Is Peanut Butter Vegan?
As much as we like suspense, we know how important peanut butter is to some people, so we wouldn’t want to cause unnecessary panic. Don’t worry everyone, in most cases, peanut butter is totally vegan friendly (cue the sigh of relief).
The most natural versions of the nation’s favourite nutty spread simply contain 100% peanuts, occasionally with the addition of salt too. However, this will naturally separate into oil and solids unless stirred, which is why some brands add stabilisers to their peanut butter spreads, a common one being palm oil.
This is quite a controversial ingredient for many people, not just vegans, as it’s a huge contributor to deforestation, loss of biodiversity and displacement of indigenous people. Some vegans therefore choose to boycott palm oil, despite it being a vegetable product.
Another ingredient to be wary of in your peanut butter is honey, as this is sometimes used to sweeten ‘all-natural’ blends rather than artificial sweeteners or sugar. As it’s made by bees, honey is considered an animal product, and therefore not compatible with a vegan lifestyle.
This is where things get even more complicated...
If your peanut butter is sweetened with sugar, it might not be vegan either.
But sugar doesn’t come from animals, right? Well, we thought so too until we did a bit of research and discovered that refined sugar is actually put through a filtration process to remove impurities and give it a bright white colour — and the filter that’s used is bone char, which is made from the bones of cattle.
So, although there aren’t any animal products in sugar, animal products have still been used in the process of making it, which is why it’s a bit of a grey area for some vegans. Not all types of sugar are filtered in this way though, only the kind from sugar canes.
Basically, as long as you’re checking the labels, you should be fine to carry on your love affair with peanut butter. In fact, as a great plant-based source of protein, it’s really quite advisable that you do… (just in case you were in need of another excuse to justify your addiction).
Our Organic Peanut Butter is a safe bet to satisfy your snacking urges, or you could try our Powdered Peanut Butter which has all the amazing flavour of peanut butter but with none of the oils, meaning it has 70% less fat than the regular kind. You can add it to shakes, smoothies and pancakes, or mix with water for a spread that’s not quite so damaging to the diet — ideal for guilt-free indulgence.
Vegan Peanut Butter Recipes
1. No-Bake Snickers Cheesecake
- 200g cashew nuts (soaked in boiling water for at least 1 hour)
- 120g coconut cream
- 4 tbsp. Maple Syrup
- 6-8 drops Vanilla FlavDrops
- Pinch sea salt
Caramel nut butter topping:
1. Blend the base ingredients and process until almost smooth, then press firmly into a lined 8×8” tin. Place into the fridge to set. Clean out the blender.
2. Next, drain the soaked cashews and place in the blender along with the rest of the filling ingredients and process until silky smooth. Pour the filling over the crust and spread evenly. Place into the freezer for at least 1 hour.
3. Whilst waiting, place all caramel topping ingredients into a saucepan on a low heat for 2-3 minutes until completely melted, stirring occasionally. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool for at least 20 minutes.
4. Once the filling and crust have chilled, remove from the freezer and drizzle the caramel over the top, along with a little melted chocolate and chopped peanuts.
5. Place back into the freezer for at least 4 hours, then when ready to eat, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. Cut into squares and devour.
2. Peanut Butter Blender Ice Cream
- 25g Crunchy Peanut Butter
- Sprinkle Cacao Nibs
- 5 medium Frozen Bananas
- 100ml Almond Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 5 drops Vanilla FlavDrops
- 15ml Agave Syrup
1. To a food processor add the bananas, peanut butter, cinnamon, honey and FlavDrops.
2. Add a dash of milk and blitz – if the mixture seems to not move round very well add more milk.
3. Once consistency is thick and firm pour into a bowl and freeze for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from the freezer, scoop out what you need (or want!) and return remainder to the freezer.
5. Serve with cacao nibs or your favourite Sugar-Free Syrup.
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
Lauren is an English Literature graduate originally from the South. She’s always loved swimming, has discovered the power of weight training over the past few years, and has lots of room for improvement in her weekly hot yoga class.
On the weekends she’s usually cooking or eating some kind of brunch, and she enjoys trying out new recipes with her housemates – especially since shaking off student habits, like mainly surviving off pasta. Above all, she’s a firm believer in keeping a balance between the gym and gin.
Find out more about Lauren’s experience here.