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Oh, the edible perfection that is peanut butter. It’s a comfort food, protein-packed condiment, and versatile recipe ingredient all in one. Big brands like Jif and Skippy might’ve cut it when you were a kid, but mature palates demand superior spreads. Think beyond creamy and crunchy; there’s a wide world of nut butter variety to be devoured. These artisanal brands go beyond the basic, processed products of your past and take your taste buds to a whole new level of nut butter appreciation. Grab a spoon and go… nuts.
This brand out of Boulder, Colo. has been in business for a dozen years and is sold in stores nationwide including Whole Foods and Target. It owes its longevity to organic, high-quality ingredients and simply delicious flavors like Honey Peanut Butter, Maple Almond Butter, and Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. Its 1.15-ounce squeeze packs are a godsend to those who need a little help with portion control or like to eat their nut butter on-the-go. ($13.99 per jar; justins.com)
Big Spoon Roasters
A former Peace Corps volunteer who learned how to make nut butter from scratch in Zimbabwe co-founded this North Carolina company with his wife. Big Spoon Roasters combines nuts sourced from the Southeast region of the U.S. with internationally-inspired ingredients for vibrant, exotic combos like Chai Spice Nut Butter, Almond Ginger Butter, and Espresso Nut Butter. If you’re looking for an adventurous addition to your waffles, apple slices, or salad dressing, this brand’s your jam. ($16 per jar; bigspoonroasters.com)
This line of bold, brave nut butters began with the Virginia peanut. Then good old Reginald went wild and added booze. Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter, infused with brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla, has all the making of a scoopable Southern pecan pie. Jonesing for a spicy spread? Try the Agave Habanero Peanut Butter. For those who prefer a walk on the mild side, there’s Nilla Cashew Butter. Even chocoholics get their fix with Double Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter. Satisfaction is inevitable. ($5 – $10 per jar. reginaldshomemade.com)
Whether slathered on bananas, swirled into smoothies, or eaten directly off the spoon, Buddy’s small batch nut butters strike the ideal balance between texture and sweetness. Owner Andrew Kincheloe sources ingredients like raw honey, sea salt, and award-winning chocolate from equally artisanal food producers in his home state of Minnesota. Buddy’s humble product line of Honey Peanut Butter, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter is now ubiquitous throughout grocery stores in the Midwest, Florida, Tennessee, and Missouri, and is also orderable online. ($7 per jar; buddysnutbutters.com)
Spread The Love Peanut Butter
The first time Los Angeles couple Valerie and Zachary Fishbain realized their homemade peanut butter was something special was after gifting it to 160 guests at their wedding. The trifecta of cayenne, cinnamon, and agave in their peanut butter blend proved addictive, and soon their friends and family were begging for more. They’ve since taken the spread to farmers markets and have launched an online shop where they sell Original, Cacao, and Naked varieties. The story may be too sweet to stomach, but the spread is not. ($8.99 per jar. spreadthelovepb.com)
This is the health nut of almond butters, made with raw, organic, unpasteurized, and low-glycemic ingredients like Himalayan pink sea salt and coconut sugar. Based in Los Angeles and created by two friends with backgrounds in the food industry, Solstice Canyon has caught the attention of Food & Wine and O: The Oprah Magazine. Flavors like Cardamom & Clove or Aztec Chocolate bring class and nuance to the nut butter market, infusing your morning toast, bowl of oatmeal, or campfire s’mores with an unprecedented complexity. ($16 per jar; solsticecanyon.com)