My 3 month quest for a peanut butter substitute
a quick reminder that tomorrow is Group Therapy Day for the Hate-Loss Challenge. If possible, please post your weekly update and leave the link to your post in my comments section so that others can find you. Thanks.
Next to chocolate, the third love of my life is peanut butter (my husband is grateful that he’s still first in that lineup); actually, nut butters in general bring me to my knees. I love them all and could easily wreck a jar in short order. It is for this reason alone that I began a quest a few months back to search for an alternative to peanut butter. In my perfect utopia, I hoped to come across something that had three qualities:
- it had to taste similar to peanut butter
- it had to have the same texture as peanut butter
- it had to have a calorie count significantly lower than peanut butter.
Believe it or not, I found three different products that attempted to fit those requirements. The first was called Better N’ Peanut Butter. I was so excited when I found this at my local Super Target. One hundred calories for 2 tablespoons. As soon as I got home, I tossed my groceries onto the counter and fished out the jar. It sure looked like peanut butter, and it had the consistency of it, too. But the taste? Blech!
Now, there are die hard Better N’ Peanut Butter lovers out there who will tell you this stuff is fantastic; I believe it is an acquired taste. It does have the texture of peanut butter and therefore gives the illusion that you’re eating peanut butter, but I don’t think it tastes anything remotely similar to peanut butter. I tried to like it. I wanted to like it. I choked down about 1/2 a jar over a 30 day period using breads, crackers and jam to help mask the taste and I just couldn’t get over that uniquely overly sweet ‘nothing-like-peanut-butter’ flavor. This product got a big fat thumbs down from me.
Not too long after that fiasco I found – now, get this: powdered peanut butter. It’s called PB2 and comes from Bell Plantation. I could not locate this in any of my local stores but was able to purchase it online. The nutritional stats couldn’t be beat: 45 calories for 2 tablespoons? With stats like that, how could I not try it? What you do is measure out two level tablespoons and then mix it with water. You are in charge of the consistency, depending on how much you add. I had my husband sit down with me to try it. He is an avid peanut butter lover and was pretty hesitant but he was a trooper. However, after one small bite he looked like a 4 year old eating his first bite of brussel sprout. I on the other hand actually found it a lot more pleasing than Better N’ Peanut Butter so that was a good sign. I spread it onto a cracker and it tasted…OK. Not great. Just OK.
Fast forward another few weeks when I heard about FitNutz. This is also in powdered form. I was hesitant about trying another powdered peanut butter because I assumed the taste would be too similar. Powdered is powdered, right? I mean, what more can be done? Still, I forged ahead and bought some online. The nutritional stats on this brand is also impressive: 50 calories for 2 tablespoons. The ingredients are: peanut powder, sugar, salt. The directions are pretty much the same: measure, mix with water to your desired consistency, taste, make a yucky face, be disappointed. Right?
Not so on this one. It tasted the most similar to peanut butter of the three and didn’t have a weird aftertaste; it tasted even better when I added just a bit of honey to the mixture.
For those of you who gladly and luckily eat the real deal with no guilt, this post probably just wasted your time, but thanks for sticking it out this far. However, for those of you who are on Weight Watchers or who just want more control over your calorie intake, this might be an alternative to consider.
FitNutz in my opinion tasted the best out of the three that I tried. I personally found that by mixing it with other things the more it tasted like real peanut butter. For example, adding honey to it, mixing it into protein shakes, using it in recipes, Greek yogurt, oatmeal or whatever else you can think of.
While I would still prefer nut butters over these any day of the week, I can’t help but admire the versatility of powdered peanut butter and I’m glad that there are options out there for those of us who have trouble with certain trigger foods.
Has anyone has ever tried any of the above products? I’d love to hear your opinion. For the rest of you, what do you do if you tend to love a food ‘too much?’ Do you search for a substitute or do you refrain from eating it all together?