What is PB2? How does it stack up?

I mean really this post will be more about the peanut butter time.

When I was a kid, I always liked the jam more, but as I have grown, I have realized the peanut butter is really the start of the PB & J show.

I posted a picture a little while ago on my Instagram with a Fruit & Pb2 Concoction I made last week (which was awesome by the way).

Strawberries, Plain Greek Yogurt, PB2, and a teeny bit of Stevia

Strawberries, Plain Greek Yogurt, PB2, and a teeny bit of Stevia

I received a lot of positive feedback on my picture as well as people asking me “What is PB2?”

So here it is- my special peanut butter blog post.

As I said before I used to be more “team jam”, but since I have been running a lot more peanut butter has been an absolute savior to me.  I use it A LOT more now than I ever did as a way to get protein (I even put that stuff in my oatmeal).  My only problem with traditional peanut butter is the abundance of calories one serving packs (~190), and the amount of saturated fat (~3g).  I really try to watch my saturated and trans fat intake as I have a very significant family history for heart disease so any little bit helps right?

MyFitness Pal Nutrition Info for traditional Jif

MyFitness Pal Nutrition Info for traditional Jif

So I switched to using more natural versions of peanut butter, and came upon Smart Balance.  Which I do like, but because it is natural it kind of has the oily-ness to it….which kind of bothers my tum sometimes (which I want to avoid happening when I’m on a run).  But with Smart Balance- I am getting the same amount of calories and saturated fat- BUT more poly- and monounsaturated fats- so a fair trade off in my opinion (because I’m not a huge nut eater), and this girl likes getting her MUFAs and PUFAs…..

1 Serving of Smart Balance with Omega 3's

1 Serving of Smart Balance with Omega 3’s

Meanwhile I kept hearing about PB2, and seeing recipes using it on Tone It Up, Nic’s Nutrition, and seeing pics of it on Instagram and Twitter.  Color me intrigued.  So far the only downside is I can only get it at Whole Foods- which isn’t a huge downside- I just spend more money than I need to when I go in there.  But I found it on my last shopping expedition- I snatched up the Chocolate-y PB2 goodness so fast.  And that’s when I realized it is a powder. I legitimately thought “what the eff am I going to do with this?”

1 Serving of PB2

1 Serving of PB2

The first time I made it, I was displeased.  it was too runny.  So…. I added more powder to my water, pb mix, and it wasn’t bad.  I can take a little container of PB2 to work with me, so I can add my PB2 to my oatmeal in the morning.  I also use PB2 as more of my “go to” due to the fact that the calories or much less.  BUT I still use the Smart Balance Peanut Butter to get protein (a little more than PB2), and my good fats- I mean it’s part of my running snack- typically if I am running 9+ miles I’m not that worried about my calorie intake …

Ok Pro’s and cons of PB2

-Pro: PB2 is great if you are REALLY needing to watch your cholesterol, and/or love peanut butter …. like love it wayyyyy too much and need to cut down.

-Con:  Because there is 85% less fat in PB2 that means there will be less fat soluble vitamins/help for absorbing fat soluble vitamins

-Pro: All of the ingredients are pronounceable (roasted peanuts, +/- cocoa powder, salt, sugar)

-Con: It takes a teeeeeeny bit of getting used to in terms of mixing it/consistency BUT:

-Pro: you are completely in control of the consistency that it is.  You can make a big batch or just 2 tablespoons.  You can conveniently add PB2 into smoothies, oatmeal, I add mine into plain Greek yogurt to with little stevia to make a fruit dip.

-Con: It’s not necessarily super easy to find.  I can always get it at Whole Foods.  Or you can order online at Bell Plantation, and use their store locator to search if you can find it at a store near you 🙂

-PB2 is a great way to substitute out some of the calories and saturated fat that traditional peanut butter offers.  I think it can be enjoyed very often as part of a balanced diet- but I don’t think it necessarily needs to be the only “nut butter” used.

I’ll stand up for PB2 all day.  Because I think it is a fantastic alternative to help swap out some calories.  I consider it to be a clean eat, (unlike some people who mask themselves as nutrition/food professionals *sorry Food Babe*- sorry dumb-dumb there is sugar that’s added in your almond butters, and PB2 whether it is labeled “sugar” or “organic evaporated cane sugar”- it’s still sugar, go back to banking and let real professionals advise on nutrition) #rantover.  Albeit some of the great fat soluble vitamins and good fats are removed-  this still has earned its place in my pantry, right next to my Smart Balance (and together they block my Nutella from my view so I don’t devour it in one sitting).

Pro’s and Con’s of Smart Balance

-Pro: A few more ingredients than PB2 but all are pronounceable.

-Con: the weird layer of oily-ness

-Pro: Fantastic sources of MUFAs & PUFAs

-Con: for the 12 g of Monounsaturated fats you also received 190 calories, and 3 g of saturated fat

-Pro: the above numbers in terms of being problematic are only problematic if you are a peanut butter fiend- Smart Balance is still a great addition to that beloved PB & J, or just some nice peanut butter and bagel thing before a race.

-Pro: Smart Balance is Vegan (technically it also seems PB2 is vegan- but remember depending on how things are processed- they may not be considered vegan).

I will likely do a follow up to this with Almond butters because they are getting a lot of hype as well.  But what I will add- just because it’s made form nuts doesn’t mean you can eat it without reading the ingredients, and nutrition facts.  I.e. I love Nutella, but let’s be honest.  Nutella is more of a treat than a daily eat.

Verdict for PB2 & Smart Balance: Daily Eats & Chewy approved.

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2 thoughts on “What is PB2? How does it stack up?

    • HalfRD_HalfHuman says:

      Hi Hope! Well technically anytime a food is “changed” from its original state it is actually considered a processed food (I.e. Bagged spinach is processed, it is minimally processed, but processed all the same). It’s important not to get too caught up in terminology (I.e processed), and focus on nutrients of a food. So in this case specifically since these peanuts are pressed this is a somewhat processed food. Because the peanuts are pressed and there aren’t any oils – there is very little fat (the good fat) in it.

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