"So what are you up to this weekend?"
It's a common question exchanged between friends on any given Wednesday or Thursday. It's summer, so a typical response might be "yardwork, family parties, neighborhood cookouts, festivals, kid's baseball games", etc. But it's not everyday you get to tell someone you're going to a Peanut Butter Tasting Party. Just two weeks ago, that's exactly what I did.
Sadly, Jen could not attend this Tasting party because it turned out to be the one day that worked best to see her father, because he would be unavailable on Father's Day. And since family always comes first, she had to forgo the Peanut Butter Tasting....sad for us.....
Carrie was our fabulous host this month and that crazy girl bought enough Peanut Butter and Chocolate to make a whole school full of children happy! I believe Carrie said that once she walked down the aisle of Whole Foods and started grabbing jars off the shelves, she just couldn't stop herself. And THEN she noticed you could churn your own fresh peanut butter, so of course, she reasoned that we must try them all!
So we did! We tried....
Crazy Richard's 100% Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
Joseph's Sugar Free Crunchy Valencia Peanut Butter
Earth Balance Natural Peanut Butter with Flaxseed-Creamy
365 Organic-Unsweetened Crunchy Soynut Butter (peanut free)
Fresh Ground: Honey Roasted Peanut Butter
Fresh Ground: Organic Dry Roasted Peanut Butter
Fresh Ground: Unsalted Cashew Butter
Fresh Ground: Dry Roasted Almond Butter
Fresh Ground: Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
Patty contributed to the party by bringing one of her favorites....
We tested these peanut butters on spoons, crackers, celery, apples, and of course chocolate. The opinions varied greatly from one peanut butter to another in regards to which tasted better on what. Some liked one better with the cracker, while others thought it tasted best with the apple. As shocking as it may sound, from one butter to the next, everyone seemed to agree that they all tasted great with chocolate.
Which peanut butter was the winner, you ask?
Well, that honor belongs to the Freshly Ground Honey Roasted Peanut Butter, ground so fabulously by Carrie herself. It was the unanimous favorite - hands down. The sweet taste of honey paired with the roasted toasted nuts made for an irresistible combination that tasted great with everything from the spoon to the celery, and of course, the chocolate.
Second place went to Earth Balance Natural Peanut Butter with Flaxseed. Everybody agreed that this was simply a smooth, great tasting peanut butter. The fact that it had the awesome nutritional benefits of the Flaxseed Oil and the fabulous natural sweetener Agave in it were two big bonuses to the already great peanut butter flavor. This is the perfect everyday butter to buy for you and your family. Most likely, you can find this in the health food section of your local grocery store.
Crazy Richards 100% Natural Peanut Butter (pictured at the tippy top) that contained peanuts and NOTHING else was our third favorite. Because there was no sweetener added, all you tasted was pure peanuts - nothing else. There was something refreshing about that.
Shelly, a newbie to the Food Tasting Parties, who had only eaten Jif up until this day, found that not only did she really like the three peanut butters honored above, but she really took a liking to the the Almond Butter as well. She liked it so much she tried to smuggle it home in her purse. KIDDING! Carrie did send it home with her as a sort of parting gift though. In fact, we all got to take one of our favorites home.
That is except for the Fresh Ground Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. Guess who got to keep that one? Yep - Carrie, the hostess! Actually, as much as we all loved that one and decided it was in a league of it's own and more like a dessert-type delicacy, we thought it only fair that our wonderful host get to pig out on that one. But let me tell you, that Chocolate Hazelnut was truly divine!
Only one Peanut Butter got the literal two thumbs down, twisted face reaction, and quick as lightening rejection. That would be the Soynut Butter. Talk about Yuk! Blaaah! Not even the chocolate could save that one and trust me, we tried. Chocolate is a powerful and wonderful thing that God from up above, has given us to keep us content until it's time to meet him again in heaven, but even something that powerful could not save the Soynut Butter from it's awful flavor.
The Cashew and Almond Butter are common substitutes for peanut butter for health reasons and even though we appreciated the flavor, it did not taste like peanut butter. However, the cashew and almond butter, and even the Sunbutter Patty brought - made from Sunflower Seeds - can be interchanged with peanut butter if you start when your kids are young. The Sunbutter is good for anyone needing to avoid all tree nuts. If your children are used to the distinct peanut butter flavor, they might pick up on the difference, but many children like it just the same. Sometimes, it's nice to shake things up a bit!
Enough about Peanut Butter!
Enough about Peanut Butter!