Peanut butter, aka the window to my heart … and a food that I once thought wasn’t “healthy enough” for my stringent nutrient dense (paleo) eating plan. Every schmear of almond or cashew butter left me longing for the humble peanut. I was under the impression that other nut butters were nutritionally superior and concerned that peanuts (actually legumes) could cause inflammation and should be avoided to be “optimally healthy.” These were sad times.
At some point I decided to give myself permission to enjoy peanut butter freely, without guilt. It was one of the first “off limit” foods that I reintroduced into my diet. Good thing because I now have a family full of peanut butter fiends! While I’d consider myself a connoisseur having tried so many, my favorite brand is one of the least fancy and inexpensive ones on the shelf.
There is no other peanut butter like the good ole Kroger brand natural peanut butter (found at City Market/King Soopers stores). Both creamy and crunchy are winners, but I’m team crunchy all the way when given the choice.
This is the peanutty-est peanut butter that I know of with an oozy drippy consistency, chock full of a distinct crunch at the same time. Ingredients include: peanuts and salt, that’s it. It only requires one good stir to blend the oil in and remains emulsified. (Note: a jar doesn’t last more than 5-7 days in our house, so if it takes you longer to eat you may need another stir.) A 16 ounce jar will cost a whopping $1.79.
There are a lot of fancy peanut butters with fancy price tags, too.
When I see that something is more expensive I may automatically assume I’m purchasing a premium product, one that is superior in flavor, ingredients, even health-promoting qualities to the inexpensive versions. If you didn’t read my previous post about “healthism” check it out for more perspective on this idea.
Now if organic is a priority for you the price will almost always be higher. I value organic farming practices and foods, but not to the extent that I would sacrifice flavor and satisfaction. The equivalent organic Kroger peanut butter at our local Durango stores is “no stir” meaning the organic peanuts and salt come along with organic palm oil and organic sugar, too. It also cost $3.82.
Other peanut butters that seem to be equivalent or even premium let me down either on taste/texture, ingredients, or price.
- Jif Natural $2.79 (peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt, molasses)
- Skippy Natural $2.79 (peanuts, sugar, palm oil, salt)
- Earth Balance Natural $5.09 (peanuts, flaxseed, agave nectar, peanut oil, palm oil, salt)
- Justin’s Classic $4.80 (peanuts, palm oil)
- Crazy Richard’s $3.99 (peanuts)
- Adam’s 100% Natural $3.99 (peanuts, salt)
- Smuckers Natural $4.39 (peanuts, salt)
- MaraNatha Organic $5.99 (org. peanuts, salt)
- Santa Cruz Organic $6.29 (org. peanuts, salt)
- Once Again Unsweetened $9.17 (peanuts, salt)
These are all 16 ounce containers. You can see the prices vary wildly and that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get only peanuts and salt, so if that’s your jam, always be sure to check the ingredients.
In the end it’s all about taste and satisfaction for me and my family and luckily the price is right! If you’re wondering about the nutrition merits that peanut butter brings to the table, it’s a great way to level up feelings of satiety and balance blood sugar levels, keeping you fueled and energized.
- Drizzle over oatmeal (sweet or savory) or a roasted sweet potato
- Dip carrots, apples, pears into
- Schmear over pancakes, waffles, french toast
- Mix with maple syrup, tamari, and sriracha to dump over roasted veggies
Tell me which type of peanut butter is your favorite! If you try a new version, especially my favorite, let me know what you think in the comments below.