I love peanut butter. It’s unusual that a day goes by when I don’t eat it in some way, shape or form. Sometimes it’s on toast. Sometimes it’s mixed with ice cream. Sometimes it’s layered on a banana, or sometimes I eat it right off a spoon. That’s how much I love it.
When it comes to nuts, peanuts aren’t exactly the most nutritious choice. Compared to almonds, peanuts contain similar nutrients (Vitamin E and Magnesium) and protein however almonds have a greater amount per serving. That would explain the cost difference between the two.
Regardless of your nut of choice, nut butter is made by grinding up…you guessed it … nuts. There is nothing added. There is enough naturally occurring oil in nuts so with enough grinding the nuts eventually become creamy. I have made nut butter once (it was actually almond butter). It was a neat process to experience but it is time consuming. It is easier to buy nut butter from a natural or bulk food store.
There was a time that I did enjoy processed peanut butter. If I have it now I can taste the difference and there is quite a difference. I looked up the ingredients of two popular brands. Have a look:
- Brand 1: Roasted peanuts, sugar, peanut oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil, salt, mono and diglycerides, cooking molasses and vegetable oil.
- Brand 2: Roasted peanuts, soybean oil, corn maltodextrin, sugar, and hydrogenated vegetable oil.
That’s quite a list! Given that peanut butter can be made with just peanuts it’s no wonder that other stuff is referred to as additives.
Several of the ingredients in Brand 1 and Brand 2 are there to modify the taste or the texture of the peanut butter. That’s great but what are those chemicals doing to our bodies? The other question is why even buy the processed stuff when there is a healthier alternative? It may not be the taste or texture that you are used to but after eating it for a while you will adjust. I know that I did.
There are now many natural options of peanut butter available in grocery stores from some big name companies. They may say “100% peanuts” but I encourage you to read the label if you’re considering trying that option. Some have salt added. That’s not necessary at all. Food has its greatest nutritional value when it’s consumed in its natural state or as close to it as possible. Peanut butter is a great example of how making a healthy choice is just as easy as the alternative.
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