Friday, November 12, 2010

Better Than Peanut Butter?!

Apparently November is National Peanut Butter Month. A few of you have mentioned this to me and I finally looked it up to confirm that it's true. It's ironic too because I sort of gave up peanut butter this month...

I say "sort of" because I still eat it in my granola and sometimes in other foods. I guess I'm just more into almond butter these days (after eliminating it for a week during my elimination diet it was easy for me to not go back to eating it again). Of course that doesn't mean I don't still love blogging about it!
Earlier this month I posted about Peanut Butter and Co's Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter. Today I'm posting about a peanut butter of a different kind. It's one that claims to be BETTER than peanut butter.....

Yep, that's right, Better'n Peanut Butter! Have you heard of it? When I was a senior in college I used Better'n Peanut Butter for my food science research experiment. My goal was to see if I could use this product as a replacement for real peanut butter in a banana and peanut butter muffin recipe. Before I tell you how my experiment turned out, let's look at the differences between real peanut butter, and Better'n Peanut Butter.

First, the calories and fat are significantly decreased in Better'n Peanut Butter. Specifically, this product contains 85% less fat and 40% less calories (per 2 T) compared to regular peanut butter.

While the reduction in fat may sound like a good thing, you must keep in mind that most nut butters are a good source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, so this product is not a good source of these fats.

They also have a low sodium version, which contains 95 mg sodium in 2 T.

The original version is fairly low in sodium too, with 190 mg per serving.

The majority of the natural nut butters will contain anywhere from 0-150 mg sodium. In my opinion, this isn't bad at all. Heck, even JIF peanut butter only has 150 mg sodium per serving. The reduced fat JIF has 250 mg, because they have to replace the fat with something.

So what the heck does Better'n Peanut Butter have in it that replaces
its fat? Here are the ingredients;

Peanuts (as defatted peanut flour, peanut butter and natural peanut oils), tapioca syrup,
pure water, dehydrated cane juice, rice syrup, vegetable glycerine, soy flour, tapioca starch, natural food flavors, paprika and annato, salt, calcium carbonate, lecithin, tocopherol (vitamin E), sodium ascorbate (vitamin C).

The answer? They have replaced the fat with a bunch of fillers and processed thickeners. But this is an all-natural product (says the label). Ummm, ok, I guess. I mean the ingredients are all processed from natural ingredients, sure, but is this truly natural? Not in my opinion.

How is the taste? Not bad. In my peanut butter and banana bread I made for my research project it didn't mimic real peanut butter very well, but when I used half Better'n Peanut Butter and half real peanut butter, my results (both subjective and objective) were fantastic!

Why Would You Use This Product?

- Trying to cut down on calories and lose weight

- Trying to eat less fat

- You want something to eat when you have an appetite, but you really aren't hungry (especially at night). At least this product is lower in calories and won't add up too fast!

How Can This Product Be Used?

- In recipes that call for peanut butter! But I suggest replacing only half.

- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (significantly reduces the calories and fat, but also the taste. So again, it may be best to still use some real peanut butter)

- Smoothies (may add a nice nutty flavor and thicker consistency)

- Morning oats!

- Check out their own recipes on their website

Question: Have you tried Better'n Peanut Butter? What did you think?


  1. I feel like I had this years ago and didn't really like it when compared to regular peanut butter. I prefer to just stick with the real thing.

  2. I have tried this and it's good in a pinch but not that good that you'd crave the entire jar...;-)

    I'm with Jess...I'd rather have good ole natural peanut butter.

  3. I've tried this product just out of curiosity...and ended up throwing more than half the jar away. The taste wasn't for me. I'm a peanut butter fanatic, don't really need to lose the fat, and didn't want to sacrifice that creamy, yummy traditional peanutty goodness. I remember blogging about Peanut Butter Month last year...OH my, such time has gone by!

  4. i love me some peanut butter. right out of the jar is best. i recently discovered some organic PB made right here in VT. a bit pricey, though, AND it comes in some interesting flavors. Maybe you have them at your store? the company is Vermont Peanut Butter Company. i bought their standard creamy, and it is a little 'browner' than i am used to. why? they leave the skins ON. it really does add to the flavor. i love it!

  5. No, I have never tried Better'n Peanut Butter. Thanks for the review and your thoughts.

  6. Very interesting. I have never heard of this product. I think when people realize the benefits of actually eating nut butters without going overboard, there is an actual benefit when choosing the right product. I am excited to say I have now tried Barney Butter and got a jar at FNCE of the crunchy. It was really good and I think I can get Ryan to eat it. I am not sure he has ever had almond butter before. I need to try cashew butter.

  7. I have not tried it but whenever I see it on the shelves I'm tempted to pick it up. However, I always end up going with something I'm more familiar with.

    Thanks for the review!

  8. ummmm paprika!!!??!! im pretty sure id buy it just because its got paprika in there! mmm something sounds really appealing about that. I'd definitely try it! and anything that tastes pretty good and similar to peanut butter is an added bonus!

  9. I've never tried it but I think I'd rather just stick to peanut butter! I love Teddie's unsalted. It's just made from peanuts!

  10. I've seen this on the shelf before but to be honest it kind of freaks me out. I have a sort-of fear of the weird replacements they put in these things. Since my tummy doesn't deal well with fat I have to eat pb in small portions anyway so I can afford to eat the real thing :)

    PS. This is random but I find my stomach likes almond butter slightly better too... what is the difference? it seems like the fat is similar?

  11. I prefer PB2 if you are going to have a Peanut Butter substitute. Better that Peanut Better has a weird consistency. In my opinion, at least!

  12. interesting - I've never seen this before! Good to know!

  13. I've never tried Better'n PB, but I've been curious about it. I know some people swear by it, but I'm a purist when I comes to PB and AB and I always go for the ones that are only peanuts (or almonds) and maybe salt, or I make my own. But, I can see how this would be a great product for someone who tends to overeat PB and is looking for a way to reduce fat without compensating elsewhere. That's so interesting that you did a food science project on this! I wish we did cool stuff like that - instead, we mixed water and flour to see what happens (um, they mix).

    Have a nice weekend, Gina!

  14. Paprika!? Whaaa!? Totally confused by that! I'm not sure what to think, hm. The nutrition stats on the BTPB are awesome, but I love my Amish churned PB. The ONLY ingredient is peanuts, gotta love that. But yeah, pretty high in calories and portion control is always challenging with peanut butter anything!! Which one do you think you'll use more? How much does the BTPB cost?

  15. I tried Better n peanut butter once before and in a cookie recipe. I did not like it one bit. It spent a few good months in my fridge and then I finally tossed it out. I guess I just like the real stuff :)

  16. deej hoards better n peanut butter like it's her job haha. she has it every morning in her oats! she loves the sweetness of it over real peanut butter sometimes. i think it's okay but i like a nuttier taste so i definitely prefer real peanut butter. but hey i think it's a great alternative!

  17. I've never tried Better then PB. Mostly b/c I've never seen it around here. I don't think it would be something that I would buy, anyhow. I like PB with peanuts as the only ingredient. ;)

  18. Yeah, I'm not a fan. I've tried it and it just doesn't taste like real food. I'd rather have a small amount of PB that is made from peanuts and nothing else. I had the same experience as you though - replaced PB with Better n PB in a baked recipe and it was a big fail. Over it!

  19. Wow! Once again, it pays to read the ingredients. I think I'll stick with my all natural peanut butter with nothing but peanuts and sea salt, or my favorite almond butter. Great information. Thank you!