along with a dash of sugar, vanilla, and perhaps some chocolate syrup or hot fudge — is also an amazing option.

You can also reach for some hot coffee to make a peanut butter latte that's worthy of a place on a coffee shop menu. Add your coffee to the jar, shake, and finish it off with your go-to milk, sweeteners, and other flavors. We'd recommend vanilla, or if you're looking for new ways to use that pumpkin spice syrup you have on hand, that's a pretty incredible combination, too.

Can't Get Enough Of The Peanut Butter And Chocolate Combo?

peanut butter and chocolate texture background
peanut butter and chocolate texture background - Elena Eryomenko/Shutterstock

One of the easiest and most delicious things you can do with that nearly empty peanut butter jar is to add a handful of chocolate chips, melt the mixture in the microwave — carefully — and then scoop all of that goodness out with a spatula. Add some marshmallows, drizzle over pretzels or popcorn, or use as a dip for potato chips. (We'd recommend ridges as they'll be a little more durable.) It just might be the perfect mix of sweet and salty — and you may never reach for your standard French onion chip dip again. You could also cut up an apple and eat this magical mixture on apple slices.

That jar is also perfect for making an easy breakfast oatmeal, especially if you use a little condensed milk to sweeten up overnight oats. That little bit of peanut butter will be delicious with oats, milk, chocolate chips, and even bananas or strawberries.

If you're looking for something sweet to finish off the day with, drizzle your peanut butter and chocolate mix over ice cream. You can also add a bit of coconut or vegetable oil to the jar, then melt and mix. (Yes, you can definitely add chocolate chips to that, too.) Pour that over chocolate ice cream, and you'll find it hardens into a delicious magic shell. Although peanut butter does, in fact, go bad, you'll never have to worry about it with these ideas.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.