Peanut butter is a food paste made by grounding dry-roasted peanuts. People often use peanut butter as a spread on bread and other baked goods to enhance their flavor. But most importantly, it’s a cheap and rich source of all sorts of nutrients, such as vitamin E, dietary fiber, protein, and more. Overall, it’s an excellent product. Perhaps the only issue with peanut butter is its relatively high-calorie content.
However, if you’ve been keeping up with the news, you may be familiar with PB2—a low-calorie alternative to peanut butter. Now, you already know that peanut butter is vegan, but is PB2 the same?
PB2, much like peanut butter, primarily contains peanuts. It rarely has an animal byproduct as an ingredient; if it does, it’s usually because the PB2 in question is a variation.
Of course, that’s not all there is to PB2. If you wish to learn more, you might want to continue reading.
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A Brief Overview Of PB2
We’ve already covered that PB2 is vegan, but what is PB2, exactly?
Well, to start with, PB2 is essentially peanut butter, but in a powder version. Manufacturers produce PB2 by grinding the peanuts into a fine powder, but not before extracting the natural oils from the nuts.
That’s precisely why PB2 has a much lower calorie content than regular peanut butter, 85% fewer calories, to be exact. However, this also means that PB2 has a much lower fat content than peanut butter as well, which, if you didn’t know, is actually a downside. This is because the fat and oils in peanuts are mostly healthy. This explains why several experts are concerned about the nutritional value of PB2.
What Are The Ingredients Of PB2?
PB2 primarily consists of three ingredients, namely:
- Roasted peanuts
Note that these are also the ingredients used to make peanut butter, although PB2 uses larger amounts of sugar and salt to compensate for the lower fat content. The main difference between the two is simply the manufacturing method. Also, as you can see, these three ingredients are all undoubtedly vegan.
However, keep in mind that much like peanut butter, there are several variations of PB2 that may contain additional ingredients or additives that aren’t present in the regular PB2 and are potentially non-vegan.
After looking into ten items from PB2 Foods’ product line, here are the ingredients we found:
- Monk fruit extract
- Pre and probiotics
- Brown rice protein
Again, all of these are vegan, so it’s safe to assume that PB2 and its variations are generally vegan.
Furthermore, several companies that manufacture PB2 state that they don’t use GMOs, preservatives, and artificial flavors to create their products. In conclusion, PB2 is overall a vegan-friendly product.
But then again, why should you choose PB2 over regular peanut butter?
PB2 Vs Traditional Peanut Butter
Apart from their manufacturing process, PB2 and peanut butter also differ in terms of nutritional value.
The difference in nutritional value appeals to customers since they’d assume one is healthier than the other. In that regard, this section will go over the differences between the two in terms of nutrition.
PB2 Has Lower Calorie Content
As mentioned earlier, PB2 has fewer calories than regular peanut butter because the fats that contain most of the calorie content of peanut butter have been removed. The difference is 85%. So, if a tablespoon of peanut butter has 190 calories, the same amount of PB2 would only contain 40 calories.
Since consuming high amounts of calories often results in obesity and similar symptoms, it’s a top-rated product among weight loss enthusiasts. And that’s not the only reason for this.
Peanut Butter Is Richer In Fat
Another known fact about peanut butter is it’s rich in fat, containing over 8 grams per tablespoon.
However, its powdered version—PB2, has just 1.5 grams of fat from the same serving. In other words, PB2 has about 80% lower fat content than peanut butter. But is having fewer fats beneficial in any way?
Actually, yes. This is because certain peanut butter brands add vegetable fats to their products.
If you didn’t know, vegetable fats and oils are known to increase the likelihood of being overweight and obese. You’re effectively promoting weight loss by eliminating these oils from your diet.
This, and the fact that PB2 has a lower calorie content, makes it an excellent weight-loss aid.
PB2 Contains Fewer Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins are nutrients that are often present in foods rich in fats. The body also absorbs these vitamins the same way it absorbs fat, hence the name. Peanuts are particularly rich in these kinds of nutrients. But as one might imagine, eliminating a considerable amount of fats from peanuts would also result in a lower amount of fat-soluble vitamins. Therefore, PB2 contains fewer nutrients.
So, while it does work like a charm as a weight loss aid, it’s not as healthy as regular peanut butter. Not only does it contain less healthy fats, but it also has fewer fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins D, A, and K.
PB2 Has Added Salt And Sugar
Due to the lower fat content, PB2 typically lacks the rich and creamy flavor of regular peanut butter.
To improve its taste, manufacturers often add more sugar and salt to PB2 products than regular peanut butter, though not by a huge margin. Since the nutritional value of salt and sugar mainly comes from their calorie content, the fact that PB2 contains more salt and sugar doesn’t make any difference unless you’re diabetic and are required to steer away from sugar.
That’s pretty much all the differences between the two. Note that there are also similarities between their nutritional value. For example, PB2 and regular peanut butter have the same protein and fiber content.
How Can You Use PB2?
Peanut butter is mainly used to add flavor to foodstuffs, though it’s most commonly used to spread between slices of bread or loaf. You can also use PB2 that way, but if you’re the creative type, you can rejoice that PB2 is more flexible regarding usage.
In that regard, here are some examples of ways you can use PB2:
- Sprinkle into dishes to add peanut flavor
- Blend into smoothies for extra flavor
- Use to add flavor to sauces and dips
- Include it in other beverages
- Turn into filling for treats or sweets
Since PB2 contains fewer fats, it’s more soluble and mixes more easily with all sorts of liquids. Hence, you normally can’t do something with peanut butter; you can do it with PB2, like mixing it with beverages.
Of course, there are things you can do with peanut butter that you can’t do with PB2, like eating it as is, for example. Nevertheless, this should give you an idea of how to use PB2. But if you have yet to get a PB2 product and have no idea which to buy, the next section should give you some ideas.
3 Vegan PB2 Brands You Should Try
While we’ve said again and again that PB2 is generally vegan, you still can’t guarantee its vegan status since some brands may use unorthodox ingredients. With that said, here’s a look at three PB2 brands that are undoubtedly vegan, our reviews on each one, and their macro breakdown:
1. Naked PB
Naked PB got its name because it only contains one ingredient—roasted peanuts. Yes, it doesn’t contain salt or sugar, so it’s an excellent choice if you want to use it mainly to add a peanut flavor to your foods or beverages. It doesn’t overpower the food or beverage’s original flavor and adds more flavor. That’s why it’s one of the favorite brands of those who like smoothies or protein shakes.
2. Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Powder
Perhaps the easiest to stir and turn into the same texture as peanut butter, Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Powder’s PB2 is something you’d most definitely want if you don’t like spending much effort stirring.
It only requires a quick stir with a spoon to form a creamy texture.
Furthermore, the result of a light stir has a much better texture than most PB2 products on the market, as it was pretty difficult to differentiate from your regular peanut butter. Overall, it has an exceptional texture.
Furthermore, the brand offers six different variations, including a sugar-free option.
3. PB Fit
PBfit is one of the cheapest PB2 products on the market. Moreover, it has an awfully similar taste to regular peanut butter and is relatively easy to use. It mixes well and only takes a bit of time and water to get the creamy texture you’d typically find in a jar of peanut butter.
The brand offers several varieties, including a sugar-free variety and a pumpkin spice flavor. Furthermore, some of its variations contain coconut palm sugar, a healthier sweetener alternative.
Due to the controversies about the nutritional value of PB2, there have also been talks on whether it is vegan. But as you may have learned from this article, not only is PB2 vegan, but it’s also not so far off from the nutritional value of peanut butter.
But still, you must remember that too much of everything is always bad, and the same holds for PB2 or peanut butter. While it may have drastically lower calorie content, it can still be unhealthy if you consume too much.