Smooth Peanut Butter

The smooth versus crunchy debate will forever dominate the foodie sphere, so I should probably start with those arguments right off the bat. If you're baking, use smooth peanut butter to avoid disrupting the texture of whatever you're making. Use smooth peanut butter in stir fries and sauces as well. As for toast, it can go either way. If you like a smooth blend on top of your toast, go with a nice, super-smooth peanut butter. I suggest Teddy's Creamy Peanut Butter; it's a middle-of-the-road price point with no extra preservatives. Just peanuts and salt, as it should be. 

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If you want to drizzle a little peanut butter on your overnight oats, cereal, or breakfast goodies, I also suggest a smooth variety. This will give you a peanut-y taste without the textural aspect of a crunchy PB. 

Super Crunchy Peanut Butter 

If you're making a PB & J or a New England Fluffer-nutter, go for the crunchiest peanut butter you can find. It will provide the optimal amount of texture and creaminess for your sando! I find that crunchy peanut butter complements the smoothness of the jelly or the fluff really well. 

Peanut Butter with Hydrogenated Oils

This peanut butter is great for... for.... I can't think of anything. If the label says anything besides peanut butter and salt, run the other way. Why might JIF and Skippy taste so weak compared to other peanut butter brands? Well, because their products contain a lot of stuff that's NOT peanuts! Gross! 

Ground-In-Store Peanut Butter

Do you wonder what could have been every time you walk past to the peanut butter grinders at the grocery store? Grinding your own peanut butter is simple, easy, and often times cheaper than purchasing jars off the shelf. Eating peanut butter with one ingredient (peanuts) is much healthier than any options full of hydrogenated oils, sugar, and preservatives. There's also a lot of satisfaction in watching the thick peanut butter drip from the spout of the nut grinder. 

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You can also make your own peanut butter at home with a food processor! Blend roasted peanuts for four to five minutes and store in your refrigerator. Fresh peanut butter is best when eaten by the spoonful- it's thick and super satisfying! 

Chocolate Peanut Butter 

Most chocolate peanut butters just contain cocoa powder in addition to the peanuts. That means they're not necessarily sweeter than traditional varieties. Chocolate peanut butter is best paired with fruit like apple slices and bananas! 

Peanut Butter Powder

Peanut Butter powder is a good low-fat alternative to traditional peanut butter. If you're trying to lower your calorie intake for the day, but still get the flavor of traditional peanut butter, powdered peanut butter might be a good option. To rehydrate, add a couple spoonfuls of plant milk or water and stir. Although it might not ever get to the full-fat texture you see in regular PB, the flavor is certainly there! 

I like using peanut butter powder in smoothies and overnight oats! Unlike traditional peanut butter (which gets super creamy and gunky), PB powder blends smoothly. The brands I use most include PB Fit (organic, sugar-free). You can purchase a large jar at your local bulk goods store (e.g., Costco), or try a small jar to see if you like the flavor. 

Flavored Peanut Butter

Usually I don't go for peanut butter that contains other "stuff" (if you couldn't tell that already), but lately I've been really loving Fix & Fogg's delicious peanut butters. They make a ton of funky flavors like Coffee & Maple, Everything, Dark Chocolate, and Smoke & Fire. I love their Coffee & Maple on my morning breakfast toast with bananas and chia seeds. As for their Everything variety, I suggest trying it on crackers or on a charcuterie board at your next gathering. Moreover, flavored peanut butters should shine through in food, rather than having to compete with everything else on the plate. If you're eating flavored peanut butter with crackers, pick a cracker with a nuanced flavor. Let the flavored PB be the star that you know it is.