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The Best Peanut Butter and Jelly Brands to Donate

February 22, 2021

Move for Hunger’s Spread the Love Event is about donating peanut butter and jelly (PB&J). However, sometimes families need more accommodations like healthier ingredients, longer shelf life and other options due to allergens.

Below is a list of brands and information that can help you decide what to donate!

 

How to find the Healthy Options


The key to finding the healthiest peanut butter is to find the brands that have the smallest ingredients list! The more additives the peanut butter has, the more unhealthy it becomes because to make peanut butter, you only need two ingredients: peanuts and a touch of salt. 

The same can be said about jam! The jams with the simplest ingredient lists are the optimal healthy choice. 

“Sure, you want a jam that actually tastes like its fruit flavor. But that doesn't mean you have to start your day off with a total sugar bomb,” editors of Eat This, Not That wrote.

Most jam includes a berry of some kind, sugar or sugar substitute, and lemon juice. However, you can get lots of great jams at the grocery store that do not have added sugars!

When searching for healthy peanut butter, check to make sure it has no added oils or sugar because peanuts have natural oils and sugar. Raw peanuts contain healthy proteins, sugars, and fiber, so it does not need additives.

“Peanut butter is a pantry essential,” writer for Eat This, Not That Olivia Tarantino said. “Packed with protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats, this "nut" butter (peanuts are technically a legume, not a nut) is an inexpensive plant-based protein source that is incredibly versatile and nutritious.”

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Options
 

Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter Creamy

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 12.21.09 PM.png

Photo from @smuckersbrand on Instagram

Nutrition facts

  • 190 calories per serving
  • 16 g fat (3 g saturated)
  • 110 mg sodium
  • 7 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar)
  • 8 g protein

Ingredients

  • Peanuts
  • Salt

 

MaraNatha Organic Creamy Peanut Butter

MaraNatha Nut Butter.png

Photo from @maranathanutbutters on Instagram

Nutrition facts

  • 190 calories per serving
  • 16 g fat (2 g saturated)
  • 80 mg sodium
  • 7 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar)
  • 8 g protein

Ingredients

  • Organic Dry Roasted Peanuts
  • Sea Salt

This brand is great for those that struggle with having high sodium! Otherwise, it measures up exactly to Smucker’s natural option.

 

Justin’s Peanut Butter

Justin's PB.png
Photo from @justins on Instagram

Nutrition facts

  • 210 calories per two tbsp.
  • 18 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat)
  • 25 mg sodium
  • 6 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar)
  • 7 g protein

Ingredients

  • Dry Roasted Peanuts
  • Palm oil

Justin’s can be found at most grocery stores! It's very creamy with no added salt, which gives it a low sodium count. Justin’s has many other nut butter options as well, such as hazelnut butter and almond butter!

 

Healthy Jelly Options

 

Bonne Maman Intense Strawberry Fruit Spread

Bonne Maman Jelly.png

Photo from @bonnemaman_us from Instagram 

Nutrition facts

  • 30 calories per tbsp.
  • 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat)
  • 0 mg sodium
  • 8 g carbs (0 g fiber, 8 g sugar)
  • 0 g protein

Ingredients

  • Strawberries
  • Sugar
  • Blackcurrant Juice
  • Concentrated Lemon Juice
  • Fruit Pectin

This is one of the best jams you can buy! Not only is it low in sugar, but it is also delicious! There is no high-fructose corn syrup, which is often found in jams.
 


Smucker's Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread

Smucker's Jelly.png

Photo from @smuckersbrand on Instagram

Nutrition facts

  • 40 calories per tbsp
  • 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat)
  • 0 mg sodium
  • 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 10 g sugar)
  • 0 g protein

Ingredients

  • Strawberries
  • Sugar
  • Fruit Pectin
  • Citric Acid

Smucker’s Natural products take the cake again! Smucker’s Natural Fruit Spread is lower in calories and sugar than its original jam and it tastes better!

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly's Shelf Life


Peanut Butter generally has a long shelf life. Peanut butter with added sugar and preservatives may last between six to 24 months if unopened or two to three months once opened. Whereas natural peanut butter lacks preservatives and may last several months unopened and up to a month once opened. Storing your peanut butter in the fridge is a great way to extend its shelf life!
The shelf life of every peanut butter brand is different, but brands such as Skippy and Smucker’s have some of the products with the longest shelf life. Smucker’s can last up to 24 months unopened. Skippy is best when it is stored at room temperature and can last up to three to four months opened in the pantry. 

 

Alternatives to Peanut Butter

 

For those that are allergic to peanuts, there are several other nut and non-nut butter options! Peanut butter allergies are the second most common food allergy for kids so it is important to have backup options!

 

Sunflower Butter


Sunbutter .png

Photo from @sunbutter from Instagram

Sunflower Butter is the perfect option for those that are allergic to all tree nuts, not just peanuts. It tastes similar to peanut butter and eliminates the risk of an allergic reaction to tree nuts or soy, which many people experience. A good and cheap sunflower butter brand is SunButter Natural Crunch.

 

Almond Butter

Justin's Almond Butter.png

Photo from @justins on Instagram

Almond products have become very popular in recent years with almond butter becoming a favored alternative to peanut butter. In terms of taste, almond butter is very similar to peanut butter. It also has many health benefits like having more fiber, Vitamin E, calcium, and healthy fats. Most brands have an almond butter alternative. A renowned favorite is Justin’s almond butter, which comes in almond butter chocolate cups as well!

 

Soy Butter

Wowbutter.png

Photo from @wowbutter_com on Instagram

This peanut butter substitute is made from toasted soybeans, which contain protein and good omega-3 fats. This substitution doesn’t taste exactly like peanut butter, but it comes pretty close. Wowbutter is an excellent soy butter option coming in at only a little over $5. 

 

Want to host your own food drive?

 

Consider reading through this list of PB&J brands and peanut butter alternatives before donating to your local food bank. This way you can provide families in need with a few more options that are healthy and accommodate different allergies. 

Additionally, if you want to get involved you can host your own Spread the Love Food Drive or donate here!