Whether you’re entertaining a vegan, a newly found vegan, or exploring a more plant-based diet, you may be wondering…is peanut butter vegan?
Is Peanut Butter Vegan?
Simply put, yes! Peanut butter is vegan. However, that doesn’t mean that all peanut butter is created equal. Often times popular commercial brands of peanut butter contain palm oil, some form of sugar, and salt.
Now, salt in peanut butter is no big deal as it usually enhances the roasted peanut/nutty flavor. However, palm oil is usually sourced from the palm oil plant that contributes to environmental degradation as many rainforest acres are cut down for palm oil trees, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting habitat for many species as no animals eat the palm fruit where the oil is derived. If you are a vegan concerned about animal welfare and the environment, there is a good chance you avoid foods and cosmetics made with palm oil. In this case, it can be advantageous to find a peanut butter made without palm oil …and many of them exist. Some of my favorite palm oil free vegan peanut butters include Teddie’s Peanut Butter, Crazy Richard’s Peanut Butter, and Santa Cruz Dark Roasted Peanut Butter (so warm, earthy and rich tasting!). There are certainly more than these 3 but I find the taste and ingredients to be fantastic in these vegan peanut butters. Now, peanut butter with palm oil will be more emulsified (meaning the oil layer won’t be there), but what’s so bad about a hefty stir?? Personally, I’d rather stir my peanut butter and save the environment than worry about how convenient an evenly blended vegan peanut butter is. ….what about you??
When it comes to sugar….personally as a plant-based vegan dietitian, I don’t see the purpose or need for sugar in peanut butter and while many of these peanut butters are vegan, I don’t think they are the healthiest or best choice. Along with choosing a peanut butter that is palm oil free, it can also be helpful to choose a peanut butter without added sugar. The three I previously mentioned are also sugar free. Again, my favorite peanut butters to consume and recommend (and trust, I’ve seen my way around many peanut butters in my vegan journey!) include Teddie’s Peanut Butter, Crazy Richards Peanut Butter, and Santa Cruz Dark Roasted Peanut Butter. Other great options are out there for vegan peanut butter brands, but these options are nutritionally dense without filler ingredients like palm oil, salt, or sugar.
What is your favorite vegan peanut butter brand?? Curious to know and since peanut butter is a staple for many vegans (including myself), I’m always excited to try new products!