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What is Powdered Peanut Butter?

Powdered peanut butter is starting to show up in grocery stores. What is it?

Powdered peanut butter is a byproduct of peanut oil production: Roasted peanuts are pressed to extract the peanut oil, and the leftover, defatted peanut bits are dried and ground into a powder, which can be reconstituted if desired.

We ordered four brands of powdered peanut butter and followed their package directions to reconstitute them with water. We matched these against our winning creamy peanut butter, Skippy, plain, in peanut butter cookies, in milkshakes, and in peanut butter sandwiches. Tasters were easily able to pick out the powdered varieties. The cookies were noticeably leaner. In the milkshakes, the peanut flavor was less pronounced, and the texture was decidedly chalky. The sandwiches, according to tasters, seemed like they were made with diet peanut butter. These comments made sense when we compared nutrition labels. While 2 tablespoons of Skippy have 190 calories and 16 grams of fat, 2 tablespoons of powdered peanut butter have about 45 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.

Knowing that peanut oil is removed from powdered peanut butter, we tried reconstituting the powder using peanut oil instead of water. It made the product much more similar to peanut butter.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Powdered peanut butter reconstituted with water, per manufacturers’ instructions, tastes like a weak imitation of the real thing. It’s much better when reconstituted with peanut oil.

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