Peanut butter is one of those spreads that ends up in everyone’s pantry and we kind of fall in love with it.
But is peanut butter dairy free ? It’s got the word ‘butter’ in it, after all. And maybe not all peanut butter is made the same.
This is what we’re going to find out today, see just what peanut butter is really made of, and how you can tell whether it’s dairy free or not.
Peanut butter is dairy free
Peanut butter is by definition dairy free, as the original recipe includes only peanuts (roasted) and salt.
Peanuts are literally pressed and blended until they form a paste, to which a little salt is added for flavor.
The end result is a very runny paste that actually isn’t the most stable. The fats in peanut butter will separate from the solids and it requires mixing every now and then.
It’s also the reason organic peanut butter doesn’t last as long as regular peanut butter, since it has no added thickeners or stabilizers.
Peanuts are dairy free
While peanuts may cause allergies by themselves they don’t actually contain any dairy, at all.
Dairy can only be obtained from milking animals, despite some misleading food names.
Items like nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond, hazelnut, etc) are all vegan and dairy free, as they contain no added milk or butter.
Peanut butter has no actual butter
To really clarify things, let’s explain why peanut butter is called a butter, if it has o real butter in it.
The truth is that many spreads are called a butter, due to the high fat content.
This is also true for butters that aren’t exactly meant to be spread on toast or on a scone, like cocoa butter or shea butter. Neither contain actual butter but they behave pretty much like a butter.
Solidify at cold temperatures, get soft and melty at human body temperature, and are made entirely of fats.
By definition peanut butter is vegan
Peanut butter is vegan, judging from an ingredient standpoint.
Whether it’s pure peanut butter – just peanut and salt – or an ‘enhanced’ version with added palm oil, flavorings, and a thickener, it’s still vegan.
This is because the ingredients in peanut butter – simple or the more complex – are plant-based. Items like sugar, coconut oil or butter, cacao powder are all plant-based and are common additions on peanut butter labels.
Always check the label !
That being said, you do need to check the label, every single time.
Whether you’re looking to maintain a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle or simply want to avoid dairy for personal reasons, not all peanut butters are made the same.
Since peanut butter is so widely consumed it must cater to a wide variety of tastes. Some folks use it to boost calorie intake, some to boost protein intake, and other simply love the flavor.
Naturally, you may find all sorts of combinations in your jar of peanut butter, even if the default has no dairy.
Some peanut butter brands may have dairy added in the form of powdered milk or whey extract, or powdered yogurt.
Even if milk is not directly stated it may be in the form of milk chocolate mixed into the peanut butter. And milk chocolate always has some measure of milk in it.
In those cases you may need to read the label very carefully because the milk may be mentioned as a small part of what the milk chocolate is made of, and be in a tiny parentheses.
Yet another way to spot milk is to look for lactose. That’s the natural sugar in milk, and it’s what folks are actually reacting to (lactose intolerance).
If you see fructose that’s the sugar in fruit, while sucrose is common sugar. Keep in mind that some companies may state the ingredients but not the amounts or percentages.
That kind of labeling is shady at best, and you may want to avoid them.
Alright, all that being said you know now whether peanut butter is dairy free, and how to check the label for it.
It’s really such an amazing spread and even a simple morning peanut butter and honey on toast can make things go much better.
If you’ve got any food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.