What to Eat: A Better Peanut Butter

Americans love their peanut butter. But PB has a problem: a modest serving (2 level tablespoons) has 190 calories. “Reduced Fat” peanut butters are no better. Companies like Jif and Skippy replace some of the fat with carbs, so the calories don’t budge.


That’s why calorie counters will love PB2 (“peanut butter’s second generation”) It’s a powdered peanut butter made by slow roasting and then pressing the peanuts to remove 85 percent of the oil. Just mix 2 tablespoons of PB2 with 1 tablespoon of water and stir.

The result: only 45 calories per serving (which shrinks to 1½ tablespoons), with as much protein (5 grams) and carbs (5 grams) as 1 tablespoons of regular peanut butter.

If a powdered peanut butter seems unnatural, take a look at PB2’s ingredients: roasted peanuts, sugar, and salt. The 1 gram of sugar is nothing to worry about, and PB2 is free from the added oils that you get even in the “natural” lines of peanut butters like Jif, Skippy, and Peter Pan.

Beyond PB&J, PB2 can lighten up your Pad Thai or peanut dipping sauce or salad dressing. And it’s great for travelers and backpackers. Taste? As rich and nutty as regular peanut butter.

Also worth a try: PB2 with Premium Chocolate. The added cocoa powder displaces some peanuts, so the protein drops to 4 grams, but a 1½-tablespoon serving still has just 45 calories.

PB2 is sold at some Whole Foods and natural food stores. If you can’t find it, try amazon.com or bellplantation.com. You may never go back to PB1.

To learn more about the product or find a retailer near you, call Bell Plantation: (229) 387-7238


Other relevant links:

NutritionAction.com doesn’t accept any paid advertising or corporate or government funding. Any products recommended by NutritionAction.com have been vetted by our staff of nutritionists and are not advertisements by the manufacturers.

86 Replies to “What to Eat: A Better Peanut Butter”

  1. What about PB without anything added: simply crushed peanuts, available at Whole Foods and Fairway? Maybe more oils (good ones) and calories but without added sugar and salt.

  2. My husband has a peanut butter sandwich (on whole wheat bread) almost every day. We look for brands (sometimes organic, sometimes not) that have the lowest sodium and no added sugar, just peanuts and salt. Why is is necessary to put sugar in PB2? (Answer: Americans have a sugar obsession, and the sugar lobby is very powerful…) We may try this once, but I bet we’ll go back to our regular brands (usually Teddy All-Natural).

  3. I like PB2, too, but it is a shame about the sugar content. I prefer natural, unsweetened (albeit salted) peanut butter and if they offered an unsweetened version, I would snap it up!!

  4. Here we go with processing. I will stick with the organic, ground peanuts, nothing added! I’d bet I end up eating less anyway.

  5. While I wouldn’t say it’s as rich and nutty as regular peanut butter, it is a good substitute. I tried it in a smoothie with a frozen banana, almond milk, cocoa, and honey, and it was delicious.

  6. When the PB2 makers make some without the added sugar I would love to try it. I believe it will taste as good so why use the sugar? In the mean time I’ll stick to my organic peanuts only peanut butter.

  7. Peanuts that are not organic carry a residue of pesticides. This is of concern, particularly in regard to children. Is there an organic option available, without breaking the bank?

  8. I tried another brand of powdered peanut butter, and did NOT like it – eventually threw it out. The taste was not authentic, and the texture was never smooth, no matter what I tried mixing it with.

    I had high hopes, as I LOVE peanut butter and eat no meat proteins other then fish. Does anyone know if this one has a better taste than others on the market?


  9. Processed. Sugar added. I have purchased it and actually thought it was a pretty good product, but it’s still processed and didn’t work well in recipes which is one of the primary things I use peanut butter for.

  10. I will still stick to grinding my own nuts, reaping the natural benefits of the oils (nature intended nut butters to have) and skip the processed, refined, powders any day. America, lets try eating in MODERATION – and increasing our physical activity instead of relying on products like these to cut calories.

  11. I make a “skinny shake” with it: 1/3 to 1/2 frozen banana; 3/4 cup almond milk (or regular works also); 2 Tbs PB2 (reg or chocolate). Blend in blender or I use a Cuisinart Stir Stick. Yummy, filling and not much over 100 calories and lots of protein. Good mid afternoon snack. Got the recipe from our trainer.

  12. Yes, PB2 is a different approach to PB, but if you plan your meals right, the natural PBs better provide the PB addict with the great creamy taste of PB. The manufacturers of the regular ol’ PB s take out the peanut oil and replace it with tropical oils… very bad highly saturated oils. The natural PB leaves in the peanut oil, a very healthy oil, and has no tropical oils. A few times a week I eat natural PB with an apple or mixed into fat free yogurt. So PB2 is OK and healthy, but it is to natural PB as instant coffee is to real coffee. Life is too short for OK food. Plan your meals and fit natural PB into a well-planned diet.

  13. I’ll have to try it! I usually buy the natural peanut butter with NO added salt or sugar…….so, I wish they had not added the salt and sugar to the PB2. I imagine they have to appeal to the mass populations taste, though.

  14. I have a question. Is the process a mechanical one, making PB2 as natural as flour and nonfat milk, or is it a chemical one, making it as unnatural as decaf coffee?

    I’ve been using PB2 to replace part of the peanut butter in my Pad Thai sauce. We need a bit of fat to thicken the sauce, but it lightens it some. I also enjoyed it in home made chocolate / peanut butter frozen yogurt.

  15. How much salt is in a serving? I usually buy a “no salt added” brand of peanut butter, so I am reluctant to trade fat for too much salt.

  16. I bought and tried this several months ago. My first impression was “I’m not sure I like this”. However, after a couple of tries I got used to the powdered form and learned how to make/mix just the right consistency.
    Now, I use it every time to replace the full fat peanut butter.
    Thanks for the ideas about how to use it in receipts. I never thought about that!

  17. Why does it need sugar at all – yuck! That puts me off right there!Why does EVERYTHING have to have sugar it it? I like my pb plain, just salt.

  18. No thanks. I’ll stick with plain old peanut butter — made of peanuts — with no salt, no sugar, no oils, no anything added. As for how much I eat? I’d be hard pressed to eat 2 tablespoons in one sitting. I’ll take moderate intake of real food any day, over consuming processed food. Which is what PB2 sounds like to me.

  19. I thought the oil in peanut butter, being heavily weighted toward polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, is actually good for you. Am I wrong?

  20. The math in this article doesn’t add up. It states that one serving of PB2 has 45 calories per serving (of 1.5 T when mixed with water) — yet still has 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbohydrate. But 5 grams of protein has 45 calories (9 cal/gm), as does 5 grams of carbohydrates (9 cal/gm). That’s a total of 90 calories per serving. And there is residual oil left — about 15% of the original amount (if 85% is removed, as stated in the article). How many calories per serving does it contribute? Also, if you consume an equivalent amount of real butter peanut — 1.5 T — as PB2 (the 2 T of PB2 mixed into 1 T water, resulting in 1.5 T serving size), the calories in a serving of real peanut butter shrinks to about 142 calories per serving. Plus, how much sodium is there per serving of PB2? Why is this article silent on this point? Is this really Nutrition Action speaking?? Or is this a paid-for-plug for PB2?

  21. ps: 1 gram of sugar adds 9 calories, resulting in 99 calories per 1.5 T serving of PB2. How can the article state that this added sugar “is nothing to worry about?” Note that the added sugar could actually be as high as 1.5 gm (or more?) by legally allowed “rounding” in the nutritional label.

  22. I wonder why they have to put the sugar in? It would be more appealing if they didn’t. Th peanut butter is use just has peanuts and salt and it is delicious. If it didn’t have the sugar it would sound more appealing.

  23. stir either the plain PB2 or better yet, the Chocolate PB@ into low fat and/or low sugar ice cream for a special higher protein dessert – yum! high satiety value due to the extra protein. reasonable alternative dessert for diabetics.

  24. I found PB2 when it was offered in a protein drink at the YMCA where I work out. I started ordering it through Bell Plantation. Good company and a decent price. Now I have introduced it to my coffee shop. Love the stuff and the protein it offers without all the calories.

  25. How about just eating natural peanut butter. Just peanuts ground up, with a little salt to enhance the flavor. No sugar at all. Tastes so much better than with sugar added.

  26. Wow. This sounds great! I love peanut butter, but have stayed away from it because of the calories. I can’t wait to find a retailer so I can try this PB2 for myself! Thanks for the great news!

  27. Nutrition Action, you have finally disappointed me after all these years. No doubt, when PB2 came on the market, it made peanut butter suddenly more portable, requiring no refrigeration. There is nothing unhealthy about peanut butter in the raw. I agree, food manufacturers have muddied the waters when it comes to making a good decision on what to put on you toast in the morning. Peanut Butter is 80% unsaturated fat which can help lower LDL. You will find only about 2 gm of saturated fat in a serving of PB. Further, studies show that eating peanut butter in moderation does NOT promote weight gain.

    Tell me again, why you approve of removing the fat from peanut butter?

    1. The key word here is MODERATION. Perhaps some of us PB lovers have a problem with that! As a weight watcher, the points value of PB2 is a lot less than regular PB…and delicious in my protein shakes!

  28. Try buying natural PB, let sit unstirred, then pour off some or all of the oil that rises to the top after a day or so.
    I wouldn’t place the PB in the refrigerator until you stir it after the settling: the PB gets very hard once the oil has left it and the PB is cold (unless it was stirred at room temperature.
    I wouldn’t get rid of all the peanut oil, simply because it is a fat that has a lot of health benefits!

  29. Why the sugar? We eat peanut butter, or peanut butter with salt, no other additives. I like the idea of reduced fat, but I don’t want my peanut butter flavored like Skippy and the others you mention.

  30. Thank you! I have never heard of this! For a quick snack I like a teaspoonful of peanut butter, self ground , from local health food store; for some reason that satisfies my hunger! I diffidently will inquire about this powder seeing the calorie difference!

  31. Yes, but pressing out natural oils means losing heart healthy mono- and poly- unsaturated fats essentially leaving no nutritional value to the food item with the exception of 5g of protein. I think it’s important to consider dietary quality with this product. A better alternative is to use the unsalted peanut grinder at Whole Foods or a local health foods store. This has no additives and is as natural as possible. A 2 T serving is just enough to satisfy a PB craving and tastes so good with sliced fruit or on whole grain toast.

  32. I love PB2 and have gone through many jars of it. Recently I discovered that by adding about a teaspoon of freshly ground almond butter it tastes even better without adding too much fat. Yum. It’s also good mixed with ice cream or blended into a blender drink.

  33. Wow….I just found out my 20 something year old son has been eating this for months. I tasted the PB2 with chocolate and it is delicious and satisfying. I am hooked!

  34. I have been using PB2 for two years. I love my PB2 and banana sandwiches. I have not tried to cook or bake with it, although you can download some good looking recipes from Bell Plantations’ website.

  35. The only thing I worry about is the added sugar. But, as you said, 1 gram is not much to worry about if you only eat one serving.

  36. Shame on whoever concocted this gustatory outrage !

    Certainly we could devise some form of punishment to the
    developers….a response similar to waterboarding….only using PB2 in place of water….maybe that would stop PB2.

    NOTHING on Earth can replace ordinary organic peanut butter
    spread made only of organically grown and ground Valencia peanuts….no salt or anything else to adulterate the pure form of the most important food element in my diet for the past 87+ years.

  37. For all those who missed salesmanship 101, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. We have a long track record of manipulating food, repackaging it, marketing it and then somehow thinking we are getting a bargain or some healthier version. REAL whole food good; manipulated “new and improved”, not so good.

    I smell a rat here and will continue to eat freshly ground roasted peanuts when I want peanut butter.

  38. Another good one is the natural peanut butter from Smuckers – just peanuts and water. They have creamy, crunchy, organic and reduced fat types. No other additives and no sugar or salt.

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