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The best artisan and flavoured peanut butters

We tried 13 different jars to find the best artisan peanut butters in Britain. Who will win the 'best ice cream topper' award? And what about 'best to spread on toast'? Including peanut butter from ManiLife, Knead Bakery, Funky Nut Co, Pic's Peanut Butter, and Fatties.

Following a supermarket peanut butter taste test, one of our Twitter followers suggested that we try artisan peanut butters, too. The kind of jars produced by neighbourhood bakeries such as Knead and Fatties in London, or young peanut butter start-ups like ManiLife (who, by the way, wins the award for ‘friendliest peanut butter manufacturer’ after sending us an olive branded jar).

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We sourced 13 artisan peanut butters in total, and included them all in a recent taste test. It was done blind, by three members of the olive team. Contestants included ManiLife, Knead Bakery, Funky Nut Co, Pic’s Peanut Butter, and Fatties – each one entered two or more of their homemade peanut butters.


Best peanut butter for toast

1st place – Pic’s crunchy peanut butter

Pic’s is an Australian brand of peanut butter, although the nuts are actually roasted in New Zealand because the process can be done ‘coal-free’ over there. Just two ingredients (peanuts and salt), which is why it needs a thorough mixing – separation can occur when there’s no added palm oil.

Ingredients: peanuts, salt

What we thought: ‘very smooth’; ‘a natural flavour’; ‘I can really taste the peanuts’; ‘not too salty’; ‘eating this makes me feel healthy’.

Available online, £4.50/380g


2nd place – ManiLife 

This is an Argentinian peanut butter that’s free from palm oil and sugar. The creators think Argentinean peanuts are the best in the world (strangely, they have a fat profile akin to olive oil), and they certainly do lend this butter a lovely, caramel brown colour.

Ingredients: peanuts, salt

What we thought: ‘rich’; ‘nice salt level’; ‘great roasted flavour’; ‘a little too drying on the palate’.

Available from various UK stockists, £3.50-£4/180g


Best for savoury cooking 

1st place – Funky Nut Co., sea salt & black pepper

All Funky Nut Co. butters are made in England and sold in stout little tubs. This peanut butter calls for the usual suspects (roasted peanuts and sea salt), but adds a large sprinkling of black pepper to the mix, too. A great one to use in savoury cooking… especially for our coconut and peanut aubergine curry.

Ingredients: roasted peanuts, sea salt, cracked black pepper

What we thought: ‘don’t let the grey colour put you off!’; ‘warm, peppery, spicy flavour’; ‘great for cooking, especially satays and curries. Or maybe on toast with avocado…’

Available online, £3.80/365g


Best for baking 

1st place – Funky Nut Co., honey and sea salt crunchy

Another triumph for Funky Nut Co, this time with a sweeter flavour. Perhaps a bit much for your morning toast, but perfect in baking (peanut butter brownies?) and dolloped on top of ice cream.

Ingredients: roasted peanuts, honey, sea salt

What we thought: ‘sweet and salty’; ‘nice and thick’; ‘perfect balance of sweet and salty’

Available online, £3.80/365g


Best ice cream topper

1st place – Fatties salted caramel, redskins on

All Fatties products are made by one woman, in Camberwell, South London, and pretty much everything involves salted caramel (we adore her caramels, which you can find here).

Ingredients: peanuts, caster sugar, organic British double cream, trimoline, organic British salted butter, vanilla extract, Halen Mon sea salt, lemon juice

What we thought: ‘love the praline notes’; ‘this would be immense baked into a brownie, or on top of ice-cream’; ‘definitely not one for toast – too sweet for that’.

View stockists here (Fatties is also at Druid Street Market, London, every Saturday 9am – 4pm), £4.50/200g


Best flavoured peanut butter

1st place – cinnamon & raisin roasted peanut butter

There were at least five flavoured PBs in our taste test, but our absolute favourite (and possibly the most popular peanut butter in the entire taste test) was cinnamon and raisin, by Knead Bakery. Genius idea, and ideal with warm bagels.

Ingredients: roasted peanuts, salt, honey, cinnamon, raisins and a drop of sunflower oil.

What we thought: ‘the raisins have a great texture’; ‘warm, subtle cinnamon aftertaste’; ‘not too sweet – I’d lap this up on toast or a bagel’; ‘can I take it home?’; ‘my favourite PB of the afternoon, without doubt’.

Available from Knead Bakery, £4/190g


Best ‘healthy’ peanut butter

1st place – Hi-PRO crunchy peanut butter

Can any peanut butter really be called ‘healthy’? Who knows, but at least this version from Hi-PRO has an extra boost of protein – just over 25% more than mainstream peanut butters, in fact.

The taste is slightly more savoury than your average peanut butter, but the texture is the same and it spreads just as well.

Ingredients: roasted peanuts, roasted peanut flour, palm oil, peanut oil, sucralose

Available from Sainsbury’s, £2.99/454g


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