I love using natural peanut butter – i.e. those that contain only peanuts, or peanuts and salt. Not only does this help me avoid nasty preservatives, palm oil, and excess sugar, but I love the deep peanutty taste, AND then I can use my allotment of sugar calories for the jam 🙂 My favorite, because it’s affordable, widely available, and very creamy so it’s great for dipping apple slices etc, is Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter. A little dollop of real-fruit preserves adds all the sweetness I need for a PB & J, or just when taking an emergency spoonful.
BUT, natural peanut butters can be messy. The oil tends to separate from the peanut solids and rise to the top of the jar, requiring it to be stirred back in to the solid mass below. Invariably this leads to spillover and drips and and an oily mess. Somewhere out in the world I came across this tip that REALLY works: when you bring the PB home from the store, place it upside down in your cabinet and leave it overnight. When you open it, the peanut butter has magically self-mixed itself! No oil spills. Love it.