Peanut butter is a staple in many diets – and for good reasons. It’s calorically dense, portable, it packs a nutritional punch, and it is delicious.
There is a wonderful array of peanut butters that line the shelves of grocery stores. Consumers now have three options when it comes to peanut butter: creamy, chunky, or powdered. With all of these wonderful choices, why would anyone eat powdered peanut butter?
The down side to peanut butter is the 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein for two tablespoons. Half of every serving is fat, but the majority of fats in peanut butter are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated – the good types. These numbers could make you nutty thinking about your waistline, especially if you have trouble sticking with a two-tablespoon serving.
Two tablespoons of powdered peanut butter have 45 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. There’s only one health claim associated with all brands of peanut butter powder and that is that they are much lower in fat and calories than real peanut butter made from creamed peanuts.
How is it Made?
Powdered peanut butter is created by taking all the oil out of peanut butter, leaving a peanut powder. It resembles peanut flour. The texture is very fine and extremely smooth. Powdered peanut butter can be left as powder or to be reconstituted into a paste that tastes similar to peanut butter. For those trying to reduce overall calories, this may not be a bad option.
What You Need to Know
- The naturally-occurring unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) that play a pivotal role in the body’s growth and development, brain function, immunity, and vitamin absorption have been removed.
- Powdered peanut butter doesn’t taste like traditional peanut butter, but it does have a good peanut taste. The flavor of powdered peanut butter is milder than real peanut butter.
- To make up for a lack of flavor, manufacturers add extra sugar, salt, and other processed ingredients to peanut powder (look at the nutrition label information) to replace the fat and make the taste more palatable. If you’re not into the texture, you can combine it with regular peanut butter, which will still cut fat and calories.
- Powdered peanut butter also doesn’t have the same amount of protein, iron, vitamin E, and folate of traditional peanut butter; but then again, it doesn’t have the calories either.
- We are less mindful of serving sizes with reduced fat and low-calorie foods, eating more than we would have if we’d opted for the full-fat variety. We may unwittingly eat more because of the perceived calorie savings.
- Powdered peanut butter isn’t as convenient as regular peanut butter. You have to measure the correct amounts to the powder to use it as a spread.
- Peanut butter powder is more expensive; however, if you’re using it mainly for baking and shakes or smoothies, you probably won’t use as much, so the cost factor wouldn’t be an issue.
When peanut butter is made with strictly peanuts, it is considered a whole food, meaning you are getting the full range of nutrients from the original plant. Consider what the nutrients in your food are doing for your body instead of only counting fat grams and calories consumed. A natural peanut butter made with only peanuts will provide your body with healthy fats, protein, and vitamins that are important for health, and the extra grams of fat may provide a fuller, more satisfied feeling than a low-fat alternative resulting in eating fewer, but more nutritionally dense, calories.
On the other hand, if you can stick to the recommended serving size and are simply looking to reduce your calorie consumption, a low-fat, low-calorie peanut-butter substitute can certainly do just that by sparing you both fat and calories.
From more of a culinary point of view, powdered peanut butter does have certain advantages: it doesn’t clump and it incorporates smoothly and easily into smoothies, batters, and more. Plus it can be used in a similar way as flour. So here are some ideas for delicious ways to use peanut butter powder:
- Stir into plain yogurt or a bowl of oats, and swirl in lower-sugar grape jelly to create a PB&J breakfast bowl.
- Add a couple of tablespoons to a smoothie, protein shake, or milk shake.
- Substitute up to one-third of the flour in pancake or waffle batter for a more protein-packed start to your day.
- Dust popcorn with powdered peanut butter! Combine with a little powdered sugar and salt for a sweet take, or combine with crushed red pepper, salt, and lime rind for a savory flavor.
- Make a 50/50 combo of peanut butter powder and whole-wheat flour, and season it with herbs and spices to bread meat and poultry.
- Incorporate it into frosting for cakes or cupcakes.
- Mix it into oatmeal or chocolate-chip cookie dough to add some nutrition and flavor.
- Use it as a topping on frozen yogurt or ice cream.
Whether or not to use powdered peanut butter is completely up to you. If you love peanut butter, it’s best to eat it in its natural whole food state. You’ll reap the full health and taste benefits of the peanut butter without consuming the added salt and sugar found in peanut powders.
You need not worry about peanut butter powder losing the nutritional value of its original form—while it may not have the same amount of nutrients that peanut butter does, the powder still can provide you with nutrition, comparable to other food choices.