Grab a spoon, peanut butter lovers, and find out what the type of peanut butter you prefer says about you.
Creamy peanut butter. Crunchy peanut butter. Natural, organic peanut butter. Salted, unsalted, sugar-added and sugar-free peanut butter. Even jelly swirled with peanut butter. There are endless types of peanut butter in the grocery aisle and whichever one you choose may point to your peanut butter persona.
What's a peanut butter persona, you ask? We talked to several peanut butter experts* to learn why they love their favorite types of peanut butter. Because when it comes to peanut butter, one thing's for certain everyone has a hands-down favorite, a type of peanut butter they adamantly defend as the best and only kind that's fit to eat. So check out the personality types that mesh with the peanut butter types below, and see if one of them jives with you.
Crunchy vs. Smooth Peanut Butter
One of the most important distinctions between various types of peanut butter is whether they're crunchy or smooth. Becca Butterchunk, a nut-focused food writer for Peanut Times magazine, says crunchy peanut butter is the clear winner. "It's all about the interplay of texture and taste on the tongue. Smooth peanut butter simply lacks a certain level of sophistication," she explains. But Christopher Cream, founding member of the Smooth Nut Butter Society, disagrees. "Smooth peanut butter conveys innate complexity through its simplicity, no chewing required,"says Cream.
Organic Peanut Butter
If organic foods are your go-to, you'll click with Pippa P'Nut, an organic peanut farmer from Ojai, California. P'Nut, who regularly practices yoga on a raised platform amidst her peanut fields, while snacking on chia seed crackers spread with freshly ground peanut butter, says, "Organic peanut butter is the only way to go. It's just not karmically cool to tamper with the purity of all-natural, farm-raised peanuts." To P'Nut, peanut butter's benefits go beyond great taste and wholesome nutrition; for her, it's spiritual fuel, as well. "Learn to be one with the peanut," she suggests. "Meditate on its mild, nutty, chemical-free flavor. Forget the price tag of organic and instead praise Mother Nature for delivering a perfect package of delicious, nurturing goodness."
Sweetened vs. Unsweetened Peanut Butter
P.B. Jay, a nut butter tycoon, recommends the sweetened big name brands you recognize from childhood. "Trust the taste of your youth," says Jay, who holds a monopoly on the mainstream peanut butter market. "The sugary peanut butter you're used to will deliver a sweet dose of nostalgia not to mention more dollars to my pocket!" But Serena Smothernut, a nutritionist with a master's degree in peanut protein, prefers sugar-free, all-natural peanut butter. "Unsweetened peanut butter naturally contains half a gram of sugar per tablespoon, anyway which is plenty to taste great, without unnecessary additives," she argues.
No-Stir Peanut Butter
No-stir peanut butter is the "Aha!" answer to the oil separation problem that is prominent in natural peanut butter. Parker P. Butterman, a well-known peanut butter blogger and part-time efficiency consultant, extolls the virtues of the no-stir nut butter craze. "When you open a jar of natural peanut butter, you normally need incredible patience to stir and stir and stir the oil in, while trying not to spill it over the edge of the jar. No-stir peanut butter solves this problem just open the jar and enjoy!" he says. But Butterman also suggests close inspection of peanut butter labels, as many no-stir varieties contain excessive trans fats and sugar. His advice? "Look for no-stir peanut butter with palm or coconut oil, rather than hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils."
Peanut Butter and Jelly Swirl
Jimmy Nutjam has yet another take on the best type of peanut butter. He's a 12-year-old PB&J connoisseur, who, in addition to always removing the crusts and cutting his favorite sandwich on the diagonal, says that peanut butter and jelly swirl is his favorite. "In the entire decade that I've been eating solid food, I've never found anything as innovative as peanut butter and jelly, swirled together in a single jar," states the pint-sized critic, obviously wise beyond his years when it comes to all things PB&J.
Powdered Peanut Butter
Personal trainer Phoebe Peebee prefers powdered peanut butter, noting that it lacks the heavy calorie count of traditional peanut butter. It also lacks the health benefits of monounsaturated fat, plus the thick, creamy texture of regular peanut butter, but Peebee doesn't care. "I eat guacamole when I want healthy fat," she says. "I like my peanut butter powdered. I stir it into yogurt, oatmeal, and post-workout shakes. I even sprinkle it on my quadruple shot, non-fat, sugar-free syrup, no whip, caramel macchiato every morning before I teach Barre."
Now what about you do you identify with any of our peanut butter experts* and share their peanut butter beliefs? Or do you have a different opinion of your own? Whatever your preference, any type of peanut butter from chunky to powdered works great in a BlenderBottle shaker. Want to give a peanut butter shake a try? This Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Shake recipe easily adaptable to your peanut butter of choice is one of our favorites.
*The peanut butter experts mentioned within may be entirely fictional figments of our peanut butter-fueled imaginations. We'll never tell.