Peanut butter is a staple in our kid's lives. Each tablespoon is approximately 3 g of carbohydrates. Sometimes we give our kids a big spoonful to help their blood glucose numbers remain steady if we are close to the next meal. There are so many natural peanut butter brands to choose from. For our family, it's all about texture and taste. Some choices are creamy, chunky or unsalted.

In the March 2009 issue of Real Simple magazine, Lindsay Funston wrote a great article about natural peanut butters. She included test results comparing 56 varieties of natural peanut butter, all free of trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup; and here are some of the results:

Creamy winner: Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted - $5.50
Runner-up: Smucker's Natural - $3

Chunky winner: Smucker's Natural - $3
Runner-up: Santa Cruz Organic Light Roasted - $5

Un-salted winner: Joseph's Sugar-Free Creamy Valencia - $3
Runner-up: Once Again Nut Butter Old Fashioned - $4.25

One thing about natural peanut butter: the oil and butter in it separate, with the oil rising to the top of the jar. Mixing it can be a bit messy, although there is a gadget to make it a bit easier and cleaner. Witmer products offers a hand mixer that screws onto your jar of peanut butter. Attached to the lid is a hand crank that mixes the oil and butter. I haven't tried it, but it sounds cool to me. Without or without a neat gadget, natural peanut butter is the healthier, tastier way to go.