Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Feb 10

Peanut Butter substitutes, why do you taunt me, so?

I’m getting better.  I REALLY am.  I have not shared this with you because I don’t want to jinx myself, but I have been able to keep REAL peanut butter in this house for a normal length of time.  And, I have been able to eat one serving at a time without feeling tempted to go back for more. 

Still.  That calorie-count is dreadful to me.  Whenever I eat a serving, my days of Weight Watchers come back to me and I get visions of all the other things I could be eating for the same amount of calories.  I’m sure you’ve seen magazine photos, with headlines that read: 

You could eat THIS: (showing a donut and a latte)

Or, you could eat all of THIS: (showing mounds of carrot sticks, a big salad with diced chicken, black coffee and pudding cup.)

Partly out of habit, and partly because of the remarkable progress that’s been made in the last 10 years on low calorie foods, I keep searching for an alternative to peanut butter.  Something that tastes like it, but doesn’t have all the calories within it.

I’ve done a post on this before.  I’ve bought Better N’ Peanut Butter, Fitnutz, and PB2.  I’ve conducted side-by-side comparisons.  Nothing, though – nothing disappointed me more than my most recent purchase:

Now, I take full responsibility for this.  What should have tipped me off was the nutrition label on the back:

Just in case you can’t read it:  Zero calories per 1/4 cup serving.  ZERO!  The number one ingredient is purified water, followed by vegetable fiber.  No wonder it had sort of a…gelatinous texture to it.  And, dare I say – a kind of ‘tangy’ aftertaste?  Maybe that part was just me.  I was pretty messed up by my second spoonful, I can’t really say for sure. 

I hate to badmouth any company.  Really.  There are some people who have no choice but to eat alternatives to the foods they love, but I have never found anything from Walden Farms that I found remotely satisfying.  Have you?  I’d love to know if you find something enjoyable from this brand. 

Luckily, my shopping excursion for the day wasn’t totally lost.  I did have a MAJOR peanut butter find that knocked my socks off:


This cereal is absolutely delicious.  I wouldn’t dare ruin it with milk, either.  Pouring myself a serving, which is 3/4 of a cupful and munching on a single O at a time is incredibly satisfying.  Tastes just like peanut butter.  Right now I’m imagining a pie crust made solely from this cereal.  I read somewhere that you can substitute a little milk for butter (so the crust will hold together) and no one would be the wiser.  Gotta try that sometime.  Anyway, back to reality – here’s the stats:

So, my alternative-to-peanut-butter quest was not a complete Fail.  Who would have thought that Cheerios could save the day? 

Have you found any new products recently that have knocked your socks off? 

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  1. What’s interesting to me is that the Peanut Butter Cheerios would be infinitely more “damaging” to me (because I’d want to eat the whole box) than just having some regular peanut butter.

    Anyway, that awful faux PB reminds me of a product I bought a while back that was horrid: Arctic Zero “ice cream” which has 150 calories per pint. It was really awful. And besides, I thought it rather irresponsible to market a product as being “only 150 calories per pint” because, to me, that’s encouraging binge-ish behavior!

    I prefer to stick to whole foods as much as possible and to eat them in moderation…

    • Ellen says:

      Karen!! Thank you for commenting about Arctic Zero. I have heard about this for months now, but can’t get it here. I think I picked it up initially while perusing Hungry Girl’s Newsletter. And yes, the stats sounded too good to be true, but I’ve always wondered what it tasted like. Now I can put to rest my quest to find the stuff. You just saved me a load of time!

  2. Kelliann says:

    I have never, ever, ever enjoyed anything from Walden Farms. Maybe we expect too much from something with… well… nothing? I don’t know!
    Nice find on the Cherrios! I was just lamenting the very same thing about peanut butter on my blog… so good, but such a calorie sucker!

    • Ellen says:

      They’ve been in business a while now – someone obviously eats their food; but I cannot stomach it. Never again will I be lured by their brand.
      If you haven’t tried the PB Cheerios yet, you MUST!! lol They really do the trick. Totally satisfying.

  3. Jill says:

    We are 2 peas in a pod! I had to remove PB from the house for about a year. I just could not control myself. I am happy to report that I have 1 tablespoon every day in my oatmeal and I love it and don’t go back for more. It has taken me years to get to this point. I think because I know I will have more tomorrow- it controls the desire/want/need to binge on it. Now if I could only find a way to lose weight and eat ice cream and peanut butter everyday!!!

    • Ellen says:

      Is one tablespoon enough to get that peanut butter flavor, Jill – or just a hint of it? I’ve never tried it before. Maybe I should limit peanut butter to breakfast only. I may try that this weekend.

      • Jill says:

        What I do is cook my oatmeal and then top it with 1 tablespoon of PB. I take the tablespoon and put little dollops all around the top. Then it gets all warm and runny. Oh I can’t wait until breakfast tomorrow!!! Let me know if you try it. ( I also slice half a banana on top.)

  4. Tammy says:

    Thanks for sharing your opinion on Walden Farms. I’ve seen some of their advertisements but always forget to look for them in the store. Now I will steer clear. I like peanut butter too and fortunately I’m not addicted.

    • Ellen says:

      So far, no one has come forward to say there’s anything worthy to eat from that brand. After this last fiasco, I give up, Tammy. Sticking to the real deal.

  5. I wish you would have contacted me before buying this – I’ve tried that brand, and the “too good to be true” thing definitely applies! I say, buy the real stuff and portion it out!

    • Ellen says:

      I wish I would have to, Laura. I’m a sucker for new products on the market. I keep thinking I’ll come across the best thing on the planet. Meh. Not happening.

  6. Hmm… PB Cheerios! That might be interesting. This week I ate PB Puffins with yogurt at work for lunch. Maybe next week will be PB Cheerios.

    You commented that you’ve kept real PB in your house now for a normal amount of time. And how long would that be? I’m guessing two weeks if you eat a serving every day… or do you consider it much longer?

    • Ellen says:

      No, Michele – more like a month! I don’t eat it every day. I just go to it when I get the taste for it and then have one spoonful. Now, if I start adding it to my oatmeal, which is a plan of mine this weekend then that may change! lol

  7. I really haven’t had much luck with finding substitute foods, either. I usually just resign myself to not having a particular food instead of trying to find a substitute. That’s probably less about not being able to find good ones, and more about being too lazy to put in the effort to find good subs. 😉

    • Ellen says:

      Ha! Lazy. You. Funny. I don’t think the word ‘lazy’ will be defining you any time soon in the next, oh – 18 years! lol
      Greg, there simply are not good subs out there. I’ve looked high and low. Adequate, maybe. But nothing earth shattering. Remember when you gave up meat for a month? You found subs to eat but nothing compared to coming back to your first meat-fest, did it? Sad, but true. Sometimes you’ve just gotta eat the real deal.

  8. Holy crap – peanut butter in cereal! Two of my major food triggers!!!!! I don’t miss PB at all anymore. It’s been a year and a half. I wish I could say the same about cereal.

    I found some very yummy jerky and will include it in my next thumbs post:)

  9. With kids in the house, peanut butter is a staple. However, I requested that they switch to crunchy because I was making far to many visits to the smooth peanut butter jar. Luckily, I have very accommodating kids! I have natural PB around, but it’s the sugared stuff that gets me into trouble.

    • Ellen says:

      I think it’s so interesting that you can have the natural PB around without it affecting you. That’s the stuff that I LOVE. The stickier the better. I’m with you though – don’t like the crunchy kind, either.

  10. I’ve only tried the Walden Farms sugar-free chocolate syrup, and it was…okay. I knew it wouldn’t taste like the real deal and only used it a drizzle at the time, so it wasn’t so bad.

    thanks for the heads up on the PB Cheerios! I’ve got to work through a couple boxes of other cereals first, but the Cheerios are headed to the top of the list of must try next.

  11. Jan says:

    This post made me laugh! :) I was just at the store this past week and thinking to myself (while in the Cheerio aisle)…”didn’t Cheerio’s just come out with a new flavor….what was that?”. *sigh* I blanked and never did look. That was it! It was peanut butter! So glad to know that you think they’re good. I am totally getting these on my next grocery run! YUMMY!!!!

  12. Goodnuff says:

    Oh my! I can not wait to go grocery shopping. I love PB Cap’n Crunch and I’m sure I’ll love the Cheerios! Yummo!
    I’ve not tried Walden Farms. I really can not stand fat free foods because they just never taste good and all I think about is the chemicals used to make the edible-ish. Not so yummo!
    I had Nutella for the first time last week, oh Lord, I would have been better off keeping that one under wraps!

    • Ellen says:

      You are one smart lady. I have read over and over again how fat-free items never really satisfy so we just keep eating more, but do I listen? Evidently not. I keep thinking there is some magic goodness out there that’s calling my name! And OH!! The Nutella – SO good!!!

  13. Jenn says:

    Hi! Just found your blog and I have it enjoyed reading it so much! Your story is truly and inspiration. I had to comment on this post because I am on day #4 of a peanut butter detox! I found myself scraping the jar one too many times and it was really hindering my weight loss. I have been using PB2 as a peanut butter flavor in my shakes etc. I’ve heard horrible things about the WF Peanut Spread, though I do love several of their other products. Nothing is the same as the real thang. And just reading all of these comments is making me crave it so I gotta go!!! :) Look forward to reading!!

    • Ellen says:

      Jenn, thank you for your comment and WELCOME!!!! Best of luck on your peanut butter detox. How fitting my post must have been for you! You’re right – nothing compares to the real thing. Why I keep searching, God only knows! lol Hope to see you back here – thank you for reading :)

  14. Munchberry says:

    I have to tell myself that the multitude of jars of peanut butter living in my house are not mine to eat. So far so good. Mine is the PB2 which- if I add a little sweetener to it – tastes fair. Fairish. Not as gloppy, tongue smacky as I want.

    Gelatinous peanut butter fluff huh? Vegetable fiber? That sounds like a recipe for constipation. ; )

  15. Bernard says:

    I have tried that stuff too, and don’t like it. PB2 isn’t too bad, though. Especially the chocolate kind.

  16. teresa says:

    That sounds so gross I can’t believe it. Well, I can…
    I couldn’t keep cereal like that in the house. I’d eat it dry. Yum!

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