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Once in a while, a pitch lands in my work inbox that gives me pause. What even is this? Why does it exist? Could it actually be good? Okay, I'll try it out — why the hell not? And that's the brief story of how Flavored PB Co., a brand that makes ready-to-mix peanut butter powder went from my email to my belly. (Psst—Get 15% off sitewide with the code REFINERY15 at checkout. There are no exclusions and no expiration date.)
I've never been a huge peanut butter fan, not because I don't enjoy the taste of it but because I've always been sus by what it actually is — I mean, a thick paste made out of grounded peanuts and oils that can sit unrefrigerated for months? Hmm, interesting concept. Not that peanut butter powder is any more normal to me, but I do like that with a powder, I can whip up only as much as I need and not have to worry about the rest of the jar with its sloppy knife lashings inside sitting in my cupboard.
When I first received the packets of Flavored PB Co. — flavors include Churro, Party Cake, and Salted Caramel Crunch — I had to wonder: Why does peanut butter powder even exist? Unsurprisingly, my first assumption was that peanut butter, especially when eaten in excess, wouldn't be considered the most "healthy" thing to do. (And I say that in quotes because PB obviously does offer other great nutritional benefits like vitamin E, magnesium, and iron — it's just that too much of one thing is never a good idea.) As most peanut butter heads already know, the spread is generally high in calories. And depending on the brand, some peanut butters contain not-so-good ingredients like hydrogenated oils (or trans fats) that don't bode well for the heart.
But peanut butter is also such a beloved ingredient — it's one-half the middle of a classic children's sandwich, it's eaten with fruits (apple slices) and vegetables (celery) alike, it's mixed in with Thai noodles, and it's found in many of my favorite desserts — that massive PB fanatics must always be seeking another alternative. And that's where a brand like Flavored PB Co. steps in: ready-to-mix peanut butter that has hints of other sweet treats like cookies and creme, blueberry cobbler, churros, salted caramel, birthday cake, and banana nut bread. The brand notes that it's healthier than traditional nut butter, has 100% natural ingredients, and is made from non-GMO peanuts grown in the United States. For people with dietary restrictions, the powders are also keto-friendly, low-carb, low-sugar, and gluten-, soy-, dairy-, corn-, and trans fat-free
The most straightforward way to eat the stuff is by mixing the powder with water — literally, you scoop some powder into a small bowl, add a few tablespoons of water, and stir it up — which can then be used as a spread, dip, or drizzle for pancakes and other baked goods. But the powder can also be added directly into your morning smoothie or protein shake or sprinkled atop yogurts or oatmeal. At the suggestion of the PB Flavored Co. directions on the back of the packaging, I also microwaved the spread to make this sort of moist, brownie-like treat, which was kind of fun.
Taste-wise, I gotta say that this stuff does taste "healthy," meaning it's not as decadent as real peanut butter — but I suppose that's the whole point of this powder. Each serving is only 45 calories, which is roughly half of what you'd find in a regular, store-bought jar. The flavors that I've tried, like Party Cake and Churro, are not overly strong — they just leave a faint but pleasant aftertaste. As a person who's not totally obsessed with peanut butter, I found that these powders are a quick way to satiate my sweet tooth, although I have to confess that I like to substitute a dollop of maple syrup for water to get the sweetness level to my liking).
Who is this peanut butter powder for, you may ask? I say the sky's the limit. An avid baker who wants to swap in healthier ingredients would likely find Flavored PB Co. useful. The person who usually eats PB by the spoonful would also love this brand. I'm not positive that actual children will be convinced of peanut butter powders, but it might be funny to conduct a taste test with them. Never in my life would I have requested or asked for peanut butter in powder form, but, you know, since it does exist and it serves a health-conscious purpose, I'm certainly not mad about it.
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