Friday, May 25, 2012

Healthy Peanut Butter – A Review

Peanut butter has long been a rather guilty pleasure with me. I discovered the allure of toast with peanut butter and jam (or jelly) in the sixth form of school. On cold winter afternoons after the ritual torture of hockey in the mud and rain, we’d huddle round the countertop grill, making and burning endless rounds of sliced bread toast, which were then thickly spread with peanut butter and blackcurrant jam. As the grill and tea and coffee making area was immediately outside the door of our study it was impossible to resist the smell of slightly singed toast and join in the feasting.

In the interests of strict historical accuracy, I should add that I more often than not skipped hockey and elected to play squash instead, which had the advantage of being played inside in the dry and was unsupervised, perfect for the games slacker that I was... and still am if truth be told.

Ever since it has been an occasional comfort food and I recently discovered that it is great with marmalade too. But standard peanut butters are loaded with refined sugars, hydrogenated fats and salt, so despite all the useful protein from the nuts I’ve never been able to pretend it was healthy, and as my kids never really took to it I often leave it out of the shopping trolley altogether.

So I was quite excited when Crede, the natural oil company, offered to send me their new healthy peanut butter to try. It’s called Oh Mega because of the omega 3 rich flaxseed oil used in it. Honey replaces sugar, egg white powder stops the oils separating and vitamin E is a natural preservative.
So all the ingredients are healthy enough for guilt-free peanut butter indulgence, but what about the taste? Is it a patch on the old unhealthy stuff?

Well yes, I liked it. The flavour is all peanut as you’d expect, just sweet enough to appeal to the kids too (to my surprise my non-peanut butter eating children tried this and liked it). The taste is slightly milder than regular peanut butter (that would be the absence of salt), but has just enough oomph to take a layer of jam on top. Any salt fiends out there might want to add a sprinkling of their own to their pbj sandwich, but the lack of salt will be a major plus point for a lot of healthy eaters out there who are trying to reduce consumption.

The honey and flaxseed oil gives it a slightly runnier consistency than usual, which doesn’t actually matter to me, as I spread it fairly thinly anyway, but might bother you if you like to spread mouth-cloggingly thick layers of peanut butter on your bread!

One thing to remember is that flaxseed oil shouldn’t be heated to high temperatures, meaning that this peanut butter isn’t going to be ideal for peanut butter cookies, so I’m going to be looking out for some non-bake peanut butter recipes to try with this – anyone got any ideas?

All in all I’d definitely get this in future instead of the old, less healthy brand. Apparently it is being stocked by some of the Spars, so I’ll have to work on our local branch to get it in for me!

Disclaimer: The Oh Mega peanut butter was sent to me as a free sample to review, the opinions are however unbiased by this generosity!


  1. I hardly ever buy peanut butter because the only kinds I can find in my small town grocery are loaded with palm oil and sugar. For awhile, I could find a brand from England that was semi-healthy, but they stopped carrying it. I must have been the only one buying it. I'll have to look for the Ohb Mega brand at the health food store in Aix the next time I go there.

  2. Good luck finding another healthy brand there, Meredith. I don't think that Crede ship internationally - they are a South African based company specialising in cold pressed oils and mostly just supply the SA market.

  3. I bet we don't have that stuff here in NY, but we DO have Honeybush tea (Tazo brand) from SA! I think of you every time I drink it.

  4. I don't like peanut butter outside the US cuz it's always loaded with crap. The kind I buy here is all-natural, just peanuts and salt. You have to stir it when you first open the jar as the oil has separated. healthy and yummy. You can make your own by just grinding peanuts, but I never do.

  5. Honey bush tea and rooibos tea are my favourites, Marcheline. I take a pack with me anytime I travel in case I can't get it elsewhere - at least I know I'll be able to get it if I ever come to NY!

    EDJ - most of our brands here are full of palm oil and sugar, which is why I was so pleased to get this one. Hadn't ever tried making my own before, but that's something to bear in mind.

  6. Crede are one of my suppliers so I am really pleased to see this new product from them. I love Earth Products Peanut Butter as it has nothing but peanuts in it :)

  7. god i love those labels! we don't eat much peanut butter at home, actually, none at all, except occasionally for baking... but i have always loved the taste and slightly sticky consistency...


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!