Soy butter and crackers—maybe not!
I just tried my first Soy Wonder Crunchy soy butter on some Ritz crackers. It was good — not up there with a healthy dose of Jiff Extra Crunchy peanut butter — but it was good.
Soy butter and crackers doesn’t exactly have the right ring to it for someone like me, who has been a peanut butter and cracker addict for all my life.
Soy Wonder is
gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free. And, it’s very clear on the label that it is peanut and tree nut-free and 100 percent school safe.
School safe is the primary reason I decided to pay twice the price of peanut butter for a 17.6 ounce jar of soybean butter. My granddaughter still is banned from taking her prized peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school for lunch because someone in her class has an allergy to nuts. Pointless, I found out to remind the school board that peanuts are a legume and not a nut, hence the soy butter.
For those with a culinary weakness for peanut butter, but a disdain for the sweat and toil it takes to shed the pounds over-use can get you, soy butter may not be such a good deal. I’m no dietician, but here’s what a 17.6 ounce jar of Soy Wonder soy nut butter contains.
Metric system be damned, it doesn’t sound all that more healthy than peanut butter to me.
• 15 grams of total fat (26 percent);
• 2.5 grams of saturated fat (14 percent);
• Trans fat 0 grams;
• Omega-6 7.5 grams;
• Omega-3 1.5 grams;
Soy butter contains 7 grams of protein.
Curiosity overcame me, so I dug out my nearly empty jar of Great Value Extra Crunchy peanut butter for comparison.
Here’s what my 28 ounce jar of off-brand peanut butter contains:
• Total fat 15 grams;
• Saturated fat 2 grams;
• Protein 9 grams.
Here’s what the Soy Foods Association of North America says about soy nut butter: “Soy nut butter is made from fresh roasted whole soybeans. It is remarkably similar to peanut butter in taste and texture, but has significantly less total and saturated fat than peanut butter, is cholesterol free, and offers 7 grams of beneficial soy protein per serving.”
Hmmm! The label on my Soy Wonder Crunchy soy nut butter says 24 percent total fat and 14 percent saturated fat. The label on my Great Value extra crunchy peanut butter says 15 percent total fat and 10 percent saturated fat.
If labels don’t lie — well somebody’s not being truthful or accurate. In this case, it appears peanut butter is getting the short end of the advertising stick.
Again, from a novice point of view, I don’t see soy butter as a healthy alternative to peanut butter. I’m guessing both are healthier than most things Americans tend to eat in great quantities.
Technically, if you want to be healthier and still get your peanut butter — like fix, hemp nut butter is the lowest in calories of all the peanut butter substitutes with only 145 calories per serving. I don’t think hemp butter and crackers is going to do it for me.
Feeling that my years of peanut butter addiction (plus my well-documented fear of numbers) may be clouding my judgment, I offered my daughter and her daughter (my granddaughter) a sample from my stash of Ritz soy nut butter crackers. Three generations of peanut butter and crackers fiends agree — soy butter is good, but it’s just not peanut butter.
Soy nut butter does taste, maybe more so feels, like peanut butter. It is slightly sweeter and less bulky than peanut butter. It is much more closely akin to smooth peanut butter and not-so-much like crunchy brands.
The cost is a little more for soy nut butter, and for me the final product isn’t as tasty. But, for kids in programs where peanut products are banned, it seems to be to be a good replacement product. Almond butter may be tastier, but at $11 per jar, it was a bit pricy for me.
A soy butter and jelly sandwich in tomorrow’s lunch box may just tell the tale on whether soy butter can stand up to peanut butter and jelly in the school lunch place.
No doubt the peanut butter look alike will need to come with a multi-page treatise and perhaps visual documentation that the sandwich does indeed not include any peanut or tree nut products and is produced in a peanut-free environment — maybe the Soy Wonder label will suffice.