In North America, peanut butter is practically a way of life. We buy it by the gallon and, though in recent years it’s been banned from many public locations, unless you or a family member have a life-threatening allergy to it, it probably was the focus of many, many childhood meal memories.
How you choose to eat your peanut butter may vary dramatically, be it smooth or crunchy, thick or thin, choosing organic is a good idea.
So what are the best organic peanut butters? The 7 best organic peanut butter brands include Spread the Love, Santa Cruz, Kirkland, Adams, Yumbutter, Trader Joe’s, and Once and Again. When selecting organic peanut butter, it’s good to know that all organic peanut butters are free from toxic chemicals.
In the rest of this article, we’ll carefully detail the defining characteristics of each brand of organic peanut butter so that you can choose the one that is right for you.
Unlike most of our “best of” articles, these peanut butters aren’t ranked in any particular order because peanut butter preference has more to do with texture than anything else.
Why Choose Organic Peanut Butter
Whenever “organic” becomes the topic of conversation, strong opinions start to flow freely. There are many reasons you might want to choose to buy your peanut butter organic, and only one that we can think of that might dissuade you from making this choice.
The obvious pitfall of organic peanut butter is the higher price tag. Organic peanuts are more expensive to grow and that expense is passed onto the consumer, at least in part.
Is Organic Peanut Butter Worth It?
Let’s consider some of the reasons why organic is beneficial.
Organic peanut butter is certified to be free from chemicals that are known to be toxic and bad for our health, such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Peanuts grow in a shell, however, so you may wonder how much of these chemicals would actually infiltrate your food supply. The shell of a peanut is quite soft and the chemicals will penetrate it easily.
Moreover, the soil where peanuts are grown is known to be highly contaminated with chemicals, which will absolutely influence all parts of your plant, whether added sprays will or not.
Randomized testing has also found chemicals as strange as flame retardants in non-organic peanut butter.
Peanuts and Pesticides
Fats absorb chemicals better than any other plant-matter and nuts are high in fat, so they’ll soak up chemicals greedily. One study done found up to 8 different potentially carcinogenic pesticide residues on conventional peanut butters.
With all this information well documented, the small added cost for buying organic peanut butter definitely seems to add up to us.
When you’re shopping for organic peanut butter, beware marketing jargon like “natural” and “pure.” Those are not legally or scientifically regulated in any sense and do not equate to organic or any other regulated certification.
Don’t worry though, we’ve analyzed all the organic peanut butter we could find and come up with a list of 7 to suit all your needs and preferences.
The 7 Best Organic Peanut Butters – Reviewed
|Peanut Butter Brand
|Thin, naturally oily
|Made in small batches for great quality control and minimal processing
|Spread The Love NAKED Organic Peanut Butter
|Very nutty, roasted flavor
|Santa Cruz Organic, Dark Roasted Peanut Butter, Creamy, Organic
|Very smooth, thin and creamy
|Made with Valencia peanuts
|Kirkland Organic Creamy Peanut Butter U.S. Valencia Peanuts
|Midway between thin and thick, slightly grainy
|Dedicated to peanut butter exclusively, very consistent and reliable quality
|Adams Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
|Thick and creamy
|Thick and creamy with no stirring required
|Organic Peanut Butter by Yumbutter
|Made with Valencia peanuts, no added salt or other ingredients
|Trader Joe’s Creamy No Salt Organic Peanut Butter
|Once Again Organic, Crunchy Peanut Butter – Salt Free, Unsweetened – 9 lb Bucket
|Peanut butter powder, must add water to make a “butter”
|PBfit All-Natural Organic Peanut Butter Powder, Powdered Peanut Spread from Real Roasted Pressed Peanuts
|Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter, Only Two Ingredients, No Stir, Gluten-free, Non-GMO, Responsibly Sourced
1. Spread The Love NAKED Organic Peanut Butter
Spread the Love is a family-owned natural foods company that is absolutely lovely enough to live up to their name. Once you try their products, you’re going to be sharing them with everyone you know.
They call their peanut butter naked because it’s not dressed up in any way, it’s au natural and perfect with nothing but the nut.
To keep their product quality consistent, they make everything in small batches, minimizing the food processing as much as possible.
Texture: Thin and naturally oily, but richly creamy in flavor. Perfect for dipping fruits, creating sauces, or adding to smoothies.
- 1 simple ingredient: dry-roasted organic peanuts
- No added sugars, oils or unnecessary ingredients
- Available in a variety of sizes from single serving to 15-pound pails
Biggest Drawback: Because it has absolutely no additives or thickening agents, this 100% peanuts butter is thinner than many people are used to. If you want a thick, creamy butter, you’ll be better off choosing one of the other options from the list.
2. Santa Cruz Organic, Dark Roasted Peanut Butter, Creamy
Santa Cruz is a fun company when it comes to peanut butter manufacturers. They’ve turned a commodity into a craft specialty product.
You can find their peanut butters in either dark roasted or light roasted, creamy or crunchy. Our favorite is the dark-roasted creamy peanut butter.
Texture: Creamy, but thin though not overly runny. It mixes quite easily and will stay mixed if refrigerated after it’s stirred.
- No artificial ingredients or hydrogenated oils, only peanuts
- Dark roasted for a deep, nutty and toasted flavor that is unique unto itself
- Packaged in a glass jar for premium taste and long-term quality
Biggest Drawback: The unfortunate drawback of being packaged in a glass jar is that it’s more susceptible to being damaged in transit than a plastic container. This is a very minimal problem considering the popularity of the peanut butter, but worth noting the risk.
3. Kirkland Organic Creamy Peanut Butter U.S. Valencia Peanuts
This peanut butter is made from dry roasted Valencia peanuts.
Valencia peanuts are the premium choice for peanut butter because they’re naturally sweet and delicious but, more importantly, they’re grown in an environment that is too dry for aflatoxin to grow.
This is a type of mold that is very common on peanuts and potentially very dangerous.
Texture: Very smooth, thin and creamy when well mixed
- Made with Valencia Peanuts, free from the potentially dangerous fungi, aflatoxin
- The small amount of added sea salt enhances the flavor of the peanuts perfectly
- Easy to spread and silky smooth
Biggest Drawback: Because this is a Costco brand, many people buy it based on price alone without realizing the benefits. If you’re used to peanut butter that is full of added oils and sugars, you may be put off by the thinness of this peanut butter and, in fact, most natural peanut butters that don’t contain hydrogenated oils. Mixing the separated oil back into the butter is the price you pay for quality and healthy ingredients.
4. Adams Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
Adams has a nice array of natural peanut butters, but only two options for organic: creamy and crunchy.
They are not no-stir because it’s a very clean ingredient list of only roasted peanuts and a touch of salt to enhance the flavor, but once the jar is stirred well, it stays combined quite well in comparison to some of the other natural brands we’ve tried.
Texture: Not too thin but also not thick, creamy, and slightly grainy in texture, but not crunchy.
- The company is solely dedicated to high quality, natural peanut butter
- No added sugar, trans fats, artificial colors or preservatives
- Packaged in a glass jar for premium quality storage
Biggest Drawback: The biggest drawback of Adams is that they only offer it in a jar that is a maximum of 16 ounces. That is a good-sized jar of peanut butter but, when your product is as addicting as this stuff, it’s not surprising people are demanding larger options.
5. Organic Peanut Butter by Yumbutter
Yumbutter manufactures a premium lineup of handcrafted nut and seed butters targeted at active individuals who want to bring their protein and nutrient-packed butters with them on the go, in their active lifestyles.
Texture: Thick and creamy
- Part of the “Buy One, Help Nourish a Child” program dedicated to feeding children in need
- Contains organic, fair-trade palm oil and organic coconut sugar that enhances the flavor and texture without compromising on quality ingredients and sustainability
- Produced in a certified gluten-free facility
Biggest Drawback: Including palm oil, despite it being organic, does a lot to deliver a thick, creamy texture that many of us have come to thoroughly desire in our peanut butter experience, but it does also add hydrogenated oil to your butter.
6. Trader Joe’s Creamy No Salt Organic Peanut Butter
This is only one of two brands that make their organic peanut butter from Valencia peanuts, which is a big perk. This brand, in comparison to the Kirkland option, contains no added salt, setting the two apart and appealing to different subsets of shoppers.
Texture: Thin, naturally oily and runny
- Made with organic Valencia peanuts and nothing else
- After stirring the first time you use it, the creamy consistency will last indefinitely as long as the peanut butter is kept cool in your fridge
Biggest Drawback: Adding a little bit of salt to peanut butter makes a surprising difference to the richness of the flavor. Not having salt in this brand is a perk for those watching every mg of sodium intake, but it may taste slightly more bland at the same time.
7. Once Again Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter
This giant-sized bucket of peanut butter is one of the only brands that produce crunchy in their organic lineup.
If you love your peanut butter with added crunch and texture, this is the option for you.
Texture: Crunchy amidst creamy butter!
- Sold in a wonderfully large 9-pound bucket
- Made from blanched, dry roasted peanuts for added creaminess
- Fun fact: their logo is an affectionate nod to the baby raccoons that were found on factory grounds nearly 40 years ago, adopted and raised on nut butters
Biggest Drawback: Similar to some previously mentioned products, this is a large vat of pure peanut butter with no additives. It will take some effort to combine the oil well when it is first opened, and with no sugar or salt added, some may find it a bit bland until they get used to the pure peanut flavor.
These brands didn’t quite make the list of our top 7 best organic peanut butters but only because they’re either not strictly peanut butter, or not strictly organic, but they deserve some consideration for their impressive qualities nonetheless.
PBfit All-Natural Organic Peanut Butter Powder
This PBfit product is a powder, not a butter, but it can be made into a butter-like spread simply by adding water.
However, because it’s a powder, it’s also very versatile and can be used in smoothies and baking for a delicious peanut flavor with only 1/3 of the calories of traditional peanut butter and 87% less fat.
Those are some impressive nutritional differences if you’re watching your macros and refuse to give up your peanut butter.
Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter
Justin’s Peanut Butter isn’t strictly organic, but it is non-GMO and sustainably sourced with very high standards about the quality of the nuts.
The company carefully selects all its products based on sustainability, pollinator conservation, and community fair trade agreements.
They may not be organic, but they are reputable and respectful of health, the environment, and the communities that are impacted by their farming practices.
Frequently Asked Questions About Peanut Butter
Below are a couple of frequently asked questions about peanut butter. We hope you found this guide helpful, and we hope these answers satisfy your other peanut butter wonderings!
Difference between natural peanut butter and regular?
“Natural” is not a regulated term, so it can mean something different to any company that chooses to use it.
However, in the case of peanut butter, most manufacturers use “natural” to mean that their peanut butter is made without any added oils, preservatives, or sugars. Some may still contain added salt though.
Regular peanut butter, on the other hand, will almost always have palm or other hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in it, as well as added sugars.
Some peanut butter even contains milk products, so read the ingredients carefully if you have any food allergies or sensitivities.
Is peanut butter bad for you?
There is a lot of controversy that surrounds peanut butter. Some “experts” will swear it’s a healthy, natural, and nutrient-dense source of protein and others will fear-monger you into believing that a single mouthful will cause cancer. The truth is that it depends.
Peanut butter is very high in fats and carbs, so too much can impact a healthy diet regardless of quality.
You also want to be aware of any added ingredients in your peanut butter. Some will contain transfats, chemical preservatives, and more sugar than you realized you were consuming.
Finally, peanuts are very susceptible to a fungus or mold called aflatoxin which is a known carcinogen.
If you eat a lot of peanut butter, you can lessen your risk of exposure to this mold by choosing peanut butter made from Valencia peanuts, which grow in an environment that is not favorable for this mold.