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Your favorite non-commercial peanut butter available in the GTA?

duckdown Mar 29, 2010 11:05 PM

Hey all, was just watching a thing on TV from the USA and it was showing some amazing peanut butter products at some expo.. Things like honey roasted peanut butter, beer nut peanut butter, all natural roasted peanut butter, all natural red skin organic peanut butter etc. and it got me thinking that I've only ever really had Kraft, Skippy, or Jif peanut butters..

Anybody have any more unusual favorites and places to buy them? I'd like to check some out.. Also interested in the best all natural peanut butters

cheers!

  1. foodyDudey Mar 29, 2010 11:29 PM

    Have you ever tried the peanut butters that you can grind yourself at many bulk food and health food stores? They have just one ingredient. The Big Carrot has a grinder for Grind-your-own, plus some good peanut, cashew and almond butters in jars, but I forget which company makes those as I haven't bought them recently.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodyDudey
      duckdown Mar 30, 2010 10:07 AM

      Hmm, I have never tried this. I live in Brampton so I never get out to the Big Carrot, but if theres another place this can be done (like a supermarket or so on) I'd definitely like to try it out!

      1. re: duckdown
        p
        piccola Mar 30, 2010 05:02 PM

        Bulk Barn, my friend.

        1. re: piccola
          Paulustrious Mar 31, 2010 09:59 AM

          +1. Pure peanut butter. Or do some of your own in a spice grinder. You also then have the opportunity to roast them first, or mix them with other nuts and/or flavourings.

    2. y
      Yongeman Mar 30, 2010 04:50 AM

      Duckdown, I can't help you with the more unusual flavours, but you can buy brand name and house-brand peanut butters which contain only peanuts at all major supermarkets. I currently have one from Metro--it's the 'Irresistibles' brand and it's 100 percent peanuts. Much more tasty than the sugary, hydrogenated stuff that the main brands push. You know it's 'natural', because the oil separates and floats to the surface. You have to give it a stir (or even pour some off, if you want less fat).

      7 Replies
      1. re: Yongeman
        duckdown Mar 30, 2010 10:08 AM

        Hi there, thanks for the response.., I actually have seen the all natural ones at the supermarket but am usually deterred because they're just generic Kraft brand or House brands.. But if theres one thats actually pretty good, I would definitely give it a shot. Thanks for the tip!

        1. re: Yongeman
          shelleypascual Mar 30, 2010 02:25 PM

          Similar to Metro's Irresistibles brand is Whole Foods' 365 line of products. My absolute favourite peanut butter is 365's Natural Peanut Butter, in either smooth or crunchy. Simple, yes, but oh so good. Worth it for $2.99. I, too, pour some of the natural oils out of the container upon first opening the jar. Always give natural peanut butter a good stir before eating.

          1. re: Yongeman
            shelleypascual Apr 15, 2010 11:11 AM

            Yongeman, I finally tried me a jar of 100% Peanuts - Smooth Peanut Butter by Irresistibles! Love it! Also $2.99 like Whole Foods' Natural Peanut Butter by 365 brand. But a slightly bigger jar, so better value I guess :) Thanks for the tip.

            1. re: shelleypascual
              y
              Yongeman Apr 15, 2010 02:48 PM

              Glad you liked it, shelleypascual. I often buy PC as well...pretty similar (I guess when you're working with only one ingredient, it shouldn't vary toooooo much).

            2. re: Yongeman
              Googs Apr 15, 2010 12:46 PM

              None of the pure peanut butters available at the grocery store compare with ones that can purchased at any health food store that's ground on site. The grocery store ones always have the oil on top that has to be stirred in VERY well or you end up with dry bottom. The grocery store ones don't taste as good or as fresh either.

              DD, you don't need to come downtown for this. You can likely go to any health food store in your area.

              1. re: Googs
                duckdown Apr 29, 2010 11:16 AM

                Hey Googs, thanks for the heads up. Any chains you can think of that offer this kind of service? The only "health food" stores I seem to see in this area are usually part of a chain.. Like "Nature's Source" for instance is one thats nearby my house

                Cheers!

                1. re: duckdown
                  Googs May 2, 2010 01:25 PM

                  My local health food store and peanut butter supplier is Lennie's Whole Foods. They're part of the Health Service Centre stores. Not sure which of these is the most convenient for you, but here's the list.

                  http://www.superpages.ca/bus/Ontario/...

            3. Rabbit Mar 30, 2010 05:25 AM

              I am pretty sure you can buy Peanut Butter & Co.'s products in Toronto... but I can't quite remember where.
              http://ilovepeanutbutter.com

              9 Replies
              1. re: Rabbit
                j
                julesrules Mar 30, 2010 05:57 AM

                I think they had a limited selection of these at my Pape IGA for a while, so maybe Sobey's has them. The other thing my IGA has is a house brand of fresh ground nutbutters in plastic deli containers. I'm not sure if they are ground in-house but they are noticeably fresher & tastier than any of the jarred kinds. The peanut is smokey and delicious. I believe they are all organic too. In the produce section.

                1. re: julesrules
                  foodyDudey Mar 30, 2010 07:17 AM

                  I'll have to look for those next time i'm in the store, as I've never even noticed them. Time for a peanut butter and bacon sandwich.

                2. re: Rabbit
                  duckdown Mar 30, 2010 10:09 AM

                  That stuff looks good! Definitely have never seen this at my local Sobeys... and Sobeys is the supermarket we shop at the most, its the one closest to my house.. Maybe was only in select locations :(

                  1. re: Rabbit
                    shelleypascual Mar 30, 2010 06:13 PM

                    The only Peanut Butter & Co. product I've tried is the "The Heat is On" flavour. Interesting in that the nut butter is spicy, I wouldn't recommend anyone try this flavour. Kinda funky in taste... and it just didn't pair well with plain slices of toast.

                    1. re: shelleypascual
                      Rabbit Mar 31, 2010 05:01 PM

                      I just saw some Peanut Butter & Co. at the Spadina Fresh and Wild (I don't usually shop there but was desperate). But they only had the fire-y kind that shelleypascual just warned us against. They had various other nut butters but nothing that looked particularly interesting. Same story at The Big Carrot this morning... lots of nut butters but nothing really out of the ordinary (you've got peanut butter on my mind now, duckdown!).

                      1. re: Rabbit
                        s
                        sman Apr 14, 2010 06:01 AM

                        I saw some Peanut Butter & Co at Metro in Liberty Village on Sunday. They carry a few flavours including Dark Chocolate Dreams which I have tried. It's a tasty treat.

                        1. re: sman
                          shelleypascual Apr 15, 2010 11:14 AM

                          sman, would you recommend Dark Chocolate Dreams? I've always wanted to try it, in addition to Peanut Butter & Co's Cinnamon Raisin Swirl and Mighty Maple:

                          http://ilovepeanutbutter.com/index.ph...

                          But I don't think they carry Mighty Maple here in Toronto. I haven't seen it anywhere... have you?

                          1. re: shelleypascual
                            s
                            sman Apr 15, 2010 12:04 PM

                            It occurred to me after my post that I saw a wide selection of PB & Co's peanut butter at Max's Market in Bloor West Village back in January, and I'm pretty sure I saw the Mighty Maple there at the time. As for Dark Chocolate Dreams, I really enjoyed the PB and chocolate combination. I got a good taste of both and the texture was like peanut butter versus Nutella which I would consider thinner. It was a good treat and while I'd be happy to always have a jar in my cupboard, I would probably stick to regular peanut butter for my every day consumption.

                            -----
                            Max's Market
                            2299 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6S, CA

                    2. re: Rabbit
                      Otonabee Mar 31, 2010 06:14 PM

                      Whole Foods carries the Peanut Butter & Co stuff. don't know how many flavours.

                    3. duckdown Mar 30, 2010 10:10 AM

                      Always wanted to try a "fluffernutter" sandwich too, but thats another thing I've never found in Canadian supermarkets thats really popular in US ones.. Marshmallow spread

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: duckdown
                        Manybears Mar 30, 2010 12:39 PM

                        For marshmallow spread, check near the ice cream toppings. I haven't found much variety in terms of brands but there was something approximating Fluff there the last time I was at Metro.

                        1. re: duckdown
                          GoodGravy Mar 30, 2010 01:09 PM

                          Marshmallow fluff also goes good w/ nutella, chocolate spread and graham crackers, etc.

                          As for grind your own PB, they can be amazing or bland depending on whether the peanuts were roasted, salted, etc.

                          1. re: duckdown
                            g
                            gomes Mar 31, 2010 08:18 PM

                            I recently saw Fluff for the first time in Canada at my local Fortinos (Mountainash and Bovaird). It was near the take-home pies.

                          2. shelleypascual Mar 30, 2010 02:35 PM

                            Nuts 2 U is an excellent brand of natural nut butters, available in most health food stores. One of my favourites of their entire line is the Peanut Butter & Hazelnut Nut Butter. No more than $2.99 at Tutti Frutti Health Food Store in Kensington Market (64 Kensington Ave.) It sounds like you're interested in trying a variety of different peanut nut butters... but you may be interested in trying out different kinds of nuts...

                            Nuts 2 U also carries a yummy macadamia nut butter, a cashew butter, a pumpkin seed butter, the list goes on! I must say though, that the pumpkin seed butter did taste a little funky. To each their own. Enjoy.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: shelleypascual
                              p
                              piccola Mar 30, 2010 05:04 PM

                              Are the other nut butters that cheap, too, or just the peanut?

                              1. re: piccola
                                shelleypascual Mar 30, 2010 06:09 PM

                                The Nuts 2 U peanut butter is the cheapest, unfortunately. The others go for upward of $2.99. But certain flavours, like the cashew butter, are definitely worth it to try.

                                1. re: shelleypascual
                                  p
                                  piccola Mar 31, 2010 04:20 PM

                                  Yeah, I figured. I wish there were small jars of nut butters in the $3 range -- that way, I could try a bunch without spending a fortune and ending up with tonnes of jars I can't finish for months.

                                  1. re: piccola
                                    Chester Eleganté Apr 14, 2010 12:31 AM

                                    Actually, you can. Nuts To You also makes their jars in small sizes -- you'll have to call stores up specifically to see if they carry'em. For almond butter I prefer Maranatha's - better flavour and spreadability - plus Costco carries the large jars for seven bucks.

                                    1. re: Chester Eleganté
                                      p
                                      piccola Apr 14, 2010 06:10 PM

                                      Hey, thanks!

                                      1. re: Chester Eleganté
                                        shelleypascual Apr 15, 2010 11:07 AM

                                        Nuts 2 U does carry their nut butters in small jars, yes. But not every flavour carried in their large jars is also offered in their small jars. Also, the cheapest nut butter in their small jar is still around $2.99.

                                        But OMG, Maranatha's is awesome! My fave is their Raw Natural Almond Butter. I'm always on the lookout for this particular flavour... but can never find it cheaper than $7. Chester_Elegante, by any chance have you seen this flavour anywhere for cheap?

                                        1. re: shelleypascual
                                          Chester Eleganté May 10, 2010 01:32 PM

                                          Ya, maranatha's the way to go. I don't recall seeing it cheaper, though I haven't really looked either. I imagine it's around the same price everywhere except for costco.

                                          I agree with the poster below about Valencia being better. And Ambrosia has all of their peanut butters (organic/valencia/regular) on sale for $2.79 this month.

                              2. duckdown Mar 30, 2010 06:41 PM

                                the "beer nut butter" looked amazing... like crunchy peanut butter with little crispy pieces of that brittle coating.

                                I will have to check my local supermarkets for either the Nuts To You product or the Peanut Butter & Co. but I can say that I've never seen either of those labels that I can recall...and I'm usually pretty good at remembering this stuff *shrug*

                                I'm surprised theres no good PC products, they've usually got good versions of these things

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: duckdown
                                  p
                                  piccola Mar 31, 2010 04:21 PM

                                  The Just Peanuts PC version is delicious and fairly inexpensive. Totally worth it.

                                  1. re: piccola
                                    mogo Mar 31, 2010 06:17 PM

                                    Yeah, I'm a big fan of the PC Just Peanuts one.

                                  2. re: duckdown
                                    b
                                    bytepusher Mar 31, 2010 10:07 PM

                                    I think the PC products just haven't been mentioned. We buy the PC Organics peanut butter, only ingredient, peanuts.

                                  3. m
                                    ManAbout Mar 30, 2010 09:41 PM

                                    Just picked up some organic, natural peanut butter at the bulk barn close to me.

                                    1. a
                                      amy_whino Mar 31, 2010 06:25 AM

                                      Summerhill market has an extensive selection of peanut butter. I can't remember the types or brand names off hand. We only go there as a last resort, (We stock up on Trader Joe's Valencia PB when we're in the States)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: amy_whino
                                        sgogo Apr 29, 2010 11:03 AM

                                        I got some PB there last week, it's from Peanut Butter & Co., they appear to be based in New York. They had two kinds, smooth and crunchy. I got the crunchy one, called Crunch Time, and it is goooood. Compared to the big brands, it's extra-crunchy. It has pretty large chunks of peanuts, and was well balanced with salty/sweet flavours. More expensive than the average, not surprisingly for Summerhill Market. Not sure if it's sold anywhere else.

                                        -----
                                        Summerhill Market
                                        446 Summerhill Ave, Toronto, ON M4W, CA

                                      2. f
                                        Foodie0423 Mar 31, 2010 02:54 PM

                                        It's not peanut but President's choice makes an almond butter that is just too good.
                                        It is part of their blue label line. Need to get the crunchy.

                                        1. e
                                          eva q Apr 30, 2010 12:26 PM

                                          I have to say that some of the best PB I ever had was in the US from Trader Joe's - their in-house organic PB is awesome (no additional oils or sweetners, just nuts). But the key is that they roast Valencia peanuts, which have a naturally sweeter/richer (and I think more deeply peanutty) flavour. They sell Valencia natural PB in TO at health/bulk stores but they don't advertise it as such. You just have to look at the labelling on the pail to see if it's Valencia.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: eva q
                                            chocabot Apr 30, 2010 12:53 PM

                                            nuts to you brand has a valencia pb that i prefer over the regular.

                                            1. re: eva q
                                              shelleypascual Apr 30, 2010 07:38 PM

                                              I've never tried Nuts to You's Valencia Peanut Butter... mostly 'cuz I've wondered how it differed from their regular Peanut Butter. I'm excited to try it now.

                                              I have to say one of my favourite nut butters of all time is Maranatha's Raw Almond Butter. And when I saw a cheaper Trader Joe's version of Raw Almond Butter in the States, I went bonkers. Too bad Chicago's O'Hare Airport confiscated it from my carry-on! Bahaha, it totally slipped my mind that almond butter could be considered a "liquid." Needless to say, I never got to try it. Boo-urns.

                                            2. o
                                              ottokirpitnik Sep 20, 2012 10:46 AM

                                              Try the all natural "Blue Menu" Crunchy "Just Peanuts" house brand peanut butter from Loblaws and their affiliates. If it's too runny I just mix in more chopped nuts (or even chopped almonds). It is reasonably well priced and delicious.
                                              Picards' makes you use peanuts with skins on and I DON'T like that. I do like that they are Canadian peanuts from Ontario. Other places that have grinders often have peanuts that are less than fresh likely because they charge too much.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: ottokirpitnik
                                                justsayn Sep 20, 2012 12:47 PM

                                                This is a pretty old thread - my go-to is still Bulk Barn at Leslie and Lakeshore. I enjoy both the peanut and almond butter. But my reason for posting is to mention a PB line I noticed at Kitchen Table last week. I haven't tried it yet but it was interesting looking. Natural and maybe organic Cinnamon and other flavoured concoctions.

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