Is Peanut Butter Vegan?

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A spoonful of peanut butter being taken out of a jar.

Is peanut butter vegan? | Ingredients And Recipe | Non-Vegan Ingredients In Peanut Butter | Brands To Buy | Brands To Avoid | Tips

Peanut butter is an everyday pantry staple found in most American households. It  is made from roasted peanuts.

However, this spread may not necessarily be suitable for vegans.

This article thoroughly investigates whether peanut butter is truly vegan and provides additional information on brands and tips while purchasing it.

Is peanut butter vegan?

Peanut butter is vegan if it is produced using only peanuts and salt.

However, some companies may add non-vegan ingredients like honey, to their peanut butter, for flavoring. Honey is sourced from bees and is therefore not considered vegan.

Several companies also add sugar, salt, and oil to improve their products’ texture, consistency, and shelf life. The sugar used in some peanut butters is usually processed with bone char, which is not vegan.

Additionally, some brands produce “natural” peanut butter using palm oil. Although palm oil is technically vegan, palm oil production is devastating to the environment and is often considered unethical. Thus many vegans choose to avoid it due to the environmental destruction caused by its production.

For these reasons, it is always best to check your peanut butter’s label before purchasing it to ensure that it does not contain any non-vegan ingredients.

Peanut butter ingredients and recipe

Authentically, peanut butter is made from only two ingredients [1]Peta: Is Peanut Butter Vegan?: peanuts and salt.

Here is how it is made if you wish to make your own peanut butter: 

  1. Peanuts are roasted to bring out their flavor.
  2. The peanuts are then ground until they turn into a paste.
  3. Salt is added for taste.
  4. The peanut butter is then packaged and sold.

When is peanut butter not vegan?

Although peanut butter is made out of only two main ingredients, there are some brands of peanut butter that add non-vegan ingredients, like honey or sugar processed with bone char.

Moreover, there are some other instances where peanut butter can become a non-vegan spread:

Omega 3 fatty acids 

Some brands add omega-3 fatty acids to their peanut butter to make it nutrient-rich.

These omega-3 fatty acids usually come from fish oil, which is not vegan.

Whey protein

Whey protein is often added to “healthy” or “high-protein” peanut butters. This ingredient is a by-product of milk and is not vegan. 


Another way that peanut butter can cease being vegan is if there is cross-contamination with other non-vegan products. Companies that manufacture peanut butter in the same facility as certain milk products are at a high risk of contaminating the peanut butter formula with the milk products. 

Moreover,  some companies produce both peanut butter and jelly. There is a chance that the jelly may contain honey, and it may end up in the peanut butter during production.

E Numbers (E471)

E471 is an ingredient that is sometimes added to peanut butter as an emulsifier.

This ingredient is usually derived from animal sources and is not vegan.

Vegan peanut butter brands to buy

Here are some of the best vegan peanut butter brands that you can buy:

  1. 365 Everyday Value Organic Peanut Butter, Creamy Peanut Butter, and Crunchy Peanut Butter.
  2. MaraNatha All-Natural Peanut Butter.
  3. Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Peanut Butter.
  4. Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter.
  5. Teddie All Natural Peanut Butter.
  6. PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter.

What brands to avoid if looking for vegan peanut butter

Given below are some brands that you should avoid if you are looking for vegan peanut butter:

  1. Jif Peanut Butter (Creamy Omega-3 Peanut Butter).
  2. Skippy peanut butter (Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Spread with Honey and Roasted Honey Nut Skippy Peanut Butter).
  3. Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter with Honey.
  4. Peter Pan Crunchy Honey Roast Peanut Spread.
  5. Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter.
  6. Peanut Butter & Co. The Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter.

Tips for buying vegan peanut butter

It can be tedious to purchase vegan peanut butter at a store as all may look alike and have deceiving labels. Given below are some tips to purchase vegan peanut butter: 

  1. When looking for vegan peanut butter, always check the label to make sure that it does not contain any non-vegan ingredients. If the label lists any other ingredients apart from peanuts and salt, then it may not be vegan.
  2. A certified vegan brand [2]Vegan: Certified Vegan would not put any non-vegan ingredients in its product. The label should read “Vegan” or “Vegan-freindly.”
  3. Also, be aware of cross-contamination if the company also produces non-vegan products.
  4. Check the E number to make sure that it is not derived from animal sources.
  5. If you are unsure whether an ingredient is vegan, you can always look it up online or contact the peanut butter manufacturer.


Peanut butter is a delicious and versatile spread that can be enjoyed by vegans only when it is made out of peanuts and salts alone. 

Some brands of peanut butter add non-vegan ingredients, like honey or sugar processed with bone char, omega 3, etc. Thus it could be highly possible that your favorite peanut butter brand could not be vegan.

It is important to check the ingredients list of not only peanut butter but all nut butters to ensure it is vegan


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