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Britain’s best peanut butter | peanut butter taste test

We tasted 39 different peanut butters, all available on the British high street, to find the very best crunchy, smooth, supermarket, palm oil-free and organic peanut butter. You’ll never guess which supermarket swept the board…

How we conducted our test

Everything was tasted blind, and notes were taken before picking a first and second place peanut butter for each category. We ate them straight up (not even with toast) to fully appreciate the subtleties of flavour between samples.

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Crunchy peanut butter

1st place – Biona organic crunchy peanut butter

Perhaps it’s the fact that Biona doesn’t use any additives (such as palm fat and emulsifiers) that makes this peanut butter special. Rich, salty and definitely the crunchiest of the bunch, we’d love it on our toast any day of the week. It’s also got a refreshingly short ingredients list.

Ingredients: peanuts, sea salt

Price: £3.95/500g, available from healthyfoods-online.com

****

2nd place – Lidl’s McEnnedy ‘American Way’ crunchy peanut butter

Yes, there’s a cartoon peanut on the label. But don’t let that put you off. We loved the robust texture, distinctive roast peanut flavour, and last-minute hit of salt. And surprisingly, it wasn’t too sweet (despite the added brown cane sugar). Plus it’s one of the cheapest peanut butters we tasted, at £1.18/454g.

Ingredients: roasted peanuts, brown cane sugar, palm oil, sea salt

Price: £1.18/454g, available from Lidl


Smooth peanut butter

1st place – Lidl’s McEnnedy ‘American Way’ smooth peanut butter

Lidl triumphs again, with its smooth version of the peanut butter that came second in our ‘crunchy’ test. Perfect salt levels, nice and creamy (some peanut butters can be so dry), with a great depth of flavour and rounded finish. Again, we didn’t detect any added sugar – even though it is there!

Ingredients: roasted peanuts, brown cane sugar, palm oil, sea salt

Price: £1.18/454g, available from Lidl

****

2nd place – Morrisons smooth peanut butter

A good mix of sweet ‘n’ salty, and we also liked the rich colour – sometimes peanut butter can look a little anemic. A great standby jar to have in the cupboard.

Ingredients: peanuts, peanut oil, cane sugar, palm oil, sea salt

Price: 99p/340g


Palm oil-free peanut butter

1st place – Meridian natural crunchy peanut butter

Palm oil is a controversial issue, and as such products that exclude it are on the rise. We tasted five palm oil-free butters, all of which had separated slightly due to the lack of oil. Just give them a stir before eating.

Meridian’s crunchy peanut butter was our favourite – they’re one of the few producers that leave the peanut skins on for roasting. It’s made from peanuts and nothing else (not even salt), which accounts for the clean and wholesome flavour. Honestly, it made us feel good inside.

Ingredients: whole skin-on peanuts

Price: £2.19/280g, hollandandbarrett.com

****

2nd place – Pip & Nut peanut butter

Probably the runniest peanut butter we’ve ever tried, but if you store it in the fridge it firms up nicely. It’s a lovely, caramel brown colour with a natural taste and salty kick.

Ingredients: roasted peanuts, sea salt

Price: £2.29/250g, ocado.com


Supermarket peanut butter

1st place – Lidl’s McEnnedy ‘American Way’ smooth peanut butter

We loved it in the ‘smooth’ category, and we picked it out again in the ‘supermarket’ line-up. A real winner.

Ingredients: roasted peanuts, brown cane sugar, palm oil, sea salt

Price: £1.18/454g, available from Lidl

****

2nd place – Lidl’s McEnnedy ‘American Way’ crunchy peanut butter

Remember, everything was tasted blind so we had no idea that we were picking the same butters out. The smooth just beat the crunchy version for us, because of it’s oh-so creamy texture.

Ingredients: roasted peanuts, brown cane sugar, palm oil, sea salt

Price: £1.18/454g, available from Lidl


Organic peanut butter

1st place – Biona organic crunchy peanut butter

It won in the ‘crunchy’ category, and it triumphs again here. It’s got a genuine, peanutty flavour; isn’t too dry; and has just the right level of sweetness.

Ingredients: organic peanuts, sea salt

Price: £3.95/500g, healthyfoods-online.com

****

2nd place – Waitrose duchy organic thick and crunchy peanut butter

Thick and crunchy it is indeed, but it was also a little dry and chalky. Great salt levels though, and a good colour.

Ingredients: organic peanuts, sea salt, palm oil

Price: £1.99/340g


Wild card peanut butter

Morrisons crunchy honey roast peanut butter

Sounds too intense, right? But actually, we rather liked the honeyed tinge to this peanut butter, and found ourselves going back for more. It’s not overly sweet, and still tastes like the real deal.

Ingredients: peanuts, sugar, peanut oil, cane sugar, vegetable oil (palm, sunflower), glucose-fructose syrup, sea salt, honey

Price: £1.29/340g


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