Walking down the condiment section at practically any grocery store, you are likely to find a variety of nut butters. There are jars filled with endless combinations of nuts and other ingredients, all to create mouth-watering mixtures that scoop perfectly onto spoons and spread satisfyingly onto other foods. When I walk past a nut butter aisle, my eyes are immediately drawn to my most favorite, and what I have self-deemed the most superior, nut butter: peanut butter. Peanut butter is unlike any other nut butter on the shelves; it’s salty, but not in an overwhelming way, and perfectly velvety, which is perhaps its most distinct quality. Whether it is produced creamy or smooth with chunks of peanuts, natural or mixed with other sneaky ingredients, flavored or unflavored, the supreme taste and texture of peanut butter always shines through. However, as I examine the peanut butter shelves, my eyes are also drawn to another type of peanut butter product: powdered peanut butter.

       These types of items are deceiving—they are typically sold in containers quite similar-looking to the ones that hold actual peanut butter, and they have been successfully advertised amongst the health community for its lower fat and calorie content. But, its powdered form requires water to be mixed with it, a very specific amount I have come to learn, and it lacks the iconic velvety texture that regular peanut butter has. To this I say… give me actual peanut butter! Now, don’t get me wrong, I certainly love to live a healthy lifestyle and have done so for practically as long as I can remember. Nevertheless, I previously have and will continue to always regret sacrificing my love for actual peanut butter by substituting it with a powdered form.       

       When I first came across a powdered peanut butter product in my local grocery store, I was quite intrigued by its promising health qualities and supposedly similar taste. After purchasing the (powdered) peanut butter, a few of them I might add, I went home and immediately wanted to see what the hype was all about. So, I measured out two tablespoons like the label said to, mixed it with some water, and was left with a liquid mess that barely resembled the taste of actual peanut butter. It turned out that I had mixed in too much water; I learned that the powder is very volatile and even the smallest drop of water will have some effect on the texture. Redoing this process, I started out with a smaller amount of water and managed to get the mixture to a thicker consistency. I tasted this new mixture, and although the thicker texture was definitely better than my first attempt, it still had a flavor faintly resembling peanut butter.

       While I love to eat healthy and am always seeking healthier versions of products, I realized that my love for real peanut butter is too strong to be replaced.

cream, sweet, milk, jam, caramel, chocolate, honey, peanut butter
Maggie Gorman

       Substituting real, luscious peanut butter for a tasteless powder with a frustrating mixing process would only leave me unsatisfied. Instead of getting caught up in its higher calorie count, I am content with the fact that the many healthy fats only leave me more satisfied and make the texture all the more fluffy. Real peanut butter is truly an unbeatable food, whether eaten alone or joined alongside other foods. Now, I am going to head right to my pantry and scoop a heaping spoonful of real, natural peanut butter… no water required.