The power of recommendations

Jar of Jif Peanut ButterI love peanut butter. It’s rich and smooth and fatty, with lots of protein, and tastes so yummy on a sandwich or toast or apples or even celery, which I admit that I despise plain. But peanut butter is one of my “red light” foods – I can’t have it in the house because I know I can’t control portions or just picking up a jar and dipping a finger in it for “one scoop.” (Since I live alone, no one else is around to have problems with finger-dipped PB.)

So I was delighted when Hungry Girl announced the first all natural lower-fat and calories kind: Better’n Peanut Butter. It’s expensive and hard to find but I was so happy to read about a product that could help me have some things I missed and wasn’t sure I could get back into my life safely.

I didn’t like it. That was a bummer for me, because usually the Hungry Girl recommendations are pretty spot-on, and I try to add one new food or recipe every week to give me additional variety. I still have the jar in my fridge but it didn’t do the trick. The quest continues.

Hungry Girl came through again with a recommendation for what she called “freakishly awesome” PB2, a brand new product described this way:

There’s a company in Georgia called Bell Plantation.And they make cool, unconventional peanut stuff.Well, they have found a way to extract practically all of the oil and fat from peanuts when they roast and grind ’em down. The result is a fine, insanely delicious-smelling, peanut butterlicious powder that is EXTREMELY versatile.You can add water to it and essentially turn it into low-cal, low-fat peanut butter (2 tbsp. of the stuff has just 54 calories and less than 3g of fat).OR you can use it cleverly in recipes and make peanut buttery smoothies, cakes, hot cocoa, ice cream sundae toppings, etc.

PB2 powdered peanut butterHow could I not want this stuff? It’s not sold in stores so I almost immediately hopped on the web and ordered 6 jars (the minimum order was 4 and I’d thought of people I could give this to because, well, I’m like that). The order process was easy, paying through PayPal. But the PB2 hasn’t arrived.

Last night I got an email from the company and it was reassuring that the order was still in process. Their system was simply not able to handle the flood of orders that resulted from a single Hungry Girl mention:

Before Hungry Girl wrote about us in her newsletter she made the best understated comment I have ever heard. She told us that we might see a bump in demand. Wow, what an understatement, we have over 190,000 hits on our website, over 6000 phone calls and thousands of emails, a slight bump. Hungry Girl has quite a following.

There you have it. I am one of the thousands who ordered because of her recommendation. I buy other things, too, from frozen meals to different vegetables I haven’t tried before. Just think of the changes that stores would have to make if we all recommended healthy products widely – on our blogs, to friends in email or conversations, in the store to managers. Why should all the word of mouth be about stuff like cookies and candy?

We want and need certain foods to accomplish our goals of eating healthy, losing or maintaining weight loss, having energy to be active. What do you recommend?

11 thoughts on “The power of recommendations

  1. I’m not crazy about the Better ‘n Peanut Butter straight, either. It’s ok if I make a sandwich with half regular PB and half Better ‘n, which cuts some of the calories. But I still want to try it in some of the HG recipes and see if it tastes better mixed in with other ingredients.

    Today for lunch I am planning to experiment with HG’s other big product, the House Foods Shirataki Noodles. I have her recipe for the low calorie Alfredo (basically Parmesan cheese and a wedge of another HG-recommended product, Laughing Cow cheese), and I’m eager to see if it’s as good as HG claims. I will let you know!

  2. i love peanut butter too but have to say my fav snack is toast a light, multi-grain english muffin, spread with lowfat peanut butter, and top w/sliced bananas… talk about yummy, holy moly… i haven’t tried any other kind besides smuckers all-natural, which is great, but not as sweet…

  3. The only kind of peanut butter found at our house is the all-natural peanut butter, nothing but peanuts & salt. I forget the brand we usually have, but you can do the same thing with roasted peanuts, a little salt, and a blender! Once I got used to the texture and stronger peanut taste, I don’t like the other kinds, like Jif. You have to mix in the peanut oil, which separates and comes to the top, and then keep refrigerated.

  4. Lori

    You’re right, we are a bit of a silent majority. That’s really cool that they received that many orders.

    I didn’t like the first recommendation by Hungry Gal.

  5. I tried the House Foods noodles with the cheese, and I thought it was ok! Granted, it wasn’t as good as going out to an authentic Italian restaurant, but if you’re willing to settle for a lower calorie substitute (my entire bowl of “pasta Alfredo” was a whopping 95 calories), these work great.

  6. Thanks for the update on the Alfredo, Andrea. I’ve seen HG post it lots of times (she adores it) but I can barely even find the noodles much less cook with them. I love Laughing Cow cheese and the idea of using it more in recipes – tho since I’m not a big Alfredo eater, I probably wouldn’t have though to do this. Where did you find the House Food noodles?

  7. Pam

    I tried the Shirtaki noodles, they carry them at the local grocery store in the healthy/organic food refrigerated section. The alfredo sauce was great, but I couldn’t get past the ‘snap’ in the noodle when I was chewing it. It reminded me of calamari…aka rubberbands! Also, I too ordered the PB2 recommended by HG – that was on 1/29…I’ve yet to see it arrive and had no luck making contact with the Bell Plantation. I guess I’m one of the thousands! 🙂

  8. Pam – Thanks for the info about the HG fave noodles. I’m not fond of calamari myself and that would be a turn off for me. Maybe I can make the Alfredo sauce and use it with whole wheat pasta instead.

    I got my PB2 yesterday! Yayyy! And of course I made a little sammich with peanut butter, honey, and a banana. It was very good. You mix up 2 TB of the powdered peanut stuff and 1 TB of water, which doesn’t make a ton of PB but it’s very flavorful. Adding a little more water would thin it out more (duh). I’m going to like it, though. Hope yours arrives soon!

  9. Pam

    How long did it take for you to receive your PB2? I still haven’t received mine and I still can’t get through to the Bell Plantation. However, they’ve had my money via PayPal since 1/29…I’m anxious to try it since I had to return my Peter Pan made with Splenda because it was one of the recalled jars. 😦

  10. Theresa

    I ordered the recommended PB from Bell Plantation and it has not arrived either. Can’t wait to receive it as I am a big PB fan!
    Just came across your website. If you can put me on a mailing list, you have my email.

  11. First I want to say that I am responsible for Sales and Marketing at Bell Plantation. I did a google search on our PB2 and found your form. So I have been up front about who I am. We sent our samples to Lisa Lillian w/ Hungry and she liked our product and put it on her web siteon January 24. Since then the response has been incredible.

    Here are the nutritional facts : Reg PB has between 190-200 caleries per serving, PB2 has 54. Reg PB has between 140-150 fat calories per serving, PB2 has 25. PB2 is all natural. There are no additives. You need to mix it as you use it.

    You mix 2TBS of PB2 w/ 1 TBS of the liquid of your choice. Water will reconstitute it to the consistency of regular PB. You adjust the formula to your taste. JC’s granddaughter likes it w/ grape juice. Try it with your favorite liquide. I know someone that mixes it w/jalapeno juice. Talk about a kick.

    I have heard of people mixing it w/ Nesquick and milk to get a Reeses PB cup type drink. It goes great in smoothies. Great protein.My wife bakes w/ PB2. I will be glad to answer any of your questions. Just e-mail me at If you are outside of the Tifton, GA area at this time you will need to order yours at Hope to be in a store near you soon.

    Let me know how you like it, so for the comments we have recieved back are very positive.

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