Peanut butter is quite possibly my favorite food of all time. It’s a close call, but I think it even tops cheese. Many standard weight loss or healthy lifestyle programs limit or eliminate nuts and nut butters – so I am thrilled it’s on the Daniel Plan approved list.
In case you’re a newbee to whole foods like me, “natural” peanut butter doesn’t contain partially hydrogenated oil, the trans fat-laden ingredient that makes classic peanut butter smooth, creamy and spreadable.
The harsh reality is that my old-standard Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter is loaded with this oil – plus a ton of added sugar and preservatives. Maybe choosy moms should not choose Jif, as the slogan suggests.
While re-stocking our pantry, I was careful to select a peanut butter that met my Daniel Plan journey standards – five pronounceable ingredients or less, no sugar, no additives. I found a Smucker’s brand with just two ingredients: peanuts and salt. Perfect.
Here’s what I’m struggling with: Natural peanut butter is… sweaty? Yep, sweaty is the word.
When you open the jar, there is a thick layer of separated peanut oil the container assures me is entirely natural. Instructions are, “stir and enjoy.” Eww, really?
The taste? Absolutely delicious. It’s somehow still sweet even without the added sugar, and brilliantly fresh.
The look and consistency? Sweaty. Runny. Gritty. Like hummus with too much olive oil blended in. It’s more “sauce” than “butter” in my book. I’m a texture person, so this is going to be a stretch for me.
But get this – to counteract the sweat factor, some brands have been adding palm oil to their recipes. Some consider this cheating. Not only is palm oil extremely high in saturated fat, but it’s also environmentally controversial – apparently, they have to clear Indonesian rainforests to make the Palm trees grow or something.
I’m not really an environmentalist, but if it’s not good for you anyway, what’s the point?
Seems like high-drama for what should be such a low-involvement purchase. But if I can find the right brand, I’ll be loyal.
I’d love to hear about your favorite natural peanut or nut butters and why you love them! Comment below and I’ll put yours on my to-try list.