Product Type: Whole Earth Spread
Newest Review: ... smooth, it has a very strong nutty taste and I really can tell that the skins have been left on these peanuts. There is a fairly raw t... more
Whole Earth, Whole Peanut, No Sugar
Whole Earth Smooth Original Peanut Butter
Member Name: Vialdana
Whole Earth Smooth Original Peanut Butter
Advantages: Organic, no added sugar, smooth, tasty.
Disadvantages: Expensive, not available in all shops, stil very high in fat.
Whole Earth smooth peanut butter with no added sugar is quite different from any other peanut butter I've ever tasted, and to me that's a good thing as I'm not really a fan of eating peanut butter as is normally, I find it too sweet and very cloying. This is also organic which again suits me well as I do prefer to buy organic when I can.
Who is Whole Earth?
Whole Earth is the company who make this product, it was one of the very first companies pioneering organic food, and was begun in the 1960's by two brothers. This particular product was one of the very first that they produced along with real fruit spreads (also with no added sugar), and now they make quite a wide range of products from cereals to baked beans, coffee and ketchup all organic and high quality.
Like most peanut butters this comes in a glass jar with a paper label and a screw top lid. The label gives the details of brand and product including some nutritional information. It also explains that this is the smooth version, and contains no added sugar.
Price and Buying
Unfortunately one of the biggest drawbacks with this product is it's price and the fact that it's not easy to find on the high street. When I buy this, I get it from a whole food shop called 'daily bread', but it's not local so I have to either go out of my way to go there, or try and combine it with other things in the same direction. Apparently some Holland & Barrett stores sell this and if you can get it there it's a little cheaper (so my friend says), but mine doesn't sell this variety. I pay £2.25 for a 350g jar. They do also do a 2.5kg pack for £14.12, but there's no way I'd get through that amount before it went off I think so I stick with the small jars.
As this is the area where this product claims it differs from many other peanut butters available, I thought it might be useful to see the details here although this is not something I would normally include in a review.
The ingredients are 96% roasted peanuts, palm oil and sea salt, and per 100g it contains 595kcals, 24.6g of protein, 9.9g of carbs (of which 3.7g sugars), 50.8g fat (of which 9.1 saturates), 7.1g of fibre, and 0.4g of sodium.
If you compare this to the peanut butter you have in your cupboard you might expect there to be a substantial difference, but in fact there are only small differences to bigger brands such as Sunpat. Do the comparison against a no-name or value type brand and you do see a difference as these tend to contain less peanuts and added sugar meaning that they're often higher in sugars, fats, and sometimes sodium (salt), and lower in protein.
Taste & Texture
I suppose this is really the important bit, as it's no good having a healthy product if it doesn't taste good. To me, this is far superior to any other peanut butter I've tried as it's nothing like as sweet. It tastes almost exactly like peanuts do - very nutty and quite savoury, and being smooth I can spread it very thinly too which I prefer because I can enjoy the flavour this way without experiencing that cloying mouth stuck together feeling I always get with other peanut butters.
I don't actually like other peanut butters, and until I tried this one I'd have said I didn't like it full stop, however this I do like - in moderation. My husband doesn't actually like this any more than any other, in fact he says it's a bit thicker than some and doesn't go well with sweet things like jam, so he prefers to stick with his normal (cheaper) non organic, with added sugar crunchy stuff.
One place where I think this product does make a real difference is in making Satay sauce. Satay shouldn't be sweet, it should be peanutty and delicious and if I make it with this I can achieve a really good dish that tastes properly how it should. In baking however, I don't think it does notice whether you've used this or a cheaper product that contains sugar as most baking involves adding sweetness in one form or another anyway.
One thing I have noticed with this is because I tend to keep a jar for quite a while and use it fairly sparingly, when I do return to the jar after a gap, it does seem to separate a bit more than most other peanut butters so if you've got a dip in the butter, then you do tend to get a bit of an oil pool forming there. Having said this, a quick mix with a small spoon and the stuff looks and tastes as it should again.
I shall continue to buy this for my own use and for making satay with, partly because of its organic nature, but partly because I like the taste. I shall also continue to buy alternatives for my husband who prefers them to this, so overall in this household we have mixed opinions of this product. It is expensive, and not always so easy to get hold of as other brands, but perhaps being a tad healthier helps balance that out. I would say give it a try if you can afford to, and decide for yourself as the differences are subtle.
Summary: A tasty organic whole nut product that's a little expensive to buy.
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