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Whole Living: Better Peanut Butter

In honor of National Peanut Month, we lined up nine jars of creamy, salted, organic peanut butter for a head-to-head match up.Why organic? Peanuts are among the most pesticide-ridden foods. These spreads also avoid strange-sounding emulsifiers used by conventional peanut butters to prevent the oil from separating. Don't let that stop you, though. Just give the contents a quick stir and pop the jar into the fridge, where the spread will stay creamy to the last spoonful. Here, the three brands that won top honors.

Winner: Santa Cruz Organic Light Roasted Creamy Peanut Butter
Even crunchy peanut butter devotees savored the smooth yet slightly gritty texture of this spread. With a mild, mellow flavor, it begs to be eaten right out of the jar. $5, scojuice.com

Second Place: MaraNatha Organic Creamy & Roasted Peanut Butter
A touch of sea salt enhances the toasted peanut flavor of this silky-smooth spread. Though no sugar is added, its slight sweetness makes it the kid-friendliest of the bunch. $5, worldpantry.com

Third Place: Smucker's Organic Creamy Peanut Butter
A strong, slow-roasted aroma and a pleasant graininess gave this peanut butter a grown-up feel. With an intense flavor, it's well suited to cooking and baking. $3, smuckers.com

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