We Try 6 Different Trader Joe's Nut Butters

Categories: Taste Test

Photo by Cleo Tobbi
Enough to cause a panic attack

I never understood why there were so many different nut butters at Trader Joe's. You can get peanut butter, almond butter, cookie butter, sunflower seed butter, so many other butters, many available in creamy, crunchy, salted, unsalted, organic or normal. Wow. Needless to say, TJ's nut butter wall is the stuff of panic attacks.

But how are the nut butters even different? How's the crunchy, salty peanut butter compare to the raw, organic almond butter? Or the crunchy, salty and organic peanut butter for that matter. Well, I did it. I braved the wall of butters to try six different nut butters. Sunflower; crunchy, salted peanut; organic, crunchy, salted peanut; raw, crunchy salted; and better'n peanut butter are all here, with a special guest of crunchy cookie butter. What's the difference? Well..

Peanut Butters

Photo by Cleo Tobbi
Careful! Can be pointy

Trader Joe's offers peanut butter in organic, non-organic, salted, unsalted, smooth, crunchy and "Better'n" versions. This time around, we'll be looking at the crunchy and salted non-organic and organic peanut butters, as well as the better'n -- just out of morbid curiosity.
Photo by Cleo Tobbi
The original!

The non-organic peanut butter is wonderful (and is actually my go-to peanut butter). It's a pretty standard jar of crunchy peanut butter, and it's not as sweet as the name brand butters tend to be. You can eat it sans guilt, knowing that the only ingredients in the jar are, as my sister would say, "straight up peanuts."

The same, unfortunately, can't be said for the organic peanut butter.

While the regular Trader Joe's peanut butter uses dry-roasted peanuts, the organic peanut butter uses non-roasted peanuts, and I'm not sure where to begin explaining my disdain for the organic jar.

How different could the organic and non-organic peanuts butter actually be?

So. Totally. Different.

For one, the earthy flavor you get with the organic peanut butter isn't so much an pleasant undertone or hint as a full-on top note. The organic peanut butter is just earthy -- it's almost like eating a jar of mud. Normally, I can't find something at Trader Joe's that I wouldn't eat twice, but I can't help but despise Trader Joe's organic, crunchy, salted peanut butter. It's a waste of peanuts.

Photo by Cleo Tobbi
The imposter!

Then there's the Better'n peanut butter. The name's verging on false advertising, because it's not better n' anything. While apparently low in sugar, this sorry excuse for peanut butter is almost inedible with how sweet it is. I don't care that it's 85 percent less fat than regular peanut butter -- it's also 85 percent worse. At least, when it's between bread.

However, while it may not be my favorite thing for lunch, I know first hand that the Better'n peanut butter -- really more of a paste -- makes for a pretty killer dessert. Dollop the low sodium, trans fat-free, saturated fat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, cholesterol-free, preservative-free peanut butter substitute on top of some vanilla ice cream and you almost feel healthy.

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