REVIEW (x3): Peanut Butter & Co. Pumpkin Spice, JIF Whips Pumpkin Pie Spice, Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread

This isn’t how it was supposed to happen. I’ve been mixing my own pumpkin pie spices into my own peanut butter for years. I should have been the next Guy Fieri for creating this masterful concoction, but instead I am reviewing Twinkies for a bunch of nobodies who I will never meet. (Please check back for my review of next week).

Last year, JIF rolled out a JIF Whips Pumpkin Pie Spice seasonal variety that I had little choice but to support unconditionally. The product has returned in 2015, but it’s not alone. In early September, the renowned Peanut Butter & Co. announced their own Pumpkin Spice peanut butter featuring real pumpkin. Instagram went bananas, and our photo quickly became our most popular post to date. You know what that means… It’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin Time, bitches.

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But how would I go about reviewing these peanut butters? Should I eat it straight out of the jar with my grubby fingers? If only there were some product worthy of being slathered with these pumpkin spice peanut butters……. If only….

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Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread: Dense yet fluffy, this bread has a natural sweetness to it. Think King’s Hawaiian Bread. It contains a sloppy cinnamon swirl and has what appears at first glance to be golden raisins scattered throughout. Closer inspection reveals they are actually tiny pockets of pumpkin spices. Like pumpkin herpes. The bread tastes mostly like cinnamon swirl bread, but you get a solid burst of sweetness every time you eat the pumpkin herpes. When toasted, your house fills up with the scent of cinnamon raisin bread – not pumpkin bread. The toasted element makes it even more difficult to taste any pumpkin spice. The dense bread might be perfect for making pumpkin french toast, but when eaten alone, it’s not all that different than cinnamon raisin bread. I never buy white bread, and this Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl bread isn’t going to make me start.

Questionable Sexual History Rating: 8 out of 10 (I’d still hit it)
Looks, Smells, And Tastes Like Cinnamon Rating: 9 out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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JIF Whips Pumpkin Pie Spice Whipped Peanut Butter: This stuff gives off a huge pumpkin spice aroma. The whipped peanut butter is extremely smooth, fluffy, and easy to spread, all words I stole directly from the package. It’s like a pumpkin mousse. If I didn’t shave my head, I’d be tempted to run this through my hair. Upon initial taste, you get a solid pumpkin flavor upfront. It combines nicely with the taste of peanut butter. The aftertaste, however, is considerably less pleasant. It kind of fades into artificial pumpkin fragrance territory. Would you eat an English muffin sprayed with Pumpkin Spice Febreze? I probably would, but I don’t expect you to. Whatever; I must enjoy this product since I almost exclusively survived off of it last Winter. But it’s not without its flaws.

Doubles as a Hair Styling Product: 6.5 out of 10
Can Probably Purchase at Bath & Body Works Rating: 5.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10

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Peanut Butter & Co. Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter: Our main event this evening is the new Peanut Butter & Co. Pumpkin Spice variety. Whereas the JIF Whips is loaded with “natural flavor,” the Peanut Butter & Co variety is loaded with NATURAL flavor: Peanuts, cane syrup, palm fruit oil, pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Nothing weird.

The initial flavor is that of heavy roasted peanuts. Again, all natural all day. Subtle but authentic pumpkin pie spices come through on the back end. When you go back for more, the roasted peanut butter flavor does overpower the pumpkin pie spices. This is an extremely high quality peanut butter, but if you didn’t disclose that it was pumpkin spice-flavored beforehand, I might miss it. Especially when eaten with bread. Tell me it’s there, and I can find it.

Peanut Butter & Co. Pumpkin Spice still works for me. I prefer all-natural peanut butters where the flavor is a complement to the peanuts. The roasted peanut flavor is nuts ( 😉 ). It’s a thicker and more stable peanut butter than the JIF Whips, and the pumpkin spices are just prevalent enough for me to choose this over regular peanut butter. Just don’t go pumpkin bonkers with your expectations and you won’t be disappointed.

Blows Up the #fitfam Hashtag on Instagram Rating: 10 out of 10
Au Naturel Pumpkin Rating: 10 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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7 Responses

  1. Do you prefer regular peanut butter texture to whipped? I think I prefer regular. Whipped feels almost too thin and airy. (Not sure if that makes sense). were you hoping for more of a pumpkin flavor?

  2. Junk Male says:

    Whipped peanut butter is kind of weird. I like that I can dip pretzels in it without having them break, but that’s about the extent of my preference. “Too thin and airy” makes a ton of sense – I agree. I could have used more pumpkin flavor, but a quality PB has such a unique, wonderful flavor as it is. I’m ok with pumpkin merely being a complement and not a gamechanger.

  3. That makes sense to me. I feel like a good natural pb can stand on its own without too many bells and whistles. The flavor is complex enough. This peanut butter and co peanut butter sounds awesome! Too bad it seems hard to get!

  4. Leighton says:

    Where did you buy the Peanut Butter & Co. Pumpkin Spice?!

    • Junk Male says:

      I got it online at Peanut Butter & Co.’s website! As a limited batch run, I’m not sure they’re producing enough to ship to most major retailers. Shipping costs are tough to swallow, but check it out at: http://ilovepeanutbutter.com

      • Leighton says:

        Dang…$13 for shipping just isn’t worth it 🙁 I guess I’ll need to make my own! Do you have the recipe that you use for homemade pumpkin PB? Thanks!

        • Junk Male says:

          I justified shipping by buying several of their varieties. I got a Fall Flavor pack that was being offered which included Cinnamon Raisin Swirl and Mighty Maple – both are very good. Healthy, natural nut butters sometimes run $10 or more, so I felt alright about the overall costs. As for the “recipe,” I don’t measure. I just took organic peanut butter and mixed in cinnamon (lots), nutmeg (a little less), ginger (considerably less), and ground allspice (just a pinch). Taste, play with the ratios, then I’d add some stevia to sweeten.