Best peanut butter

Food

Peanut butter is safe for your canine companion to eat as long as it doesn’t contain the sweetener xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs.

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Which peanut butter is best?

Whether you like it in a classic PB&J sandwich, slathered on hot toast, or mixed into a satay sauce, peanut butter is a household staple that’s loved by people young and old alike. You’re in the right place if you’re looking to switch brands, perhaps to a more natural option with less additives or a smoother and sweeter one.

We’ve written this guide to help you make the right choice to find a peanut butter you adore. Our top option is Crazy Richard’s Creamy Peanut Butter, which is a natural PB made from nothing but peanuts.

What to know before you buy peanut butter

Nutritional value

Peanut butter might seem like a junk food, but it actually has some solid nutritional value. It contains high levels of protein — generally between seven and eight grams per two-tablespoon serving. Each serving also contains around two grams of fiber, 43% of the reference daily intake (RDI) of copper, 22% of the RDI of iron, 20% of the RDI of folate, and decent amounts of other vitamins and minerals, including B1, B3, potassium, and magnesium.

Creamy vs. chunky

The eternal debate rages on: which is best, creamy or chunky? Creamy peanut butter is completely smooth with no pieces of peanuts, whereas chunky peanut butter has a partly creamy texture with small chunks of peanuts throughout. Ultimately, neither option is better than the other, it all comes down to personal preference. That said, if you intend to cook with your peanut butter, some recipes specifically call for either creamy or chunky, and you won’t get exactly the same results if you use the wrong one.

Ingredients

What can you expect to find in your peanut butter besides peanuts? Conventional peanut butter generally includes sugar or another sweetener, salt, and some kind of oil — often palm oil or other hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as rapeseed or soybean oil, but occasionally peanut oil.

Natural peanut butter is either made from just peanuts or peanuts with a small amount of salt. It’s objectively healthier due to the lack of sugar and hydrogenated oils, but the texture is different from that of conventional peanut butter.

You can occasionally find options somewhere in between conventional and natural options that include oil (usually non-hydrogenated) and salt but no sugar or other sweeteners. This is a good choice if you like the texture of conventional peanut butter but not the sweetness.

What to look for in peanut butter

Flavors

Sometimes, peanut butter is flavored with additional ingredients, for instance, chocolate peanut butter or salted caramel peanut butter.

Non-GMO

If you prefer to avoid buying food that contains genetically modified ingredients, look out for non-GMO peanut butter.

Palm oil-free

Some people avoid palm oil for its ethical implications, but you can find palm oil–free peanut butter. Note that palm oil can be labeled as vegetable oil, so brands that contain vegetable oil of unspecified origin may contain palm oil.

How much you can expect to spend on peanut butter

Depending on factors such as the size, ingredients, and overall quality, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2 and $10 for a jar of peanut butter.

Best peanut butter FAQ

Q. Is peanut butter healthy?

A. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and rich in other nutrients, such as copper and iron. It contains healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are essential nutrients in moderation. However, it is calorie-dense, so it’s not a great idea to eat more than a couple of tablespoons a day, unless you have high calorie requirements. Of course, natural peanut butter is healthier than those that contain sugar and hydrogenated fats.

Q. Should I store peanut butter in the fridge or pantry?

A. To maintain the ideal texture, it’s best to store peanut butter in the pantry or elsewhere at room temperature. It will stay fresh for at least a few months once opened. The exception is natural peanut butter, which some people prefer to store in the fridge to give it a firmer texture.

What are the best peanut butters to buy?

Top peanut butter

Crazy Richard Creamy Peanut Butter

Crazy Richard’s Creamy Peanut Butter

Our take: This natural peanut butter contains 100% peanuts and nothing else.

What we like: Contains an impressive eight grams of protein per serving. Made from U.S.–grown peanuts. Can be bought in bulk for excellent value.

What we dislike: Tastes a little bland without a sprinkling of salt.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top peanut butter for the money

Jif Creamy Peanut Butter

Jif Creamy Peanut Butter

Our take: A classic creamy peanut butter sweetened with molasses for a deep, complex sweetness.

What we like: Excellent texture at room temperature. Cooks well in baked goods. Contains soy and rapeseed oil, not palm oil. Great value for money.

What we dislike: Some people find it a little too sweet.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter

Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter

Our take: If you want a huge tub of classic creamy peanut butter at an affordable price, look no further.

What we like: Sweetened with sugar — no high fructose corn syrup. High in protein. Great taste if you like a conventional peanut butter.

What we dislike: Contains hydrogenated oils that some prefer to avoid.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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