So creamy

We Tested 10 Peanut Butters, And This Is The Best!

We bet you don’t want a peanut butter as sweet as your jam or so salty it should come with a warning label.

Best & Worst

We Tested 10 Peanut Butters, And This Is The Best!

We bet you don’t want a peanut butter as sweet as your jam or so salty it should come with a warning label.

Peanut Butter. There’s no more delicious source of flat-belly protein on the planet, since it’s made with the simplest of ingredients: peanuts and just a touch of salt. But there’s a big “but” in certain butters: some brands contain corn syrup. Or ferric orthophosphate; or zinc oxide—chemicals no peanut butter needs. That’s just nuts. That’s why our top taste taster at Eat This, Not That! has taken on the difficult task of testing out the most popular creamy or crunchy peanut butter brands on the market—and then graded them based on four standards: Nutrition, Clean Ingredients, Appearance and Consistency, and Taste.

After ten spoonfuls—and many glasses of water—we’ve determined which PB is better than your BF. Read on to find out which made the cut and which flunked with flying colors—and then click here to check out What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Peanut Butter.

How We Graded Them

pen marking report

Here are the four metrics we used to determine each spread’s final grade.

Nutrition

Whether your nutty spread has a significant amount of fat, sugar, or salt compared to its competitors is a serious determining factor. Peanut butter can be a fat-frying high protein snack, but not if its macros are out of whack.

Clean Ingredients

You’d think peanut butter is made out of peanuts… right? But most jars contain a heck of a lot more than the salty shelled snack you’ve grown up to love. It’s likely that the more additives snuck into your spread, the worse it is for your flat belly goals.

Appearance & Consistency

The old adage reminds us not to judge a book by its cover, but in the case of peanut butter—you definitely should. Does your chosen spread shine on that whole grain toast or does it look and feel uncomfortably sticky? Did the unexpected aftertaste ruin your indulgent experience? These are all very vital questions.

Taste

Not all PBs are created equal, which is why we rely on the ultimate critic—our tastebuds—to do the judging.

From Worst… To Best


10

Jif Reduced Fat

jif reduced fat peanut butter

Nutrition: 190 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 200 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar) 7 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Corn Syrup Solids, Sugar, Pea Protein, Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (soybean and rapeseed), Mono and Diglycerides, Molasses, Magnesium Oxide, Niacinamide, Ferric Orthophosphate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride

Appearance & Consistency: Jif’s reduced fat version looks ultra-processed and claims that it’s creamy, but rather than melting in your mouth like you’d expect it to, it separates.

Taste: Just one lick and you’ll chuck this jar for being way too sweet and salty, and downright just artificial-tasting.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

One glance at the Jif “peanut spread” ingredient list should tell you to never choose something that’s labeled “Reduced Fat.” That’s because when manufacturers take something out, they usually put something back in. In this case, Jif injected in three types of sugars and a ton of Frankenstein additives that contribute to its unsatisfying and unnatural taste. Choosy moms better not choose a jar of this Jif.

9

Earth Balance Creamy Coconut & Peanut Spread

Earth Balance Creamy Coconut Peanut Spread

Nutrition: 190 calories, 16 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 6 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Agave Syrup, Palm Fruit Oil, Natural Flavor, Salt

Appearance & Consistency: Upon opening a jar of this Earth Balance spread, you’ll notice how oddly dense the stuff is. Pricking my spoon into it confirmed that this is no light, airy, or “creamy” sandwich spread, despite its bold label.

Taste: Despite the subtle yet inviting coconut smell (that’s somewhat reminiscent of candy), this spread was surprisingly lacking sweetness and tasted more like the tropical oil than the fruit itself. Not to mention, the salt factor overwhelmed the coconut flavor notes quite significantly.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Although this odd but enticing flavor combo may encourage you to purchase a jar, we think it’s definitely not worth the hype. Plus, it’s concocted with monounsaturated fat-filled peanuts as well as added coconut oil, so why in the world does Earth Balance feel the need to add palm fruit oil (one of the worst types of fat, too? This one’s better off left on the shelf.

8

Peter Pan Crunchy

peter pan crunchy peanut butter

Nutrition: 200 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated, 0 g trans), 110 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 8 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Less than 2% Of: Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Cottonseed and Rapeseed), Salt.

Appearance & Consistency: While we’re aware that this is crunchy, we didn’t expect this peanut butter to be this crunchy. Right when we opened the jar, we noticed just how many crushed peanut bits are in this thing, so if you’re a looking for some extra bite with your jelly, you’ll likely be a fan.

Taste: Peter Pan striked a pretty satisfying sweet-salty balance—if you can get over all the extra chewing.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

It’s dense and nut-packed consistency makes it super hard not to spread on bread without ripping the poor slice apart, which is obviously not a good sign if you’re planning to whip up some old-school sammies any time soon. Sure, the taste was exceptional, but not enough for us to turn a blind eye to its added hydrogenated oils and sugar (despite the brand boldly flaunting its omission of high fructose corn syrup on the label).

7

Skippy Creamy

skippy creamy peanut butter

Nutrition: 190 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 7 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Cottonseed, Soybean and Rapeseed Oil) To Prevent Separation, Salt.

Appearance & Consistency: This household favorite is perfectly creamy and just as smooth-looking as it is spreadable… which justifies why there are multiple hydrogenated oils (and likely heart health-wrecking saturated fat) added to the mix.

Taste: Nostalgic, homey, familiar… but our mature tastebuds beg to differ, calling this loved PB too salty and just average.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

While this classic peanut butter may taste like home to many of us, we’re not fans of the added sugar and hydrogenated oils. And science agrees: A study published in the journal Diabetes found that saturated fats (ahem, the kind masked by code names like “hydrogenated oil”) can increase the storage of belly fat. So if you regularly enjoy an overstuffed PB and J, the amount of saturated fat in this iconic bright blue jar can likely ignite heart disease rather than “Fuel The Fun.”

6

Skippy Natural

skippy natural

Nutrition: 190 calories, 16 g fat (3.5 saturated), 150 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 7 g protein

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Palm Oil, Salt

Appearance & Consistency: Skippy Natural has little oil separation, but was way too creamy—almost sticky—in its consistency. This butter is quite airy, which explains why our spoons sort of bounced off the top.

Taste: Even if we could get over the odd pillowy texture and unnatural, label-defying aftertaste, the 150 milligrams of sodium is super noticeable and almost distracting.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Unfortunately, this PB is way too salty—even for someone who dearly values their close relationship with the salt shaker.

5

Peanut Butter & Co Smooth Operator

Peanut Butter & Co Smooth Operator

Nutrition: 180 calories, 15 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 7 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Dried Cane Syrup, Palm Fruit Oil, Salt. (Brand’s website lists Cane Sugar instead of jar’s listing of Dried Cane Syrup.)

Appearance & Consistency: Just like Skippy Natural, Peanut Butter and Co’s top is pillowy, but ironically enough, this spread is quite dense overall.

Taste: Taste? More like lack thereof. The saltiness definitely overpowered any potential peanutty flavor notes begging to take center stage.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Rather than repping a smooth operator, this spread’s unimpressive flavor had our expectations grind to a screeching halt. Forgo adding another tablespoon of strawberry jam to your sammy and pick one of our tastier (and healthier!) spreads.

4

Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter

Nutrition: 190 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 8 g protein

Ingredients: Dry Roasted Peanuts, Palm oil

Appearance & Consistency: Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter’s runny consistency caused our hands to get a little messy; but otherwise, the creamy factor was a hit.

Taste: Definitely underwhelming flavor. We expected Justin’s to have some sort of sweet and salty flavor profiles, but sadly, neither shone through.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

This peanut butter missed the mark by a smidge. We would’ve loved if Justin had just replaced the palm oil with a bit more salt.

Buy it now for $6.49 at shopJustins.com

3

NuttZo Peanut Pro Smooth

Nutrition: 190 calories, 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 30 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Cashews, Almonds, Flax Seeds, Brazil Nuts, Hazelnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Celtic Sea Salt (All Nuts And Seeds Organic And Dry Roasted)

Appearance & Consistency: Unlike traditional peanut butters, Nuttzo’s jar is made upside down for easy stirring and a super smooth texture—which we like.

Taste: If you’re a sunflower seed lover, you’re definitely going to enjoy a swipe of this spread on your morning toast. But if you’ve got a nagging PB craving, be aware that the sunflower seeds’ flavor steals the leading role.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

We appreciate that this organic nut butter required minimal stirring compared to other hydrogenated oil-free brands, but be aware that this spread is definitely not your average PB—nor is it priced liked one. And although sunflower seeds are the second to last ingredient, their flavor was most noticeable. If you’re willing to shell out a $20 bill for a jar, we approve.

Buy it now for $19.76 at Amazon.com

2

Smucker’s Natural

Smuckers Natural peanut butter

Nutrition: 200 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 105 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 8 g protein

Ingredients: Peanuts, Contains 1% or less of Salt

Appearance & Consistency: Bright, warmly toned, and speckled with peanutty flecks, it’s pretty obvious that Smucker’s Natural really wants you to taste it. Although it is a bit difficult to give it a good stir (thanks to the natural oil separation), we’re really not complaining because this spread is smooth yet somehow manages to pack in a slight and satisfying bite.

Taste: Smucker’s barely sweet PB packs in a delighting salty aftertaste without overpowering even the most delicate of tastebuds.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

This peanut butter is absolutely delish, and what’s even better is that it’s oil- and added sugar-free, making this unadulterated pick a squeaky clean cheat. What’s more, you’re likely to find this one in most supermarkets, no matter where your craving kicks in!

Buy it now for $2.99 at Amazon.com

1

MaraNatha Creamy, Hint of Sea Salt

maranatha creamy sea salt peanut butter

Nutrition: 180 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 60 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 8 g protein

Ingredients: Organic Dry Roasted Peanuts and Sea Salt

Appearance & Consistency: Surprisingly, there isn’t much oil separation in this jar, and while the texture was initially runny, it improved by leaps and bounds upon mixing—yielding the ideal consistency.

Taste: Perfectly salted. Naturally sweet. This finger-licking PB scored tens across all boards.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Behold, our Chosen One. Your fingers’ brand new BFF. Jelly’s most coveted S.O. and obvious better half. MaraNatha’s impressive two-ingredient spread is most similar to Smucker’s Natural taste wise, but way more creamy and insanely indulgent. After tasting nine different jars prior to this gem, it’s safe to say we saved the best for last.

Buy it now for $5.99 at Amazon.com