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.
Let's dive into their differences in more detail and also look at the health considerations for each spread!
Peanut Butter vs. Nutella: What is the Difference?
The main difference between peanut butter and Nutella is their primary ingredients. Peanut butter is made of ground peanuts whereas Nutella is made from sugar, palm oil, hazelnut, cocoa solids, and skimmed milk. This leads to Nutella having a sweet and chocolaty flavor whereas peanut butter has a savory, nutty taste. Health-wise, peanut butter is high in protein and contains healthy fats while Nuetella has less protein and more sugar.
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?
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.
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.
Nutella vs. Peanut Butter Nutrition: Calories & Which is Healthier
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.
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:
- Vitamin E
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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:
- Peanut Butter Cake – Bite-sized cakes made with gooey peanut butter.
- Old School Peanut Butter Bars – A tasty peanut butter treat for the whole family.
- Peanut Butter Cheesecake – Classic cheesecake with a peanut butter twist.
- Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge – Mouth-watering fudge with a creamy touch.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge – A chocolaty version of the peanut butter fudge.
Although Nutella is not used in as many recipes, it can add a nice texture and flavor to many desserts, including:Print
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup pecans, diced (optional)
- cupcake papers
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Nutella
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Chopped hazelnuts or almonds for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three batches.
- Fold in the bananas and pecans.
- Place cupcake papers in a muffin tin and spoon the banana batter into the papers.
- Bake until the cupcakes spring back when touched, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven a cool.
- For the frosting, heat the cream in the microwave until little bubbles appear.
- Pour the cream over the Nutella and stir well to mix.
- Stir the butter into the Nutella and cream just until melted and glossy.
- Remove the paper from the cupcakes. Pour the ganache into a shallow dish and dip the top of the cupcakes unto the ganache. Hold the cupcake upside down for a few seconds to allow the excess to drip off. Or, leave the papers on and spoon the ganache over the top of the cupcakes.
- Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts or almonds, if desired.
- Nutella Mousse – A tasty mousse that’s tasty and easy to make.
- Strawberry Nutella Milkshake – The perfect Nutella and strawberry treat.
- Peanut butter has a lot less carbohydrates in comparison to Nutella; if you're on a diet that restricts your carb intake, peanut butter is definitely the better choice.
- Peanut butter is often touted as a great food for those looking to take in more protein. It's definitely better than Nutella in this category, with quite a bit more protein.
- Nutella has a more extensive list of ingredients, while peanut butter is just made of ground peanuts. You can make your own Nutella at home if you want more control over the ingredients.
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!