No matter how old you get, how many cuisines you try, how well-traveled you are, or how cultured your palate becomes, there’s nothing like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Equal parts sweet and salty, it instantly transports you back to the comforts of kid-dom the minute it sticks to the roof of your mouth.
Lucky for us grown-ups, getting our nostalgic, energy-boosting lunchtime fix has never been easier or better for you thanks to the growing number of health- and eco-conscious nut butter brands available today. But which are the best? Here are eight of our favorites.
1. Crazy Richard’s Crunchy Peanut Butter
Despite the name, there’s nothing crazy about this satisfyingly chunky, spreadable peanut butter. Made with 100-percent American-grown, non-GMO peanuts ground to perfection and free from added sugars, salt, and hydrogenated or palm oils, this peanut butter probably won’t last long in the pantry (because you’ll be eating it by the spoonful).Gluten-free and vegan, this all-natural brand also dishes up 8 whole grams of protein per serving and 3 grams of fiber. It ain’t fancy, but for less than $3 a pop, it more than gets the job done.($3; amazon.com)
2. Ground Up Chunky Almond Cashew and Coconut
This one is an absolute must for your pantry. Made in a peanut-, gluten- and dairy-free facility, Ground Up doesn’t add tons of sugar to their jars either. Some of the flavor combos (and oh, there are tons!) are totally sugar-free, while others are “sweetened with just a touch of honey!” And by touch, they mean only one tablespoon in the entire jar. You’ll also be scooping up 5 grams of protein plus 3 grams of fiber per serving, but that’s not where this brand shines. It’s in the flavor.This vegan, Whole30-friendly roasted almond, roasted cashew, roasted unsweetened coconut, vanilla bean, and sea salt combo has got it all. The best part—aside from the pretty packaging—is actually the texture. After finely grinding all the good stuff up into a fluffy, spreadable dream, they toss hunks of all three nuts back into the mix for some much-needed crunch.($16; grounduppdx.com)
3. RX Nut Butters
This just in: The energy bar company we know and love has branched out into the nut butter market, and we couldn’t be more excited. These single-serving packets are in perfect step with the brand’s simple ingredients “no B.S.” ethos, combining egg whites, nuts, coconut oil, and half a date for a dash of all-natural sweetness. It’s the whopping 9 grams of protein per pouch, not to mention tasty grab-and-go flavors like honey cinnamon peanut butter and vanilla almond butter, that really sets these gluten-, soy-, dairy-, and preservative-free guys apart.($22 for a 10 pack; amazon.com)
4. NuttZo Organic Smooth Peanut Pro Seven Nut & Seed Butter
For something a little outside-the-box, try this super-nutty mix of peanuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and Celtic sea salt on for size. Vegan and non-GMO, it delivers on protein with 7 mighty grams per serving, and there’s no added sugar or oils to mask all that dense, nutritious goodness. It’s got character, that’s for sure, and you’ll find that it’s best slathered onto apple slices, drizzled on pancakes, whirred into smoothies, or scooped up with a spoon for a fast, crunchy snack.($12; amazon.com)
5. Once Again Organic American Classic Creamy Peanut Butter
Once Again’s site deems this to be the “first certified-organic peanut butter that doesn’t separate” and boy, they aren’t kidding around. No stirring necessary here—just pop the top and sink your spoon (or your finger, we’re not judging) into the jar for a hearty dose of dry-roasted organic peanuts softened with organic, responsibly sourced palm fruit oil and finished with a bit of organic sugar and salt. You can also find unsweetened versions, which we think are just as good. This PB is about as close to the sticky goodness from those childhood cartoon-plastered plastic jars you can get while steering clear of all those unnecessary additives.($14; amazon.com)
6. Perfect Keto Nut Butter
This creamy low-carb treat—a blend of raw macadamia nuts, raw cashews, raw coconut butter, MCT oil from coconuts, a dash of real vanilla bean powder, and a pinch of sea salt—is a clutch grab for anybody dabbling in the keto lifestyle. It’s loaded with MCTs, those loveable fatty acids that convert to brain and body fuel, has zero added sugar or preservatives, and works great in smoothies.Use it as a topping or dip for other keto-approved snacks or all on its lonesome. Did we mention it’s pretty darn tasty too? Keto or not, it’s worth getting your fingers on.($18; amazon.com)
7. CB’s Creamunchy Peanut Butter
CB’s Nuts uses the highest quality U.S.A. grown peanuts and doesn’t add any B.S. ingredients. Seriously, it’s just peanuts. Can’t decide between crunchy or smooth? Why should you? This creamunchy peanut butter finds that sweet spot between the two. Plus, they barrel roast their nuts before grinding them up to create an even richer flavor profile that’ll knock your nut-butter loving socks off.($15 for 2; amazon.com)
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