Though peanut butter is a common ingredient in sweet treats like candy, cakes and ice cream, it can be a super healthy addition to your diet, too. Let’s learn what makes a brand of peanut butter a healthy (or unhealthy) choice—and how to make your own at home.
How to Choose a Healthy Peanut Butter
What to Look For
When looking for the healthiest type of peanut butter in the grocery store, take a look at the label. The fewer the ingredients, the better. The cleanest brand will only contain peanuts and maybe a touch of salt. Many others will contain some type of unprocessed vegetable oil.
What to Avoid
The less healthy brands will contain added sugar, preservatives and trans fats in the form of hydrogenated oils. (By the way, this is the difference between good fats and bad fats.) Sugar is added for flavor and you’ll easily be able to see it on the label.
Preservatives can be trickier to spot. But oftentimes they’ll be words you’ve never seen before or the label will say that it’s added for preservation.
Finally, hydrogenated oils are added to prevent separation. (Hint: looking for separation is a great way to spot a natural peanut butter.) Make sure to look at the ingredients list—not the nutrition label—to find out if a product has trans fat. Since companies are able to claim 0 trans fats if the product has 0.5 grams or less per serving, the only way you’ll really be able to tell is if the ingredients list has “hydrogenated” in it.
Healthy Peanut Butter Brands
So, which brands should you look for when shopping online or at the grocery store? Here are some of my top picks:
- Teddie All Natural Smooth Peanut Butter: This brand contains only dry roasted peanuts and salt, making it a great option when looking for a healthy brand.
- Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter: Dry roasted peanuts and palm oil are the only ingredients in this simple peanut butter. Bonus—the palm oil is responsibly sourced.
- Smucker’s Chunky Natural Peanut Butter: With less than 1% of the ingredients being salt (and the rest peanuts), this well-known brand makes a great healthy version of peanut butter.
- Spread The Love Organic Peanut Butter: The product is not only organic but only contains one ingredient—peanuts! You can’t get more simple or healthy than that.
- Laura Scudder Nutty Natural Peanut Butter: Laura Scudder’s natural peanut butter is a great option with no added sugar or trans fats.
How to Make Healthy Peanut Butter
One very important option to mention when talking about healthy peanut butter is making your own! It’s much easier than you might think.
For chunky peanut butter:
- Chopping about ¼ cup of peanuts and set aside
- Place about 2 cups of peanuts blender or food processor and process for about 5 minutes or until smooth.
- Stir in chopped peanuts, a bit of salt and some orange zest or honey to taste.