Wednesday 20 November 2019

Personal Shopper: Crunchy peanut butter

Peanut butter is a kitchen staple, writes Katy McGuinness, but there are big variations in quality and price, and some contain controversial ingredients, while others are more straightforward.

Whole Earth Organic Peanut Butter
Whole Earth Organic Peanut Butter

Whole Earth Organic Peanut Butter. 9/10, Widely available, 227g, €4.55

Does it taste of peanuts? Tick. Is it crunchy? Tick. Any nasties? Er, that depends on your view of organic palm oil, which is certainly less objectionable than regular palm oil but may not be wholly saintly. Our testers were universally enthusiastic about this peanut butter, which contains nothing other than nuts, oil and sea salt, and said that they would be happy to eat it not just in a sandwich or on toast but also straight off the spoon. That's an endorsement. Contains 595 calories and 46g of fat per 100g.

Pip & Nut Crunchy Peanut Butter. 8/10, Specialist retailers, 225g, €3.20

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Pip & Nut Crunchy Peanut Butter
 

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There's a deep layer of oil across the top of this jar of peanut butter, something that our testers found off-putting, but the ingredients list shows that the peanut butter within is comprised of 99.5pc peanuts, with the only other ingredient being sea salt.

That's admirable, but the peanut butter just isn't as delicious as the one from Whole Earth, and it isn't organic. Contains 612 calories and a whopping 52g of fat per 100g.

Panda American Style Crunchy Peanut Butter. 4/10, Widely available, 340g, €2 (SuperValu special offer)

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Panda American Style Crunchy Peanut Butter
 

Cheap and cheerful, this 'American-style' option is the peanut butter to buy if you and your family aren't too bothered about deforestation, climate change and other environmental issues in countries where palm oil is produced.

This contains 40pc peanuts and has added sugar, the only one of the peanut butters tested that does - there are 11g of sugar per 100g. The only other ingredient is 'fully hydrogenated palm oil'. Contains 580 calories and 48g of fat per 100g.

Irish Independent

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