Better'n Peanut Butter

Categories: For Your Health

Joanna O'Leary
Also comes in a Low-Sodium Variety
Better'n Peanut Butter was better'n I expected. I spotted this imposter spread at Trader Joe's and decided to give it a whirl. Note: I know TJ's is not in Houston (yet), but never fear, you can find Better'n Peanut Butter at H.E.B. and Whole Foods.

I love nut butters for the energy they give me for endurance events. However, I have a history of overindulging to the point of eating an entire jar in less than two hours. And that much even mono-unsaturated fat in one sitting ain't great, even if you plan on biking your butt off the next morning.

Better'n Peanut Butter (BPB) is made with "real" peanut butter but boasts 85 percent less fat and 40 percent fewer calories. And though it contains no preservatives, its ingredients do include thickening agents and additives such as tapioca, vegetable glycerin, rice syrup, etc., etc. Since I very much appreciate the sweet simplicity of natural nut butters, I was skeptical about the taste and consistency of something comparatively chemical-laden.

I was reassured to find that BPB was sticky and gloopy like other natural varieties (that ultra-smooth quality that comes with the addition of trans fats is rather freakish). The jar lacked a robust top layer of oil, which wasn't surprising considering that's exactly what the manufacturers probably removed to decrease the fat content. But the flavor of BPB was nevertheless exactly the same as full-fat PB!

Yeah, right.

BPB was grainier, lighter and less nutty than regular peanut butter. It had interesting but not unpleasant botanical notes and a weird hint of citrus. A few tablespoons on poppyseed bread with some marmalade made for a very satisfying but not belly-bloating nighttime snack.

If you crave intense, rich peanut flavor, skip BPB and go for the real thing. If you want something nutty that is hearty and filling but doesn't stick to your ribs (or ass), BPB is a fine alternative.

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I tried Better'n Peanut Butter a couple of months ago (because of the caloric content) and was really disappointed. It had a weird sweetness that was way off to me. Then again, I think Jif and Peter Pan (especially) are way too sweet. I like Laura Scudder's Nutty best. My dog is enjoying the BPB.


I'm not picky about most foods, but I do have my favorite brands.  I love Jif... nothing else compares.  I've had fresh, organic, etc, peanut butters, tried all manner of different varieties, but I keep coming back to the Jif.  Always Jif...


Never could get into the Peter Pan.  I like the depth of the roasted flavor of the Jif.  One thing that kills me is buying a jar of peanut butter (natural or processed) and finding out that I hate the taste, or don't like it as much as Jif, then what do I do with it?

I'm not a choosy mom, just an early 30's guy who may be slightly OCD about food... and cleanliness.


For processed PB, I'm partial to Peter Pan myself....

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