I am a creature of culinary habit. I eat pretty much the same thing every day for breakfast (oatmeal and yogurt), pack my lunch to work (soup and/or sandwich), and let me wife take the reins for dinner. I don’t typically mess around with what I like, as my work and home lives are unpredictable enough (2 kids under 4 = unpredictible to the max)! So while my initial plan was to pass along some samples from Peanut Butter & Co. to another blogger to review, I made a strange decision – just try it and see how it goes. The end result blew me away.
Ever since I can remember I have eaten Jif Peanut Butter when the situation called for it. I don’t have any complaints about Jif, but upon first taste, the stuff from Peanut Butter & Co. really had me questioning my brand loyalty.
I was sent three full size jars of peanut butter to try:
- White Chocolate Wonderful
- Cinnamon Raison Swirl
- The Bee’s Knees
Additionally I was also sent two Easy Squeezy Peanut Butter Portables in:
- Smooth Operator
- Dark Chocolate Dreams
Ingredients: The first thing I really enjoy about all of these products are their all-natural ingredients. The back of the White Chocolate Wonderful jar lists 7 simple ingredients compared to Jif’s 14 (including a handful that I have no idea how to say or even what they are.
Taste: I am not typically one for flavored condiments. I want my ketchup to taste like tomatos, my mustard to taste like mustard seed, and my peanut butter to taste like peanuts. Mixing in funky stuff typically turns me off. I hesitantly started off my journey with the Bee’s Knees jar, a flavoring of honey-infused flavor to accompany the peanut butter. Now I like peanut butter and honey as much as the next guy, but in the same jar? I just wasn’t convinced. UNTIL I tried it. What I expected to be an overpoweringly sweet honey taste, was instead much more subdued and acted like a gentle honey kick after the peanut butter taste. I was impressed.
White chocolate is my favorite type of “chocolate”. I felt that this flavor also had a pleasantly subdued flavor. There was not an overwhelming chocolate taste, but it was definitely present. I found this one to be a little more “gritty” (though not in a bad way) than the others I tried. I did not enjoy this one on toast, but I think this one would be great on fruit. The company recommends trying it on top of ice cream, which is deliciously interesting idea.
I was very prepared to dislike Cinnamon Raisin. I like raisins plain and dislike them when they are used other recipes (bagels, cakes,etc). But I supririsnly liked this one. I did not get any big chunks of raisin in my jar, which was fine by me. The texture is a little gritty at first, mostly because of the cinnamon that is mixed in. but giving the jar a little stir really eases up on it. It was actually pretty good and I actually slid a second piece of bread in the toaster on my first try, because I wanted another one. It felt like dessert, and much healthier than the ice cream alternatives in my freezer.
The Smooth Operator flavor is their standard peanut butter. Even though it is all natural, they included some palm fruit oil to keep the product “no-stir” by ensuring that the peanut oil won’t separate. It literally has 4 ingredients (peanuts, palm oil, cane juice, and salt). No hydrogenated oils and no High Fructose corn syrup makes me happy. If you are used to a sweeter peanut butter product, you will probably notice a difference, but not enough to really be a big deal in my opinion. I used on crackers and pretzels, and believe this would be a perfect fruit complement.
Dark Chocolate Dreams reminded me a but of Nutella. It had that cocoa taste to it that goes a little hand in hand with the hazlenut spread. My favorite use for this was to include it in my smoothies. I have always like peanut butter in my smoothies to provide more protein and a good taste. This took it a step further and really knocked some standard drinks out of the park.
Ease of Use: This goes more hand in hand with the peanut butter pouches that I received, because if you need me to review the ease of getting peanut butter out of a jar, you have way too much time on your hands. The pouches were all 1.15 ounces and are said to be “ready to eat whenever it strikes your fancy – on a hike, a long car trip, after a workout or a race. It’s perfect for stashing in a purse, tote bag, or lunchbox!”
I will agree that they pouches are very handy and the ability to toss a few in a tote or even your pockets is fantastic. I had a lot of trouble with getting these to come out “peanut buttery”. What I mean by that is I found it to come out of the packages more liquidy than I anticipated. I tried a few subsequent times to “massage” the package a bit before squeezing it out, to sporadic levels of success. The packaging itself says to “knead” before opening and once i realized just exactly how much kneading needed to be done, it came out great! Just be forewarned and maybe have a napkin nearby the first couple times. That being said, it’s still handy and tasty . I already envison plans of packing these on our hiking trips this summer to appease both mine and my kiddo’s tummies.