March 21, 2011

Peanut Butter

Buying a jar of peanut butter has turned into a mission. Should I buy regular, low fat, calorie- reduced, smooth, crunchy or natural?

Regular smooth or crunchy peanut butter contains sugar, which can include icing sugar, maltodextrin or any word ending with an ose, plus hydrogenated vegetable oils or stabilizers, and salt.

Low fat or calorie-reduced peanut butters are slightly lower in fat and calories but usually have more added sugars, stabilizers, and less heart healthy peanuts, which is a drawback in the health department.

Natural peanut butter has nothing in that jar except ground peanuts (and the peanut oil from those ground peanuts) and depending on the brand, salt.

Which one you choose is a personal choice. I was raised on natural peanut butter and it still is my favourite.

When it comes to natural peanut butter the big drawback for most people, aside from it not being sweet, is the oil on the top.

Here is my mixing tip:

  • Store the unopened jar upside down for a couple of days, open and place it in the sink.
  • Using a long dull knife, spoon, or skinny rubber spatula, churn or stir the peanut butter well to redistribute the oil, once mixed store in the fridge.

A couple of my favourite natural peanut butters are Kraft’s All Natural and Adam’s 100% Natural Peanut Butter.


Cooking Tip:

Whenever a recipe calls for natural peanut butter do not use regular peanut butter as a substitution. Although in most cases the recipe will work, albeit less sweet tasting, in some recipes especially salad dressing or peanut sauces, the texture will be very different depending on the recipe. If the recipe calls for natural, use natural.










Peanut butter is an economical source of protein plus it supplies our bodies with folic acid, vitamin E, copper, selenium, magnesium, zinc and fibre. Even though it is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat don’t go crazy with this high calorie protein food. According to Canada’s Food Guide you only get 2 tablespoons or 30 mL of peanut butter as a serving of Meat and Alternatives.

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