What Is Clean Peanut Butter And How To Make It

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What is clean peanut butter? Let’s take a closer look…

I get a lot of questions from people who are new to clean eating, wanting to know what constitutes a peanut butter that is clean.

A tablespoon sits on a cutting board filled with peanut butter that is dripping over the edge of the spoon. Peanuts are also scattered about. It shows what is clean peanut butter.... just peanuts.

As with all labeled food products, you have to take two things into account when deciding if something is clean.

1) How much is it processed and altered from it’s original state?

2) What is in the ingredient list? (Read more on how to read food labels for clean eating here.)

Peanut Butter Ingredients

The truth is, figuring out if a particular peanut butter is clean is pretty simple. Finding a clean peanut butter at the store can be a little more difficult. But not impossible!!

This is the actual ingredient list from a jar of NOT-SO-CLEAN peanut butter:

In this guide called, 'What is clean peanut butter' this image shows an ingredient list from a jar of peanut butter that is not clean.

The only thing that comes to mind when reading this is, “WHY???

Here is the actual ingredient list from a jar of CLEAN peanut butter:

In this guide called, 'What is clean peanut butter' this image shows an ingredient list from a jar of peanut butter that is clean.

See the difference?

I would NEVER go to the store to buy some copper sulfate to cook with at home. But peanuts… I would definitely buy those.  Keep in mind that a few brands out there have some added salt. Unless you must restrict your salt intake specifically, this does not make the peanut butter unclean. Salt in healthy amounts is clean and necessary.

So what are some some good peanut butter brands that are clean?

  • Trader Joe’s Organic Peanut Butter
  • Adam’s Peanut Butter
  • MaraNatha
  • 365 (Whole Foods store brand)
  • Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter – Creamy
  • Brad’s Organic Peanut Butter (Costco)
  • Teddie Old Fashioned All Natural Peanut Butter

And if you can’t find any of those at your local super market and don’t want to order any online, here’s how to make your own at home. It’s quick and easy, and you just cannot get any cleaner than homemade!

CLICK PLAY TO SEE THE PROCESS IN ACTION!!

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85 Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    I actually prefer natural, unsweetened nut butters now. Since going clean (for the most part), extra sweet stuff is just that, extra sweet and makes me sick to my stomach. Now to get the rest of the family on board.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stephanie – It’ll happen. Just take baby steps. They’ll get there.

  2. This is great and a must try… what’s your suggestion for storing; just refrigerate???

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melissa – Yup! Just put in a small container and keep in the fridge. It will last just as long as any other peanut butter, but you don’t have to worry about oil separation!

  3. What about Skippy or Jiff natural peanut butter?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicki – I haven’t read the ingredients on them, but if you follow the information below, that should tell you. Do you know what’s in them?

  4. Melanie Z says:

    I watched the video but I don’t have speakers here at work.. looks like just peanuts..is that it?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melanie Z – Yup! Just peanuts. 🙂

  5. This is a little off subject, but what kind of food processor do you have or what brand would you recommend? I have a tiny (and really cheap) food processor, so when I want to puree a larger amount of food I usually use our blender. It gets the job done, but takes too long.

    Btw, my family is new to clean eating. Far from being totally clean, but we’re slowly making changes. Your site is usually the first one I turn to for a “clean” recipe. 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jana – Thanks! Actually, I have a cuisinart. They are a pretty good line of products.

  6. Great post! Very helpful.

    (aka, *new* not *knew* to clean eating. I am obsessed with your blog and think youre amazing and brilliant, so I know you’d want a minor typo correction!)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tiggs – Ha! Oops. I do know the difference. I swear. 😉 Thanks!

  7. what about the PB2 powdered peanut butter?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Megan – Well, you have to ask yourself. How did the peanut go from a peanut to powder? You can’t get peanuts in powder form in nature, so there’s definitely some processing there. Also, I could be wrong but I believe they add sugar to it, don’t they?

  8. Super Chunky says:

    Teddie Old Fashioned All Natural Peanut Butter is another you can add to the list. Ingredients: Highest grade U.S.A. grown peanuts (Available with or without salt) YUM!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      SC – Added! Thanks! 🙂

  9. leslie winter says:

    Love this! I have been using the machines at Earth Fare that do this for me but it would be way better to do this at home. This also looks like it’s ground finer that what I get from EF, so I think my son might actually try this…I’ve struggled getting him away from store bought peanut butter because of the stirring involved.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Leslie – Ya, the great thing about the homemade variety is that if you store it in the fridge, there is no stirring required! 🙂

  10. Since I’ve been on your site, here is just one way I’ve been inspired. I switched to making my own nut butters. Use organic/raw nuts, flax seeds, coconut oil, honey and a little bit of sea salt – put all into my food processor and in minutes have yummy nut butter. Thank you for the motivation I needed to “clean” up my diet. Sincerely, Jan

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jan – How wonderful! I’m so happy I could help in some way. Homemade is always so much yummier than store bought!

  11. Thanks so much. I know that some of this stuff should be common sense, but sometimes it just makes it all make sense when reading it.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kristi – My pleasure!

  12. I’m not sure who all has a Kroger in their area (I’m in Mississippi), but they have a store brand that is clean…peanuts and sea salt…and by far, the most affordable. I go through TONS of peanut butter!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kellye – Good to know! Thank you!

  13. I am new to your site and very excited to have found you.

    I prefer almond butter. Would I do the almonds the same way, do I need to blanch them or could I cheat and use almond flour and just grind it finer?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tami – Almond flour is a tiny bit different. But I’m not sure what the adjustments are. It’s on my to-do list and I hope to have it done shortly. So I’ll have to let you know!

  14. I like grinding my own peanut or almond butter at Whole Foods in the bulk food section. I can’t even eat the other un-clean peanut butters now. Just yuck.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melinda – Haha! I agree! Very yuck!

  15. Ok so my peanut butter says 100% natural. The ingredients are roasted peanuts, sugar, salt and fractionated palm oil. I bought this before I decided to get on the clean eating wagon. So this is or is not a good option?
    Thanks!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Summer – The word “Natural” has absolutely no meaning on a food label. None. The sugar and fractioned palm oil are not clean. Sorry.

  16. I recently bought PB2 peanut butter. It’s roasted and pressed peanuts to release the fats and oils. It comes in a powder and you mix it with water as needed. Even better its only 45cal a serving.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ben – I have serious doubts about PB2. I know many of their products have refined sugar in them, and let’s face it. The powder is processed. I mean, if the only thing in the powder is peanuts, then I suppose there are far worse choices you could make. Just depends on how picky you want to be I suppose.

  17. I’m so glad I found this blog! I have been gluten free (or trying) for a little over a year. I still have days with issues. Trying to find foods I can eat is a task. I’m so excited to try clean eating now. Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Melinda – Welcome! Please keep in mind that clean does not equal gluten free, but it’s totally possible to be gluten free AND eat clean. I have a gluten free section as well as a paleo section you might find helpful. I hope you enjoy my recipes! 🙂

  18. LOVE PB2..no added sugar..PERFECT

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Barb – I guess it must depend on the kind you buy because all the PB2 I’ve seen so far hasn’t been clean. It’s either processed into powder or has added sugar. What type do you buy?

  19. I am just learning about clean eating. Your site has been very informative! I do have a question though, and hope maybe you might have an answer for me. I LOVE LOVE the Smucker’s Organic Natural peanut butter. LOVE it. Anyhoo- for awhile I was having a really hard time finding it. I could find the original, but not the Organic. I can honestly taste the difference & prefer the organic. (The usual grocery stores are now carrying it again thankfully), but while on my search, I noticed that any of the “healthy” supermarkets, (Whole Foods, Earth Fare, and a local nutrition store here in town) do NOT carry Smucker’s brand peanut butter. I know these stores have a long list of unhealthy ingredients that they do not carry in their stores, but when I read the label on Smuckers pb, the ingredients are: Organic roasted peanuts, contains 1% or less of salt. That’s it. So why the Smucker’s snub?? Any ideas?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jodi – Within the health food movement, there is a general snubbing of any foods from large food corporations. The irony here, is that Whole Foods is a large corporation themselves. However, most of that snubbing is directed towards the large manufacturers, not the stores that sells these products (or do not sell them). I can’t even begin to guess on the specific reasons as to why WF doesn’t sell name brands, but I would assume that the attitudes of their customers towards them would quickly change if they did.

  20. do they have to be roasted peanuts? have you tried it with raw peanuts?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      meggs – I haven’t tried it with roasted nuts yet. But I’m sure it would work just fine.

  21. suzanne wright says:

    I want to try PB2, where in Kroger is it??

  22. hi..i looked at my PB2 yes ingred are roasted pnuts, sugar, salt….HOWEVER 2TBS has 1.5 gr fat i gram sugar and ONLY 45 cal…honestly..the little bit of sugar doesnt bother me bc i hardly eat anything with added sugar..but the taste is OUTSTANDING. few calories..(which i count)…and most impt..its satisfies any craving i might have…i use it w/ polaner sugar free grape jelly (5 calories) on low carb tortilla DELICIOUS..I feel like its a big cheat..and its NOT!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Barb – If that works for you, wonderful!

  23. Just found your website and I think I’ll be visiting more as I need recipe ideas for clean eating.
    I started making my own peanut butter with just peanuts since the local stuff was so expensive (not to mention full of unnecessary ingredients). I use my blender since I don’t have a food processor, but this looks easier. I hope I can get a food processor one day.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Mercy – They really are worth the investment. I couldn’t live without mine.

  24. Ok. So let me say that I LOVE your blog. Use it almost daily for recipes and tips. I made your peanut butter about a month ago in my Vitamix. Seriously, mixed in about 2 minutes to perfect consistency. My husband and I at the jar in about 3 days it was so good. Well, I have made 3 batches since and it is thick and tasteless. Any idea what the problem could be? Noticed on round 2 that I bought peanuts with lots of additives and couldn’t believe they add anything to peanuts. 3rd attempt I used peanuts with the ingredient list of peanuts and it is still gritty and tasteless. I thought blending longer might help but it didn’t. Any help would be appreciated. I will keep trying and can’t wait to try the cinnamon almond butter. YUM!!! Is there a certain brand of peanuts you use?
    Thanks

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kayla – I get all my nuts from Trader Joe’s. What type of peanuts did you use the first time? You might try adding 2 tsp. coconut oil and see if that helps with the consistency. It could just be a variation in a particular batch of peanuts, but if it’s consistently coming out gritty, then you have to look at not only the source of your peanuts, but also the type you originally used. Keep me updated!

  25. The peanut butter I use 96% peanuts, palm oil and salt. Is palm oil ok?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Clarie – Sadly, no.

  26. WOW. I was just snooping around your blog via Pinterest, and I just wanted to let you know that I really, really like it. Specifically this post – I had no idea that THAT was how you made peanut butter! I thought it was some kind of huge science experiment, lol. I’m definitely going to be trying that. Thanks for the post 🙂 (And now, I’m going to continue to dig around your awesome blog!)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rennie – Thanks! I hope you find something you’ll enjoy. 🙂

  27. Thanks so much for the feedback. I have come to the conclusion that I need a food processor. I am not sure why my Vitamix did such a great job the first time it made peanut butter but it has been downhill since. I still eat it even if it is not the consistency I prefer. Still better than store bought. Thanks again!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kayla – Sure!

  28. Nothing wrong with Krema brand either! 🙂

  29. Erin@whathefork says:

    Meijer in MI has a line of Naturals Products and they only have Peanuts on the ingredient list and it is GMO free. It is far less expensive than many of the better known Organics lines.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Erin – Good to know! Thanks!

  30. For those of you who like PB2, have you looked into Betty Lou’s Just Great Stuff powdered peanut butter? The ingredients are: Organic Peanuts, Organic Coconut Sugar, Sea Salt.

  31. I am new to the eat clean thing and I have watched your peanut butter video, you make it look easy. If I were to make this, how should I store it and for how long. I also want to make Nutella and have the same question re: how long I can store it.

    Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jill – Store it in the fridge for up to about 6 weeks. If the nuts go rancid, you’ll be able to taste it like with any nut. This keeps for a while like most peanut butters.

  32. Cathy Popo says:

    I assume this would work with almonds??

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cathy – Almonds have less fat, so you may have to use a little oil. I have a video on youtube for how to make a good almond butter if you’re interested.

  33. Stores like: Sprouts, Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods etc. have a peanut butter grinder in the bulk aisle. This is a great place to get Peanut, Almond or my favorite, Honey Roasted Peanut Butter. I won’t buy or eat anything else. As an added bonus, it’s usually MUCH cheaper that the likes of Jif, Skippy, etc and tastes SO much better!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Brian – True! They can be a little dry sometimes though, but you can always mix in a little oil if needed.

  34. Leopard Paradise says:

    I am in LOVE with Peanut Butter & Co peanut butter…LOVE! the ingredients: peanuts, evaporated cane juice, honey, natural honey flavor, palm fruit oil, salt. Please tell me its ok…please! 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Leopard – Sorry, it’s not clean. I would imagine that the sugar is the reason you love it so much. Peanut butter is yummy with added sweetener!

  35. Hello,

    I have been using Nature’s Promise, what is your opinion on this brand? Thanks!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stacey – I don’t know this brand. But if you’d like to post the ingredients here, I’d be happy to tell you.

  36. Open nature (Safeway) old fashioned creamy peanut butter is clean and I’ve been buying it for a long time but hadn’t thought about peanuts and gmo’s. I tried looking it up but can’t find anything. How do I find out, call?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kim – It’s pretty difficult to get companies to be honest about gmo’s. They are afraid of backlash. And some employees just don’t know. So the best thing to do is just buy organic PB.

  37. Kirkland (Costco ) Natural PB is good only has dry roasted peanuts and its cheaper 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sheila – Good to know! Thanks!

  38. MaraNatha’s products are in glass from china or so the cardboard boxes declare. I work in a Kroger store and unpack them often and I was horrified.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rachel – Good to know! Thanks!

  39. If you make the homemade peanut butter like in the video; how many calories is in that?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Megan – It would be the same calories as what is listed on the bag of peanuts.

  40. I buy Krema, nothing but peanuts. Found it at Walmart.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rhonda – Fabulous!

  41. Some sites say that some ‘dry roasted’ processes use MSG. If a peanut butter uses ‘dry roasted’ peanuts how do you know if there is MSG or not? [Sure, I know they SHOULD put it on the label but trusting big business is not my strong point.]

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Zeak – As far as I know, MSG is required to be labeled by law. If yo have a source for information that says different, I’d love to take a look.

  42. Gayle Moore says:

    Koeze Company, Grand Rapids, MI makes a natural peanut butter, peanuts and sea salt is all listed. And it tastes awesome!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Gayle – Thanks for sharing that! 😀

  43. Annabelle says:

    hello. thank you for all your tips. I buy a ‘Natural’ peanut butter which ingredients are peanuts and olive oil. Is that ok? i also found another one which contains 99% peanuts and a preservative E471. Which one is best between those two?
    thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Annabelle – if those are the only ingredients listed, then the one with olive oil is best.

  44. Publix has a store brand that only has peanuts as the ingredient

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tish – Good to know! 🙂

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