30 October 2013

Battle of the Nut Butters

If you hadn't already guessed, I am OBSESSED with peanut butter. Don't scoff. Nut butters are important, okay? I eat the stuff every day. It tastes great and is really good for you, especially if you don't eat meat. Recently, my love for peanut butter has gotten a bit out of hand... I went to Hereford a couple of weekends ago and decided to buy every nut butter I could find - most of which were peanut butter as they are my favourite, but a couple of new ones I had never tried before. 
Adding to the ones back in the kitchen cupboard at home, I had, in total, 8 nut butters. I decided a collection that large called for a blog post in which I tell you all which is the best - because, I have indeed finished a few of these pots already. Not ashamed.

There are a few things that come into play when deciding which nut butter is the best:
  1. Sugar content
  2. Price
  3. Taste 
I try to look for the nut butters that don't have added sugar in their ingredients list. I love the sugary peanut butters like Skippy and Jif, but I don't eat them anywhere near as often. I love peanut butter, and because I pair it with jam, nutella or sliced banana I don't need any extra sugar. Interestingly enough, the amount of sugar in each nut butter doesn't vary too much, which baffles me when some list sugar as an ingredient and some don't!

Anyway, let's get on with the important stuff - the nut butters.

Tastiest: Sunpat Smooth no added sugar peanut spread.

Slightly runny so it needs a stir before eating. It has the perfect balance of the natural sweetness in the peanuts with the added salt and pairs amazingly well with Bonne Maman raspberry conserve. This is probably my favourite 'no added sugar' peanut butter. It tastes exactly how peanut butter should in my opinion, and explains why it's nearly all gone.

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts (94%), Vegetable Oils (Palm Oil, Peanut Oil 2.0%) Sea Salt. Total peanut ingredients (96%).
Nutrition per 20g: Calories: 123, saturated fat: 2g, sugar: 0.68g, protein: 5g, salt: 0.24g
Price: £1.79

Cheapest: Whole Foods Salted Peanut Butter.

I got this peanut butter a few weeks ago when I went to Cheltenham Whole Foodst. I have to make a pot every time I go - it tastes better when you make it yourself ;) It is very nutty, and more sweet than salty - natural sugar in the nuts as no added sugar - goes well with sliced bananas. 

Ingredients: Peanuts, vegetable oil, salt allergens, contains nuts.
Nutrition per 20g: Unknown
Price: £1.44

Highest Saturated Fat Content: Waitrose organic Thick & Crunchy peanut butter.

This peanut butter has a good balance of sweet and salty - although not quite as good as the Sun Pat. The texture is thick and can be difficult to spread but it is crunchy and delicious. The only problem with this pot is that it is small and I finish it too quickly. Tastes good with jam, banana or nutella. 

Ingredients: Peanuts (95%), palm oil, sea salt (approved non-organic ingredient).
Nutrition per 20g: Calories: 130, protein: 6.2g, sugar: 0.7g, saturated fat: 2.4g, salt: 0.1g.
Price: £1.99

Lowest Sugar Content: Waitrose Organic Smooth & Spreadable peanut butter.

I'll eat this, but it's not my favourite, despite it having the least amount of sugar out of the eight. It is smooth but a little 'gacky' (did I just make up a word?) It does however, have a good colour and taste, and goes best with jam. Unfortunately not as many peanuts as the crunchy variety.
Ingredients: Peanuts (92%), palm oil, sea salt (approved non-organic ingredient).
Nutrition per 20g: Calories: 127, protein: 5.5g, sugar: 0.66g, saturated fat: 2.4g, salt: 0.01g.
Price: £1.99

Highest sugar content:  Skippy Extra Crunchy peanut butter.

It means super crunch - seriously - this is the best crunchy peanut butter I have ever tasted. An absolutely fantastic texture, so good - i put just a smidge of apricot jam with this because it is quite a sweet spread, and i would prefer to have this with a banana but we didn't have any. Good job, Skippy.

Ingredients: Roasted peanut (90%), sugar, hydrogenated palm fruit oil, salt, peanut oil.
Nutrition per 20g: Calories: 123, protein: 4.4g, sugar: 2g, saturated fat: 1.5g, salt: 0.01g.
Price: About £2.50

Lowest Calories: Meridian Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter - No salt, 100% nuts.

This peanut butter is 100% ground whole peanuts and nothing else. This is what I'd eat if I was really trying to be healthy. Because it is just ground nuts, the 'crunchy' bits are smaller than what you might find in a regular crunchy peanut butter, but there are more of them, and the consistency of the butter is runny - you have to stir the natural oils back into the spread when opening but that's fine. It tastes sweet and nutty, great tasting, natural and healthy. Best with a banana for a super healthy snack.

Ingredients: Organic roastes peanuts. Whole skin on (100%).
Nutrition per 20g: Calories: 119, saturated fat: 1.6g, sugar: 1.2g, protein: 6g, salt: 0.0g. 
Price: About £3
Highest Calories: Meridian Crunchy Hazelnut Butter - No salt, 100% nuts.

Don't think you'll be digging into something sweet like nutella with this hazelnut butter - it is a lot nuttier, and a lot less sweet, but with a shaving of dark chocolate it will taste fantastic. An acquired taste. Texture similar to the meridian crunchy peanut butter.

Ingredients: Roasted Hazelnuts (100%). Produce of more than one country.
Nutrition per 20g: Calories: 138, saturated fat: 1g, sugar: 1g, protein: 3g, 0.0g salt.
Price: About £3

Something a Bit Different: Meridian Organic Smooth Cashew Butter - No salt, 100% nuts.

I have always thought cashew nuts to taste quite similar to peanuts, but tasting it in butter form changed my mind. This cashew butter tastes a lot milder than the peanut butters. It is very creamy and pale and is great if you're not keen on peanut butter but still want to try a nut butter of some sort. 
Nutrition per 20g: Calories: 126, saturated fat: 2g, sugar: 1g, protein: 4g, 0.0g salt.
Ingredients: Organic Roasted Cashew Nuts (100%).
Price: About £3.

Which nut butter would you go for? Do you have any special recommendations? I think I need to finish all of these before I buy any more, my family are starting to worry about me, but my love for nut butters just cannot be denied... Sigh.

1 comment

  1. This really makes me want to like nut butter!!! I am inspired by your enthusiasm for them ;)


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