In the battle of peanut butter vs. Nutella, there are many differences. While they are both creamy and made from nuts, their ingredients vary, and so do their nutritional properties.  

Peanut Butter vs. Nutella: What is the Difference?

When we talk about peanut butter vs. Nutella, there are some similarities, but mostly differences. 

Of the similarities is the fact that both products have a similar texture and they’re both easy to spread on bread. They both can also be used in similar ways. Nutella is often a substitute when someone doesn’t care for peanut butter. You can use both as a topping for waffles, pancakes, toast, etc. Peanut butter is often used when baking larger dishes, and though many people don’t use Nutella that way, it can also be used in that fashion, and it would taste great.

Both peanut butter and Nutella also have similar calorie counts. Both contain about 200 calories per two tablespoons. However, they are different types of calories. We’ll dive into the unique properties of each treat below.

What is Nutella?

Homemade hazelnut spread in wooden bowl. Hazelnut Nougat cream.
Nutella is made from hazelnut flavors and makes for a great spread or dip.

©beats1/Shutterstock.com

Nutella is a tasty treat that combines chocolate and hazelnut flavors. It was first developed during World War II in Italy as a way of filling the shortage of cocoa at the time, and it’s been a hit ever since. Nutella is made by taking cocoa beans and roasting them to release the cocoa butter. When the chocolate is pure cocoa, it’s crushed. Then, hazelnuts are cleaned and roasted and added to the chocolate mixture, along with milk and sugar. It’s mixed into a fine paste, and it's ready to eat.

Nutrition

Although Nutella is made with nuts, in the battle of peanut butter vs. Nutella, Nutella is the less healthy option because of the amount of fat and sugar it contains. It’s not all bad, though. Nutella also contains some positive ingredients, including protein, calcium, and iron.

Calcium does wonders for your bones and teeth, it helps with the movement of muscles, and it helps you to maintain your strength. Iron is necessary for red blood cell production, better sleep, improved focus, and it helps you to maintain stamina, among other benefits. However, the benefits aren’t enough to make it worth eating Nutella more than necessary.

What is Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is made by roasting peanuts, grinding them down, and making them into a nice spread. There are different brands of peanut butter, and some include additional ingredients that add to the taste, such as sugar, salt, vegetable oil, and other ingredients. 

Nutrition

While you shouldn’t go overboard and consume too much peanut butter on a daily basis, it is much healthier than Nutella, and it has the ingredients to prove it. Healthy ingredients in peanut butter include:

  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin E
  • Niacin
  • Fiber

The vitamin E in peanut butter is great for maintaining healthy eyes and skin, and it’s essential for strengthening our immune system so we don’t get sick. Potassium is necessary for the health of our cells, and it supports our normal blood pressure. Niacin, or vitamin B3, is a good form of cholesterol that helps remove bad cholesterol from our bloodstream. Peanut butter also has healthy fats (Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), which both lower our risk of disease.

One of the most exciting aspects of peanut butter is that it contains protein and fiber. Together, these are awesome ingredients that help with weight management. If you eat a moderate amount of peanut butter each day, then you could actually maintain a healthy weight, which is not something you can say for most foods. 

All in all, when the argument of peanut butter vs. Nutella comes down to nutritional value, peanut butter is the clear winner because it can help you to lose weight, improve heart health, manage your blood sugar, and reduce your risk of cancer and other serious diseases. 

Nutella Alternatives

Alt text

If you’re Team Nutella in the peanut butter vs. Nutella debate but you aren’t thrilled about the taste, you’re in luck. There are several Nutella alternatives that may be just what you need. Many of these are name-brand products that are sold at stores.

Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Justin’s Hazelnut Butter is found in many stores, and it’s a bit different because it contains almonds. The almonds provide a very subtle flavor but it also makes the spread a bit grainier than traditional Nutella. It also has a bit sweeter taste and is less earthy.

Jem Hazelnut Raw Cacao Butter

The Jem company provides a vegan and organic take on the Nutella spread, but it still offers a nice chocolate-to-hazelnut ratio with just the slightest touch of salt to make that perfect bite. It’s one of the most natural versions of Nutella that you’ll see.

Olivier's & Co. L'Extreme Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

While it’s not exactly extreme, this hazelnut variant from Olivier’s & Co. separates itself by adding extra-virgin olive oil to the equation. Most people will taste the impact of the oil, but it isn’t overpowering. This spread is not super nutty, and it has a looser consistency than Nutella.

Rawmio Beyond Gourmet Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

This version of Nutella will really blow your socks off. The recipe includes organic cocoa nibs, coconut sugar, and stone-ground hazelnuts, which bring the taste to another level. The taste is not too sweet, but it’s very nutty so that it can be an acquired taste, but if you like it, you won’t go back.

Peanut Butter Alternatives

Tasty sesame paste, seeds and scoop on white wooden table, flat lay. Space for text
Sesame butter is a great alternative to peanut butter with a similar consistency.

©New Africa/Shutterstock.com

If you root for peanut butter in the peanut butter vs. Nutella argument but you want to try something new but similar, then there are many options to consider, including:

Granola Butter

This alternative provides a great taste that resembles a balance of granola and your grandma’s oatmeal cookies. It also contains fiber and protein, so it can help with weight management, and it offers a smooth consistency.

Sesame Butter

If you want to take nuts completely out of the equation, then sesame butter might do the trick. It has a great depth of flavor and the healthy ingredients that you like in peanut butter. Be cautious that it will be 200 calories per serving.  

Soy Butter

When you’re all about the texture and not so much the legumes, then soy butter is a great choice. It tastes as close to peanut butter as you would like and it also spreads well on bread, and your favorite desserts. 

Sunflower Seed Butter

Sun butter offers a very earthy taste, but it does not taste like peanut butter. With that said, it still offers a healthy crunch, and you can use it in many of your dessert recipes. It has slightly more calories per serving than peanut butter, but it does have fiber and protein.  

Peanut Butter Recipes

If you love the taste of peanut butter and you want to have it in all of your desserts, then we have some great recipes that you should check out:

Nutella Recipes

Although Nutella is not used in as many recipes, it can add a nice texture and flavor to many desserts, including:

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a fair share of differences in the comparison of peanut butter vs. Nutella, including the flavors and the nutrition aspect. With that said, they are both tasty treats in moderation, so add them to your next dessert and take a one-way trip to flavor town!

About the Author