Ahh, peanut butter—you evil blond temptress.
For years (decades, really), I’ve had a love affair with the stuff. Extra crunchy Jif was my main squeeze, but I’d take it any way it came: spreadably smooth, natural, or chock full o’ nuts.
In my starving-grad-student days (and my even leaner post-grad-first-job years), I bought institutional-size drums of peanut butter and strawberry jam. I rationed bread by having “PBJS” dinners—that’s peanut butter and jelly on a spoon. Grab both containers and a tablespoon, head to couch, alternate PB and J spoonfuls, wash it down with a huge glass of milk. Commence carb coma.
Weight Watchers prides itself on being a program that allows everything in moderation. I find that to be both true and awesome. By choosing smaller portions or substituting ingredients, I’ve made peace with many of my former junk food staples.
There are, however, a handful of foods I haven’t been able to adapt to the WW plan. Mac and cheese, for instance (did you know that there are more than TWO servings in a box of Kraft Mac and cheese? That shit ain’t right.) And, of course—peanut butter. Two tablespoons = 5 Points+. Five. FIVE. That’s a seventh of my daily Points, in two measly tablespoons of the stuff. And by the way, have you seen a tablespoon lately? My PBJ sandwiches of yore were heaped and slathered with mountains of peanut butter—certainly not lightly frosted with two measly #@$!*% tablespoons worth.
Since January, my Jif jar has been sitting untouched, mournful and alone, in my pantry. I have done my best to ignore my salty-sweet spreadable peanut cravings. But no more! Friends: meet PB2.
Okay, what the hell is PB2 and why is it so amazing?
Let me give you the scoop (pun intended). The official dealio, according to the Bell Plantation website: “PB2 reduces fat through a chemical-free process. PB2 is all natural, preservative free, and contains no artificial sweeteners. And that makes it a sweet alternative for active lifestyles, dieters, and moms who want healthy snacks for their kids.”
PB2 isn’t your typical peanut butter experience. It’s powdered and packed in freeze-dried foil bags like coffee. You can mix with water to make traditional peanut butter, or create peanut-flavored novelties by adding to smoothies, cake or brownie mixes, bran muffins, Cool Whip—the options are endless.
How does it taste?
PB2 is pretty delicious—but if you’re expecting an exact replica of peanut butter you’ll be disappointed.
The reason it’s so much lower in calories and fat is because much if its oil has been removed. That reflects in its taste and consistency. Have you ever drained the oil from a jar of natural peanut butter? Think of a smoother version of that. It looks and smells like the real deal, and spreads fairly easily, but it feels drier and slightly less creamy in your mouth. It’s also not as sweet as I was accustomed to—think crushed roasted nuts, not a sweetened spread. As a true peanut lover, I find this to be a plus.
So, is it good for you?
Naturalist foodies will be happy to know that the company’s “preservative free” claim is true; there are just three ingredients: peanuts, sugar, and salt.
As for WW, it is much lower in Points. Two tablespoons of PB2 = 1 PP versus 5 in traditional peanut butter. I ate four tablespoons today (FOUR!!!) slathered on rice cakes and topped with chopped walnuts and sliced banana for a hearty, filling, satisfying breakfast.
I even licked the knife, just like old times. Welcome back, old friend!