Posted by: burckeri | June 10, 2008

Peter Pan vs. natural peanut butter

Today I’m comparing Peter Pan creamy peanut butter with Meijer natural creamy peanut butter.  The Peter Pan peanut butter is what we had in our pantry.  My husband is the one who usually does the grocery shopping and that’s the brand he prefers; I grew up eating Jif.  Meijer is our grocery store.  I wanted to try natural peanut butter, so it was an easy choice to buy the store brand.

The serving size for both brands is 2 tablespoons (32g).  To compare the two, I will type the nutrient category, then the value for the Peter Pan peanut butter, then the value for the natural peanut butter.

Calories: 190, 200
Total fat: 17g, 16g
Saturated fat: 3.5g, 3g
Trans fat: 0g, 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg, 0mg
Sodium: 140mg, 10mg
Total carbohydrate: 6g, 6g
Dietary fiber: 2g, 2g
Sugars: 3g, 1g
Protein: 7g, 9g
Iron: 2%, 4%
Niacin: 20%, (no value given)

The ingredients of the natural peanut butter:  Peanuts.  The ingredients of the Peter Pan peanut butter: Roasted peanuts, sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (cottonseed and rapeseed), salt.  Hmmm…  Peter Pan adds sugar, oil (which is fat), and salt.  No wonder the Peter Pan peanut butter contains more fat, sodium, and sugar per serving than the natural peanut butter. 

The natural peanut butter tastes just as good as the more processed peanut butter.  The texture isn’t quite as smooth, but in a sandwich, I don’t notice the difference.  Oil tends to separate from natural peanut butter, so you have to stir it to mix the oil back in before using it.  My jar suggests keeping the peanut butter in the refrigerator to retard oil separation.  I’ve been keeping mine in the fridge and have barely noticed any oil separation, but the cold peanut butter is harder to spread.  Whether it’s taking a moment to stir the natural peanut butter before using it or putting a little extra effort into spreading the peanut butter, I think the minimal amount of additional work involved in using natural peanut butter is worth knowing that you’re eating nothing but 100% roasted peanuts.

One final consideration is price.  The 18 oz. (510g) jar of Peter Pan peanut butter costs $2.19 (USD), or 12.2 cents per ounce.  The 16 oz. (454g) jar of Meijer natural peanut butter costs $1.79, or 11.2 cents per ounce.  The natural peanut butter is less expensive than what we bought previously.  This might not be the case for someone who normally buys a store brand processed peanut butter rather than a name brand, but it’s true for us.

 P.S.  Here is a related post: Buyer Beware: natural peanut butter


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