You’ve slowly been working your way up to a plant-based diet. Good job, you. But as you wean yourself off poultry and fish, you may be wondering about other ways to get protein. Your gut says to rely on a timeless classic, PB&J—but is peanut butter vegan? The answer is simpler than you think.
Is Peanut Butter Vegan?
The short answer is duh, of course! Most peanut butter—fancy or not—is usually nothing but ground peanuts and salt. Sometimes, peanut butter is made with added oils or sugar, but that doesn’t make it non-vegan. The only common ingredient you’ll have to keep an eye out for is honey. Since that comes from bees, peanut butter containing honey isn’t vegan.
Is Peanut Butter Healthy?
Peanuts have lots of monounsaturated fats, which prove to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. Peanut butter is also low-carb and nutrient rich, containing lots of vitamin E, niacin, phosphorus and magnesium. Two tablespoons of PB also boast about 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. The only downside? It has about 16 grams of fat per serving (aka 25 percent of your daily recommended intake). So, as long as you measure how much PB you’re spreading on a sandwich or dumping into a smoothie, it’s a healthy, plant-based protein you can depend on. But if you overdo it, it can get real fatty real fast.
If you’ve explored other nut butter options, like almond butter, you may be wondering which is healthier. While both peanut and almond butter have almost the same calories, protein and carbs, peanut butter has a bit less fat per tablespoon. Almond butter, on the other hand, just barely wins in the fiber department. When you’re shopping for your next jar, check the label’s nutrition facts if you’re interested: The simpler the ingredients (as in, butters made strictly from nuts with no added oils), the better for you it probably is.
How to Store Peanut Butter
Here are a few tips for keeping your peanut butter smooth and creamy for as long as possible.
- Keep it tightly sealed in a cool, dry, dark place.
- Store it upside down in the pantry so the oil gets evenly distributed throughout the jar instead of pooled at the top.
- If you don’t finish the jar in less than three months, move it to the fridge. This extends its shelf life by another three or four months.
- Don’t dip from the jar. We know, we love to do it too when we’re feeling lazy. But leaving traces of other food in the peanut butter can make it go bad faster.
Ready to cook? Here are 5 recipes made with peanut butter that can easily be turned vegan (if they aren’t already).
- Salted Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie
- Cocoa Peanut Butter Granola
- Rainbow Collard Wraps with Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce
- Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
- Overnight Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana