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Five Miler and a Peanut Butter Debate

Good news on the running front!

I ran FIVE miles today! I’m sure most of you are thinking “big deal” but it was my first five miler in over a month! Don’t get me wrong, I have loved focusing on yoga the past few months but I am so ready to get back on the road more regularly. I am eager to pick a race to train for and am going to be enlisting your help to choose one soon! 😉

The run felt awesome. The weather was perfect and I kept the pace right under 9 minute miles at 8:42.I ran the first three on my own and picked up Sullie for last two. She was more interested in rolling around in the grass like a crazy dog after our run than in posing for a picture!

Once she calmed down I got this shot of her on the front steps. This dog is too cute for her own good!

I was craving a big salad for dinner tonight.

I basically piled on everything in our fridge…spinach, mixed greens, carrots, avocado, apples, dried cranberries, olives, blue cheese and edamame. I whipped up a quick honey mustard on the side with TJs hot and sweet mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and plain yogurt. Cantaloupe on the side. A light and refreshing dinner!

And finally…a peanut butter debate. This morning my friend Meg told me about a story in USA Today, “Who Makes the Best Peanut Butter?” The story covered a recent Cook’s Illustrated taste test to determine the best tasting peanut butter. I was a little surprised to read that Skippy Peanut Butter won top honors. I admit that I used to eat peanut butter like Jif and Skippy but since discovering delicious natural peanut butters a few years ago, I haven’t missed the mainstream peanut butters that are full of sugar and hydrogenated oils.

My favorite peanut butter is Trader Joe’s Salted Chunky Peanut Butter and their Organic Salted Valencia Peanut Butter. Both have only two ingredients…peanuts and salt.

What is your favorite peanut butter?

{ 55 comments… add one }
  • Ally (oatsandspice) March 23, 2011, 10:21 pm

    Your dog is adorableeee! SO CUTE! And your salad looks amazing.. MMMmmm!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:45 am

      I know, I think every single day I comment on how something can be so freaking cute! 🙂

  • Steph K March 23, 2011, 10:39 pm

    Peanut Butter & Company- I love all flavors, but am hooked on the White Chocolate. I have it in my oatmeal every morning.

    Love your blog!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:46 am

      I love the Dark Chocolate Dreams. I MUST try the White Chocolate flavor. Mmm…

      Thanks for the comment and the nice words!

  • Heather March 23, 2011, 11:14 pm

    I actually don’t like peanut butter… I could eat Nutella all day, but Peanut Butter & Almond Butter just don’t do anything for me!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:46 am

      Sigh…I’m kind of envious. I am full-blown addicted!

  • kayli (Running on Sunshine) March 24, 2011, 12:13 am
    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:47 am

      MUST try to make my own nut butter! I love that you can flavor it however you like. Yum!

  • Alaina March 24, 2011, 12:36 am

    What a great run!!! It does feel good to get out there. 🙂

    My favorite peanut butter is Teddie brand peanut butter. It’s made in MA; I don’t know if you can get it anywhere outside New England. If you see it in the store though, try it!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:47 am

      I always see Teddie PB on Tina’s blog. I need to keep an eye out and see if I can find it down here!

  • Emily March 24, 2011, 12:54 am

    Too funny, I just asked this same question on my blog! I really like Maranatha Almond Butter and Better Butter Honey Nut Banana, but I also like to grind my own at Whole Foods once and a while. However, Skippy’s Natural PB was on sale the other day, so I snagged it, but I haven’t tried it yet. Yes, I’m obsessed… 🙂

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:48 am

      I love Better Butter!!! I love to eat the Honey Nut Banana on a banana before a workout.

      I am obsessed too! 🙂

  • Courtney March 24, 2011, 7:02 am

    Justin’s Nut Butters, Trader Joes Brand, The Peanut Butter Company- all great nut butters but definitely not Skippy!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:49 am

      I second Justin’s…YUM! Not PB related but their Maple Almond Butter is to DIE for!

  • Whitney March 24, 2011, 8:01 am

    We had the same afternoon! I ran 5 miles in Charlotte as well. It had been a few weeks since I’ve been dealing with IT band issues. The wind was brutal during my run, but it just felt so nice to be out there in shorts and a tank top! I had a big salad for dinner as well, very refreshing. Ahh can’t get enough of the warm weather! 🙂

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:50 am

      The wind was CRAZY! I guess it was blowing in that big storm? I had to stop a few times because things were blowing off of the trees into my eyes.

      We should meet up for a run soon now that the weather is so amazing!

  • Becca B March 24, 2011, 8:30 am

    I love peanut butter and company cinnamon raisin PB and white chocolate wonderful PB, then for regular peanut butter i use maranatha. it is so good! Then i use maranatha almond and dark chocolate almond butter. the dark chocolate is like frosting. Then target actually has a really yummy cranberry vanilla peanut butter! Ok it is official, I may have a problem…

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:51 am

      I’m pretty sure this is my favorite comment! 😉

      I’ve only had the PB Company Dark Chocolate Dreams but I must try the White Chocolate and Cinnamon Raisin. Sounds amazing!

      I haven’t tried Marnantha almond butter but I do see it in the stores around here. And cranberry vanilla? YUM!

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad March 24, 2011, 8:36 am

    Awesome run! Don’t ya just love a good run?! And Sullie is too cute.

    My favorite PB is Peanut Butter & Co., White Chocolate Wonderful. I really shouldn’t have it in my house. I could eat the entire jar! I also like Barney Butter. I can’t believe Skippy won?!?! I completely disagree.

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:52 am

      OK…there have been so many comments about the White Chocolate PB. I must try it! I am just finishing off a jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams so I’ll have to restock with White Chocolate!

  • Hollie March 24, 2011, 8:57 am

    Glad you enjoyed a great run!

    I love the flavored peanut butters but all time fave for everything is Maranatha Organic Creamy! 🙂

  • Steph March 24, 2011, 9:00 am

    I am a big fan of Skippy Natural! 🙂 I think I have 3 jars of it in the cabinet along with one jar of Peanut Butter & Company’s Cinnamon Raisin PB.
    And I do my first run today since Sunday’s Half Marathon — can’t wait to get out there! Have a great day Jen!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 10:53 am

      Awesome! Enjoy your run! It’s such a beautiful day for it.

      We should meet up for a run soon!

  • Erin March 24, 2011, 9:07 am

    I am a Trader Joe’s girl! I love their creamy salted peanut butter and almond butter. I love to mix them with honey. Not a fan of chunky. After switching over to the natural ones I can not longer do Jiff, but I am not surprised it won the best tasting award. Most people great up on that stuff and have never had the natural stuff is a little different and can take some getting use to. When my dad was visiting I told him there was peanut butter in the fridge if he wanted to make his daily PBJ. He took one look and said “what the heck is that stuff” 🙂

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:06 pm

      I always smear honey on mine too when I’m making PB and banana sandwiches. Soooo good. I love the salty + sweet combo.

      I think that most people are afraid to try the natural peanut butter because of the oil/stirring and the difference in texture. They are missing out! 🙂

  • Laura March 24, 2011, 9:12 am

    I’m a Jif girl, but prefer reduced fat crunchy….My early vote for your next race is the Asheville Citizen-Times Half marathon in September. I have signed up for it, which is terrifying b/c I am not a runner, but it is a beautiful (and HILLY) race.

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:09 pm

      Oh, Laura…thanks for the suggestion. I love Asheville and a half marathon there sounds awesome, even with the hills! 🙂

      You can do it! Let me know if you have any training questions!

  • Amy March 24, 2011, 9:18 am

    For cooking and baking, I prefer Jif.

    For eating, I’m hooked on Trader Joe’s Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds. The is an almond version too, love them both.

    The brand that cannot be brought into my house for fear of eating the entire jar in one sitting…PB&Co Cinnamon Raisin. Can’t….stop…..eating…

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:14 pm

      OK, so many people have mentioned PB Co Cinnamon Raisin and White Chocolate. I have to try them!

      I love TJs Valencia. I haven’t tried the version with flax though. Will pick that up next time!

      • Amy March 28, 2011, 5:53 pm

        Consider yourself warned. 🙂

  • Nicole March 24, 2011, 9:24 am

    I just wanted to saw I love your blog! Congrats on getting that 5 miler done!

    I’m a distance runner, and a lover of PB, too! I was sad to see that article in Cook’s Illustrated about PB. It seemed that maybe they were paid to vote for Skippy? I can think of so many natural brands I much prefer. If I don’t make my own, I love Teddy brand.

    And you are in such fab shape, I must say. Is that weird to say? Sorry if so!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:18 pm

      Nicole – thanks for the kind words about my blog and about the run. I can’t believe that I have de-trained so much that a five mile run feels like a big accomplishment! Sad.

      I agree with you on the CI taste test. Pretty surprising to see the results given they are such an authority on food and cooking. I haven’t tried Teddy – I will in the future!

      And thanks for the comment about me being in shape…I contribute so much of it to strength training!!! 😛

  • Stephanie March 24, 2011, 9:46 am

    I buy off brand natural peanut butter. As long as the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. Right now I am working on a jar of Kroger brand natural crunchy peanut butter.

  • shelby March 24, 2011, 10:12 am

    Taste-wise? I totally agree with the testers – the processed stuff is delicious. Yum.

    I usually end up buying the messy natural kind though.

  • Sara March 24, 2011, 10:19 am

    Skippy natural with honey is my favorite. Its not as natural as TJs peanut butter, but it has a short ingredient list and I know what all the ingredients are. I also love peanut butter and company peanut butter but its so good I don’t let myself buy it!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:19 pm

      It seems to be a reoccurring theme that people avoid the brands they love the most. Sounds like many of us are PB addicts! 🙂

  • Chuck March 24, 2011, 10:20 am

    I lived on peanut butter for weeks while living out of my car in the 80s.So much so I couldn’t stand it for years afterwords.Now I’m back into eating smooth with a bananna.Elvis’s favorite.

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:20 pm

      Amazing comment. Love this story.

      PB + Banana is one of my all-time favorite combos!

  • betty@runbetty.com March 24, 2011, 11:08 am

    Honestly? I don’t know if it is just because I am used to it now, but my favorite peanut butter is actually the one I make at home using the Trader Joes peanut flour.

    All other peanut butters just taste oily and greasy to me now. It took a bunch of experimenting, but now I’ve got it down to a formula and can whip up 2 tbsp in a little under a minute.

    What am I going to do when my stash of peanut flour runs out!??!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:21 pm

      OK – I have some peanut flour but could never perfect my mixture. Please share your special formula! 🙂

  • Rhona@RedWineRunner March 24, 2011, 11:14 am

    I can’t get any of the brands + flavours all you American bloggers talk about in the UK – they all look so good! We only get smooth or chunky – supermarket brands are full of oils + sugar and crap, but you can get plenty of natural brands that have it straight up and plain which I prefer. I like mixing mine up with chilli flakes or cayenne pepper to get a nice satay-style spread.

    You can’t get almond butter over here easily, or any of the other nut butters. I’m going to go wild next week when I’m in Texas and fill my suitcase full of nut butters to take home and try!

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:22 pm

      What a fun idea to mix in things like chili flakes. Love that!

      You should TOTALLY stock up while you’re here – you have to try sunflower butter. Sooo good!

  • natalie March 24, 2011, 11:25 am

    I love everything about this post!!! Congrats on the run, don’t you just want to bottle up that feeling and save it for a rainy day!?

    I don’t have a specific brand in mind, but I DO check my labels when I pick stuff out. The less ingredients the better!

  • Mary Ann March 24, 2011, 1:17 pm

    Isn’t peanut butter a main component of the food pyramid? It’s usually my protein source for at least one meal a day and I love Krema crunchy natural peanut butter. Jif and Skippy and too artificial for my tastes. I agree with Natalie, the less ingredients, the better!

    • Chuck March 24, 2011, 2:51 pm

      Remember that peanut butter is an incomplete protein lacking some of the essential ammino acids for muscle growth.Drink a small glass of milk with it and you’ll have it all.

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:27 pm

      It’s sad how big a part nut butter plays in my food pyramid. Seriously, I eat it every day…sometimes twice a day. There is a void in my day if I don’t get any nut butter. Haha! 🙂

  • Maggie @ Flour Child March 24, 2011, 1:33 pm

    I was dismayed by the Cook’s Illustrated results!!! I’ve never had a taste for “commercial” (or sweetened) peanut butter, as I grew up on Laura Scudder’s. It’s still my favorite — the organic salted nutty variety is AMAZING. Trader Joe’s Organic Crunchy Salted Valencia is my second favorite. (Salt is a major plus in my book.)

    I’ve tried the Peanut Butter & Co. varieties, including White Chocolate Wonderful, but I don’t like the mouthfeel or sweetness. The only sweetened nut butters I like are chocolate (Nutella and Justin’s).

    I’m beyond addicted to peanut butter. And Nuttzo.

    • Jen March 24, 2011, 4:28 pm

      Maggie – I’ve never heard of Laura Scudder’s! I agree with you on the salted peanut butter, it makes the biggest difference! I used Trader Joe’s crunchy salted in your PB Choc Chip bars…I love the salty + sweet combo!

      I haven’t tried Nuttzo yet. I must!

      And I’m with you, my nut butter addiction is teetering on the brink of out of control! 😉

      • Maggie @ Flour Child March 24, 2011, 5:55 pm

        That’s why those peanut bars were so AMAZING!!! I ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not even kidding.

        Nuttzo Peanut Free is divine — strangely, I like it even better than the original, peanut-containing variety.

        Sadly, it appears Laura Scudder’s isn’t available in NC (what the what?!), but it can be ordered online. Please do; it’s so worth it.


        The other day I told my husband I can’t make peanut butter toast for him anymore (which is, like, 2x each day) because I eat too much peanut butter when I do! Ack.

  • lauren March 24, 2011, 4:48 pm

    you should try “naturally more” peanut butter. its hard to find, but sooo good, taste and nutrition wise!

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) March 24, 2011, 6:41 pm

    YAY for your amazing run!! And Sullie is the CUTEST, rolling over like that!! Awww 🙂

    PB&Co Crunch Time is my fave ‘normal’ PB, but their Dark Chocolate Dreams is to DIE for!! 😀

  • Chase March 24, 2011, 8:09 pm

    LOL! I love the dog rolling around in the grass in your one pic 🙂

  • Sarah A. May 30, 2012, 5:31 pm

    Kirkland brand Natural Peanut Butter from Costco is awesome! It does not get crusty at the bottom, which always makes me crazy.

    Have you tried PB2? Its powdered peanut butter and great for adding flavor to protein shakes etc.


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