It started with a simple, silly question on Facebook. I had just finished stirring a newly opened jar of almond butter, and the sides of the jar had lots of oil spilling down them, there was almond oil on my countertops and my hands were greasy. I had narrowly escaped getting any oil on my clothing, which isn't always the case when I stir nut butter.

I posed this question to my friends:

If I started a go fund me account to raise money to hire someone to invent a nut butter jar that stirs itself before opening, who would contribute?

My question received several likes and laugh emojis, and one person pointed me to an old-fashioned peanut butter stirrer built into a screw on lid that will prevent oily messes. But several people offered this one tip that was so brilliant and simple, I couldn't believe I hadn't heard it before.

Before opening, store your jar of natural nut butter upside-down. The oils will go to the jar's bottom, and when you turn the jar upright to stir, the process will be much easier and much less messy.

It was a "duh" moment. Was I the only one who didn't know this? According to my Facebook friends, I wasn't. Some knew. Some didn't.

So I tried it. It worked.

almond butter jar You can see that the oils rise to the top when this almond butter jar is turned upside-down for 24 hours, making it easier to stir. (Photo: Robin Shreeves)

After 24 hours sitting upside-down in the pantry, the oils made their way up to the bottom of this jar of almond butter. The hardest, very bottom layer of almond butter remained, but the oil was now between it and the rest of the nut butter. When I turned the jar over, opened it, and peeled off the protective paper covering the jar, what I found was just a small amount of oil at the top, not a half inch of oil that needed to be integrated into the almond butter.

I still needed to stir it, but it was much easier than what I typically come across, with all the oil sitting at the top. Using a butter knife to stir as I usually do, I found it was easy to stir, plus that bottom layer that's usually the hardest to integrate was a little softer and easier to scrape up and mix with the rest. It took less time to get all the oil stirred into the nut butter, too. And, best of all, there was just one small drip of oil down the side of the jar, and no oil on my countertops, my hands or my clothes.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Why you should store unopened nut butter upside-down
I posed a sarcastic comment on Facebook about the messiness of natural nut butters, but I got a real solution in response.