Taste Test: Peanut Butter

If you’re like me, peanut butter is important stuff. Since I eat it in some way multiple days a week, I want to be sure I’m choosing the healthiest brand. I have my favorite (which is included on this list) but we wanted to see how a few of the most popular brands stacked up.

To us, peanut butter is important stuff. You can use it in so many dishes -- with apples, in a sandwich, in baked goods and more. You want to be sure you're choosing the healthiest brand. I have my favorite (which is included on this list), but we wanted to see how a few of the most popular brands stacked up.

Peanuts and peanut butter contain healthy fats as well as protein, but some packaged butters have extra extra oils and sweeteners added to the mix. For our 1 to 5 rating (5 being the highest), we considered taste, texture (we tested only smooth varieties) and sugar content for a basic two-tablespoon serving. As for price, all the brands tested ranged from $2.79 to $3.19.

Rating: 3

Nutrition Info: 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar

Our Take: I was raised on this stuff, but that was before I learned about added sweeteners and hydrogenated oils! Though it does have a good flavor and creamy consistency, I’m turned off by the added sugar and unhealthy fats.

Rating: 4

Nutrition Info: 180 calories, 16 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar

Our Take: This natural peanut butter contains peanuts, flaxseeds and salt. It had a nice peanut flavor but a slightly gritty texture. Like most peanut butters made without extra oils, this brand needed to be mixed well initially to stir in some surface oil (if refrigerated after the first mix, it no longer separates). The flax adds some omega-3 fat but also affects the flavor. If you're a peanut butter purist, it's better to get your omega-3s elsewhere. (Here’s an article on better choices for omega 3-rich foods.)

Jif
Rating: 3

Nutrition Info: 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar

Our Take: This one had almost exactly the same ingredients in Skippy -- added sugar and hydrogenated oils -- but it did have a more peanutty flavor (my guess is they use a different variety of peanuts).

Rating: 5

Nutrition Info: 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar

Our Take: This is the peanut butter we keep in my house. The only ingredients are peanuts and salt. It has great flavor, a silky smooth texture and won’t separate once refrigerated. I’ve been recommending it to clients for years and have been able to convert even the most loyal brand-name peanut butter lovers.

Rating: 3

Nutrition Info: 200 calories, 18 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar

Our Take: I was surprisingly disappointed by this jar. Made with peanuts, flaxseed and palm oil (for texture) it is sweetened with molasses, but has a stale flavor that was, honestly, kind of gross. We also tried the Smart Balance “naturally sweetened” with agave nectar instead of molasses but it had a bitter and unappealing after taste. My husband (a fellow PB lover) asked if we could throw these two jars out pronto).

Tell Us: What’s your favorite peanut butter?
Keep Reading

Next Up

Taste Test: The Battle of the Almond Butters

Find out which almond butter came out on top.

Taste Test: Salsa

Which brand of salsa is the best tasting and has the best nutrition? Get an RD's picks before your next fiesta.

Taste Test: Hummus

Hummus can be the perfect party food, a quick afterschool snack or a preamble to dinner with friends. With so many options at the grocery store, which brands stack up?

Taste Test: Mayonnaise

We taste tested 5 different kinds of mayonnaise and analyze taste, texture, nutritional info and price.

Taste Test: Healthier Crackers

Have you perused the cracker aisle lately? In addition to the classic wheat crackers, you’ll find the shelves packed with crackers now made from legumes, nuts, grains, or seeds. But are these options really what they’re cracked up to be?

Taste Test: Frozen Burritos

As more burritos have hit the frozen food aisle, we were curious to see which fit the “healthy” bill. Although at Healthy Eats we love to make our own, some nights you’re just in the mood for a grab-and-heat single serving meal.

Taste Test: Hot Sauce

We tasted 5 popular brands of hot sauce and rated them based on flavor, spiciness, cost and nutrition. Find out how your favorite sauce fared.

Taste Test: Vegan Cheese

Find out if these vegan cheeses measure up in flavor and nutrition.

Taste Test: Kale Chips

Crunchy versions of this leafy green vegetable are taking the chip aisle by storm. There's no doubt kale is delicious and nutritious -- but do its dried spin-offs live up to the hype?

Taste Test: Juice Boxes

We tasted 5 popular apple juice boxes and rated them on taste, ingredients, portion size, cost and nutritional information. Find out how your favorite brand fared in our taste test.