So, you’re looking for the best natural peanut butter—but what kind of natural peanut butter? A lot of the big brands make “natural” peanut butter. There’s Skippy Natural peanut butter and JIF Natural peanut butter, both of which claim to be “natural” because they don’t contain preservatives, artificial flavors, or artificial colors. So, if you’re looking for a natural peanut butter that’s preservative free, you have a lot of options. But many of these “natural” peanut butters have a pesky ingredient in common: palm oil. Palm oil is “natural,” sure, but it’s also bad for the environment and bad for your health (it’s incredibly high in saturated fat).
For this taste test, we thought it would be most helpful to find the best all natural peanut butter without palm oil. Since palm oil is a stabilizer that prevents separation in peanut butter, what we’re dealing with here is the oil-on-top, gotta-stir-the-shit-out-of-it variety of peanut butter. If you have an aversion to natural peanut butter you have to stir, I really think you should give it another shot. Once you give it a zshush, it’s runny (in a good way), which makes it great for drizzling on fruit, and it has so much pure, unadulterated peanut flavor. If you try the best tasting natural peanut butter, you won’t want to go back to the other stuff, promise.
- MaraNatha Crunchy Organic Peanut Butter Spread
When it comes to natural peanut butter, crunchy varieties that require stirring can really give you a workout. If you aren’t a human cement mixer, MaraNatha’s crunchy peanut butter is way easier to stir than other natural crunchy peanut butters we tried. Still, it’s packed with nice, big hunks of peanut and it’s palm oil free. The only two ingredients are peanuts and salt, although the label warns that it could contain almonds, too, so if you have a tree nut allergy, be forewarned. This would make a really good PB&J on a super squishy white bread so you can really appreciate the texture of the chunky nut butter.
- Crazy Richard’s 100% Peanuts Creamy
Most natural peanut butter that calls itself “creamy” or “smooth” isn’t actually creamy or smooth. It’s very textured, almost like cement (sorry I keep mentioning cement in the context of peanut butter). But if you want the best tasting natural peanut butter that’s actually creamy, Crazy Richard’s is pretty amazing. It’s oily but super easy to stir because it’s just so creamy. Also, this is the only peanut butter we tried in our taste test that is truly 100% peanuts. No salt or sugar. Just roasty, toasty peanuts. I think a lot of granola moms will like this, especially because it’s cheap as hell at around $3.50 a jar. A lot of natural brands are content to gouge health-conscious shoppers, so good on Crazy Richard for being better than that.
- Laura Scudder’s Smooth Old Fashioned Peanut Butter
Laura Scudder Smooth natural peanut butter is much harder to stir than the #1 natural peanut butter on this list (spoiler: It’s Santa Cruz), but it’s worth the effort. What I like about Laura Scudder natural peanut butter is that it has a little more salt (and that’s reflected in the sodium content, which is still low at 105 mg a serving, but higher than Santa Cruz, which has only 50 mg of sodium a serving). That little bit of salt really brings the flavor of the peanuts to life. If you appreciate that—and you aren’t watching your sodium intake too closely—this is the best natural peanut butter.
- Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roast
I’ve been a fan of Santa Cruz Dark Roast peanut butter since we tried it for our best peanut butter ranking, and, as it turns out, it’s the best tasting natural peanut butter of them all. It’s very viscous and pleasant to eat. It’s like a peanut butter dip. I think the key is the dark roasted flavor. The peanuts are so toasty tasting that the peanut butter itself becomes a total flavor bomb, even without much salt to speak of. If you want something that’s super rustic with a fantastic natural texture and big roasted peanut flavor, this is the best tasting natural peanut butter (and the best peanut butter without palm oil) you can buy.
Best (Actually) Creamy
Best of the Best