There was a time when peanut butter was banned entry in our fridge because it triggered the rise of our adolescent bestie, the zit. Poor Peter Pan and Jif had to live a life of neglect along with the vegetables, as we favored cheese and eggs for our sandwiches.
Lately though, Peanut Butter has slowly been making its way back in our sandwiches, being protein-deprived most of the time. Lounging around the supermarket aisles and reading nutritional labels of peanut butter brands gave me a pretty clear direction on future purchases.
Actually, the peanut butter mantra is rather simple (I apologize in advance for committing treason):
- NO to local brands, unless you want a weekly visit to the dentist (and we do admit that an annual visit is already a pain).
- As for foreign commercial brands, NO to Goober and my childhood sweetheart, Peter Pan.
- YES to Skippy Natural (the one with "no need to stir" printed).
- YES to Laura Scudder Organic Peanut Butter (love)!
- MAYBE to PB Co. Dark Chocolate and Green Tea Peanut Butter because they're new and I only bought them because they're so kawai and cheap!
- Last but not the least, NEVER to crunchy peanut butter! Damn, you make chewing such a difficult task!
[caption id="attachment_964" align="aligncenter" width="819" caption="I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter and Skippy Natural"][/caption]
By default, the calories and fat level of peanut butter are normally high, so for those seeking a "healthier" option, go for an ingredient list that shows mainly Roasted Peanuts, as is the case for organic brands like Laura Scudder.
In the supermarket though, I've found that Skippy Natural already presents the least damaging nutritional data with 190 calories, 18% Saturated Fat and 3g sugar for every 2 tablespoons. That serving isn't particularly diet-variety, so you can probably imagine that what to expect from other brands: flab or an early death.
Healthy Options, the store, provides other " nut butter" categories that are health-friendly but on the budget-averse side. Seriously, I am still in the process of saving up for the almond butter, which costs as much as a facial (see why I'm torn) so I've settled for an interesting alternative: SoyNut Butter.
I.M. Healthy Soy Nut Butter has a dubious sound to its name and blue jar but with 170 calories, 8% saturated fat and 3g sugar for 2 tablespoons and without a speck of NUT, it's an adolescent's dream cream. Soybeans replace the nuts, so the protein content isn't compromised. For anti-nuts, pimply kids or soy aficionados, here's the sandwich spread we've been looking for (I'm the anti-nut, soy aficionado).
[caption id="attachment_965" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="(Left) I.M. Healthy and (R) Skippy Natural"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_963" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="I.M. Healthy Soy Butter, Peanut-Free!"][/caption]
Don't expect it to taste like peanut because it's soy. The soy butter resembles the texture, color and overall "feel" of peanut butter but with hints of the soy flavor.
Don't know what this "soy flavor" I'm talking about? Think soy milk or taho (for the Pinoys) and incorporate that taste with peanut butter.
Weird? Not really, my stash is half empty already.
Whether it's peanut butter or soy or even to-die-for almond butter, what's important is that every jar contains mainly these nuts or soybeans and less of the non essentials (like sugar, salt and other ingredient we more than 3 syllables). Even if I did look like a fool reading every jar in the grocery, I'm glad I found what I wanted: Skippy Natural and I.M Healthy Soy Butter.
Glad to have you in my fridge. Now if only we can keep you long enough.