Donnie Rice of Bell Plantation, rehydrating PB23 powder

Bell Plantation‘s PB2 was one of the more interesting products fighting for attention at The National Restaurant Association’s recent annual show at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

The four-year-old company based in Tifton, Ga., produces a line of peanut butter powder that can be re-hydrated and used like regular peanut butter, or stirred into recipes for a peanut taste without the fat. The powder is made by pressing roasted peanuts at very high pressure, removing most of the fat, said Donnie Rice, a spokesman.
Two tablespoons of reduced fat Jif is 190 calories with 12 grams of fat. Two tablespoons of PB2 powder is 45 calories and 1.5 grams fat. With a tablespoon of water, it re-hydrates to the consistency of peanut butter from a jar.

For a person on Weight Watchers, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is 1 point on the Points Plus system. For the leader of my Weight Watchers group, this will be nothing short of a miracle. A peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich on low fat bread winds up a mere 5 points if made with PB2.

 At home this week, I tested a sample on toast. It had a true peanut flavor.

In a side-by-side test with a commercial peanut butter like Jif,  perhaps a tester like Annette Funicello might notice a difference. On a sandwich with jelly, I bet not even that choosy mother would suspect. The same goes for stirring it into a smoothie with a banana and some yogurt.

PB also is offering a powder called PB2 with Premium Chocolate. Two tablespoons of the powder are 45 calories and 1 gram fat. It seems perfect for PB-and-chocoholics.

Rice said that some chefs and caterers have adopted it to stir peanut butter flavor into “off the wall” recipes.

On the Bell Plantation website, a 1-pound bag of PB2 costs $4.60.

The company also produces a line of peanut butter crackers called PB Thins. A 22-gram serving is 100 calories and 4 grams fat.
Oh, and if you wondered what happened to the fat, Bell Plantation sells that too. A bottle of the roasted peanut oil goes for $3.30.