Natural Peanut Butter: An Introduction

Peanut butter is a popular staple of almost every kitchen pantry. But as any true peanut butter fan will know, there’s more than one kind of this delicious butter available. Besides your standard creamy peanut butter and crunchy peanut butter, there’s also flavored options, organic peanut butter, and even all-natural nut butter.

Unfortunately, with the word “natural” thrown around so freely in today’s marketplace, it’s easy to get confused about what “natural peanut butter” really means. After all, peanuts are a natural product, so surely all peanut butter is natural, right?

Well, not necessarily. We’re going to explain what natural peanut butter really is and why we’ve taken the time to bring you the best product at Crazy Richard’s. 

What is Natural Peanut Butter?

Like conventional peanut butter or homemade peanut butter, natural peanut butter has the same central core ingredient: peanuts. Some all-natural options feature organic roasted peanuts, but many organic peanuts come from China. At Crazy Richard’s, we only use peanuts grown in America and we are proud to support our US Peanut farmers. 

Natural peanut butter is similar to regular (or traditional) peanut butter in many ways, such as the same range of creamy and crunchy textures are available, and even the same consistency. However the peanut flavor in natural peanut butter is extremely strong, as there are not other additives or ingredients diluting that amazing peanut flavor! But probably the main difference between standard and natural peanut butter is that natural PB usually does not have a stabilizer like a hydrogenated oil. Natural peanut butter generally has nothing but the peanuts themselves and occasionally a little bit of salt. But we advise to always read the labels on your jar of peanut butter so you can be sure exactly what is inside your jar.

There’s no excess fat, sugar, palm oil, or anything else to take away from the flavor. With natural nut butter, you can avoid the oils and excess ingredients that often contribute to higher trans fat and saturated fat content. People often prefer natural peanut butter because it helps them avoid added sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and other unhealthy substances.

Some committed peanut butter fans also believe that natural peanut butter gives a more pure experience because there’s nothing to get in the way of the flavor of authentic peanuts!

Is Natural Peanut Butter Better than Regular Peanut Butter?

So, how does natural peanut butter compare to the commercial peanut butter you get from the store and mix with your jelly sandwich? Well, as mentioned above, a lack of vegetable oil and other unwanted products means that you can enjoy a naturally delicious taste without dangerous additions like fat, salt, and sugar. And spoiler alert : You can find Crazy Richard’s All-Natural Peanut Butter at thousands of groceries across the country!

Natural peanut butter has a more concentrated peanut flavor, depending on the recipe, because there aren’t any added extras. However, some companies mark up this price as with many other natural foods products. The mission and philosophy at Crazy Richard’s is to negate that unfortunate attitude by providing high quality, gourmet products at affordable prices accessible to as many people as possible. You can read more about their mission and their Healthy Kids Happy Future project here.

The good news is that you can enjoy all the benefits that this creamy substance has to offer in its purest form when you buy natural peanut butter. The most natural peanut butter offers:

  •         Protein: Peanut butter contains around 7.02 grams of protein for each 2 tbsp serving – which is excellent for your general health.
  •         Magnesium: Peanut butter contains around 57 milligrams of magnesium per serving, which helps with various bodily processes, including preserving the immune system.
  •         Phosphorous: Peanut butter contains around 107mg of phosphorus, which is approximately 15.3% of the recommended daily amount. This helps with producing energy and building healthy cells.
  •         Zinc: A dose of organic peanut butter in your food gives you around 0.85mg of zinc, improving immunity and protein synthesis.
  •         Niacin: Stirring a serving of peanut butter into your food gives you 4.2mg of niacin, which helps with nerve function and energy.
  •         Vitamin B6: With 0.17g of Vitamin B6 per serving, nut butter supports over 100 enzyme reactions in the body and helps with auto-immune health.

Is Natural Peanut Butter Healthier?

While both traditional creamy peanut butter and natural peanut butter can contain nutritional benefits, commercial butter will have other ingredients. These extra ingredients add to the sugar, fat, and salt content in your food, detracting from the peanut’s benefits.

Some peanut butter even contains palm oil and other substances that might help preserve your peanut butter for longer but ultimately lead to problems with your waistline and health. Excess hydrogenated oil in your peanut butter and other unnatural substances reduce the overall benefits of peanut butter.

On the other hand, a butter made with just fresh roasted peanuts can be very good for you – provided that you eat it in moderation.

Can I Bake with Natural Peanut Butter?

You can do anything with natural peanut butter that you would do with standard peanut butter. The bonus when you buy Crazy Richard’s all-natural peanut butter is that you know you will have a healthier finished product with fewer added ingredients. The main thing to remember is that a lack of specific oils and other substances might mean that your baked goods turn out a little differently with natural peanut butter. To combat this, you could pour off a little of the natural peanut oil at the top of the jar before you start measuring out for your recipe. Or you can add a little peanut butter powder to offset the runny consistency of natural peanut butter.

You might notice a change in the shape and texture of your peanut butter cookies, for instance. You might also need to add salt to your recipe since our peanut butter is strictly ground peanuts.  Check the details of your recipe to see if there are any tips for using natural products.

Does Natural Peanut Butter Need to be Re-Stirred?

Have you ever wondered why some peanut butter separates? This is usually a sign that you’re buying truly natural peanut butter. If you were to use a food processor and grind up some dry roasted peanuts, you would see the process creates a natural peanut oil. These natural oils rise to the top of the jar when you leave your peanut butter to rest in the fridge or pantry.

Both crunchy peanut butter and creamy peanut butter can sometimes end up with a layer of oil on top. However, commercial peanut butter and powdered peanut butter doesn’t have this problem. That’s because the manufacturers use hydrogenated oils to stabilize the mixture and prevent it from separating.

While it might take some getting used to having to stir your peanut butter before you use it, the presence of peanut oil is a good sign that there’s no unwanted ingredient in your meal. Other kinds of nut butter also end up with oils that rise to the top too. You might have noticed the same issue with almond butter, for instance.

If you want to reduce your chances of having to stir your peanut butter every time you use it, you could always store the jar upside down. Keeping your peanut butter jar upside down, alongside your favorite jams, will help the oil travel back to the bottom of the jar, remixing the substance along the way. This way, you just need to open the jar and spread the butter onto your bread with jelly – no mixing required.

You can also consider shaking the peanut butter up with an immersion blender if you have one. Or, if you’re using large amounts of peanut butter, throw it back into the blender or food processor for a couple of seconds.

How Long Does Natural Peanut Butter Last?

When it comes to listing the differences between natural peanut butter, and the kinds laden with fat, sugar, palm oil, and other substances, one significant difference is often the shelf-life. 

Like honey and other natural substances, peanut butter takes a while to reach its “best before” date. However, the more you mix the peanut in the ingredients with other substances, the faster the peanut butter will go out of date.

Unopened, a jar of peanut butter can sit in your pantry for years without losing its flavor. If you don’t plan to eat your PB relatively quickly, it’s best to keep your natural nut butter in the fridge after you’ve opened it to avoid any bacteria getting into the jar from outside contaminants.

Like with most food, the best by date of peanut butter may differ depending on the brand you buy. To be safe, check the date printed on the lid or the label and carefully follow the storage instructions.

What Kind of Natural Peanut Butter Should I Buy?

Obviously, we’re a little biased, but we think Crazy Richard’s peanut butter is the best! We offer a product with that delicious natural peanut flavor and plenty of bonus nutrition – great for any diet.

Look at the ingredients and nutrition information on your peanut butter and find out what it can offer in calories, fat, protein, and sugar. The fat in your peanut butter should be mostly monounsaturated (the good kind). It’s also worth staying away from any peanut butter that includes palm oil to add extra sweetness.

Although there’s no one-size-fits-all option for peanut butter, you’ll have a more amazing natural experience if you stick with something that focuses on peanuts and nothing else. Remember, if the oil in your peanut butter rises to the top of the jar – you’ve made a great choice.