Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

From Cook's Country | August/September 2007

Overview:

In some baking recipes, we found that using reduced-fat peanut butter (which replaces 25 percent of regular peanut butter's fat with stabilizers such as corn syrup solids) allowed us to cut down on fat without sacrificing flavor. But which brand is best?

To find out, we tasted chunky versions of three of the most popular reduced-fat brands three different ways: straight from the jar, spread on white bread, and baked into peanut butter cookies. Although each brand performed admirably, one brand won top honors for its "well-balanced peanut flavor" and "extra-chunky texture." But that doesn't mean we're ready to throw out our full-fat peanut butter. Tasted plain side by side with its full-fat sibling, tasters perceived a "slight graininess" and "unnaturally sweet flavor" in the reduced-fat stuff.

In some baking recipes, we found that using reduced-fat peanut butter (which replaces 25 percent of regular peanut butter's fat with stabilizers such as corn syrup solids) allowed us to cut down on fat without sacrificing flavor. But which brand is best?

To find out, we tasted chunky versions of three of the most popular reduced-fat brands three different ways: straight from the jar, spread on white bread, and baked into peanut butter cookies. Although each brand performed admirably, one brand won top honors for its "well-balanced peanut flavor" and "extra-chunky texture." But that doesn't mean we're ready to throw out our full-fat peanut butter. Tasted plain side by side with its full-fat sibling, tasters perceived a "slight graininess" and "unnaturally sweet flavor" in the reduced-fat stuff.

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