The great debate: PB2 or regular peanut butter?
In case you don’t know, PB2 is a powdered peanut butter made by Bell Plantation. It is made through a process where dry-roasted peanuts are pressed, which removes most of the fat.
When ready to use, just mix a 2:1 tbsp ratio of PB2 to water and BAM, suddenly it’s a spread!
While many are drawn to PB2 as a low-cal substitution, I am drawn to PB2 for its short ingredient list (just peanuts, sugar, and salt) and the fact that it is non GMO.
Are the two really comparable, though? When I found out that I needed to increase the amount of protein (I THOUGHT my macros were great, but apparently not), I decided to swap my beloved peanut butter for PB2. Here is what I found:
DISCLAIMER: I have no training in food and nutrition. I’m comparing Bell Plantation’s PB2 to Kraft’s smooth peanut butter simply because it is the peanut butter that I have been using recently. All opinions expressed are my own.
Obviously, the first thing that I tested my new pantry item in was a bowl of hot oatmeal. I used 1/3 cup of oats to 1/2 cup of almond milk and a 2 tbsp mixture of PB2 for this. The result? I couldn’t taste the difference at all!
This is definitely a swap that will become a regular when I want a bowl of PB oats!
Next, I wanted to try it as a spread. I tried this one in two ways – with toppings and on its own. In doing so, I also got it on two types of bases, which, believe it or not, made more of a difference than I imagined.
Of course, I HAD to try out the swap on my PB and banana rice cake, since it is a staple breakfast of mine. To be honest, the results were kind of disappointing.
The biggest difference that I noticed when mixing PB2 is that it has a noticeably “grittier” texture than regular peanut butter. While this didn’t make a difference in the oatmeal, the texture difference WAS apparent when used as a spread. Especially on the rice cakes. It was just too dry for my liking. Now, I used a full serving (2 tbsp), and I don’t usually put this much regular peanut butter on my rice cakes, which might have contributed to the cause. Either way, even with the toppings, I still found it to be more dry than I would have liked.
I also tried it as a spread, using 1 tbsp of PB2 to 1/2 a tbsp of water mixture of PB2, on a crumpet. I actually quite liked this one, which is why I think the rice cakes were just too dry of a base for PB2.
In the end, I think I will stick to regular peanut butter for rice cakes and toast, but it is definitely a fair swap when it comes to fluffier bases.
Lastly, I tested out PB2 as a dip with apple slices and sweet potatoes.
With the apple slices, I was less than impressed. It definitely was not peanut butter. Here was when I really tasted the difference. It was definitely a lot more bland than peanut butter; granted, I should have expected that given the difference in amount of fat. Surprisingly, though, I actually preferred the grittier texture on the apple slices to the usually creamy texture of regular peanut butter.
In the end, whether or not I use PB2 or regular peanut butter as my dip with fruit will just have to depend on what I am feeling on that particular day. Although, I must admit, I will likely be reaching for my jar of crunchy peanut butter for this one.
The sweet potatoes were a completely different story. I didn’t even notice the difference with this one! As a result, I think that this will be a permanent swap! It also worked really well with the carrots (raw and cooked).
PB2 and regular peanut butter each have their own perks. I don’t think anything can replace a good spoonful of creamy peanut butter, but there are so many benefits to PB2 that it definitely has a permanent place in my cupboard as well.
Taste aside, regular peanut butter is much more affordable and convenient. However, like I said, I definitely think it is worthwhile to have a jar of powdered peanut butter as well.
I’m still experimenting with this stuff and I’m curious about baking with it! If you have any recipes please share them with me, so I can further appreciate the PB2 swap!