Nutrition Articles

Go Nuts for Nut Butters!

A World of Choices Beyond Peanut Butter

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Peanut butter may be a household staple, but spreads made from other nuts and seeds can add nutrients and variety to your diet.

Peanut butter has that ideal balance between sweet and salty, making it the perfect companion for everything from whole grain toast to celery sticks. And it's an inexpensive source of protein and good-for-you monounsaturated fats. Generations of kids have gotten through the school day fueled by peanut-butter sandwiches and a carton of milk—you were probably one of them!

But did you know that there's more to nut butters than just plain peanut butter? How about spreads made from almonds, cashews, and even seeds like sunflower? As an alternative to the old standby, consider these other products most easily found in gourmet, natural and/or organic grocery stores.
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About The Author

Bryn Mooth Bryn Mooth
Bryn Mooth is an independent copywriter and journalist focused on food, wellness and design; she's also a Master Gardener and enthusiastic green thumb. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.

Member Comments

  • RACEWELLWON
    Almond and Cashew Butter on an Apple or Pear - great snack ! - 5/13/2014 9:30:14 AM
  • PDANNYK, Macadamia nuts would be just as good as almonds, both are low in pufas -- I think macadamia nuts more so. Unfortunately they're also more expensive. - 12/13/2013 1:51:33 AM
  • Thanks for the "ping-pong ball " serving size. Great visual! - 9/18/2013 7:17:20 PM
  • I ground it at the whole food store when the kids were little. They didn't have commercial peanut butter till they were older. Loved the Hazelnut butter! - 9/17/2013 9:04:37 PM
  • I use pb2 which is powdered peanut with no oil. mix it with a little water. 2tbsp is only 45 calories and 1.5g fat and 5 grams of protein. - 9/16/2013 5:15:36 PM
  • I make my own peanut butter in the food processor with dry roasted unsalted peanuts. It is so much better than any of the store-bought products with all that oil, salt and sugar. If you process two cups of peanuts for about 5 minutes it's perfectly creamy, not stiff or oily.
    I tried making pecan butter, but didn't like the somewhat bitter taste, so I added it to some peanut butter I'd already made and it was fine.
    I love almonds, so may try that butter next.

    Pesticides and preservatives are always a concern in the U.S., unfortunately. - 9/16/2013 1:28:12 PM
  • AHT001
    Thank you, DADKAJ! - 9/15/2013 3:56:27 PM
  • PEACENCARROTS
    I tried almond and cashew butter and really liked them! - 9/15/2013 12:33:43 PM
  • DADKAJ
    here you can find some information about the fatty acids profile of some oily stuff. linoleic is omega6 while linoleNic is omega3. the optimal ratio of 6 to 3 is considered anywhere between 1:1 to 4:1. some modern diets based on unsaturated fats source have it even 20:1 which is wrong. flaxseed is a superior source of omega3 from plant sources, walnuts are also good. all the rest from the list below contributes to the imbalance of omega6 to omega3 unless one consumes omega3 from other sources and balances it out.

    http://www.netr
    ition.com/nut
    s.html - 9/15/2013 8:12:39 AM
  • DADKAJ
    Today with the advancement in the nutrition and health science it is no longer sufficient to advocate the unsaturated fats as the absolute good. we have to distinguish between the three major unsaturated fats as omega 9, 6 and 3. people who looked into the health effects of these fatty acids already know that we are having a high and unhealthy ratio of omega6 to omega3, which is pro-inflammatory, a foundation of tissue damage and various civilization diseases. and plant oils such as sunflower oil are full of omega6 but contain very little of omega3. people would be better off with some butter instead of plant spreads such as margarines. saturated fat in moderation is not bad for us. it is its excess that affects the lipoprotein particles and our health. while these nut spreads are nutritionally better than just butter, their composition of fats from the perspective of our general diet may not be that beneficial. - 9/15/2013 8:00:04 AM
  • You have to be careful about nut allergies. I peanuts are used any time in the processing machines, there may be residue in the butter. Is it labeled that NO peanut machinery was used? - 9/15/2013 2:28:32 AM
  • Anyone know if pecans make a decent butter? - 7/13/2013 8:23:49 PM
  • SOLSTICESUN
    I buy this great product called "trilogy nut butter" …its a blend of cashew, walnut , and almond butter… Its delicious and gives the unique health benefits of each of these nuts blended into one source. They also have a trilogy butter that blends macadamia, cacao, and cherry. So good!!!

    Check it out at their site: https://www.onnit
    .com/wac-tril
    ogy-butter/?a
    _aid=Solstice - 4/18/2013 8:44:20 PM
  • I tried making my own today based on the recipe in this article and it turned out great! However, I'd like to make a note that it took at least ten minutes in the food processor, if not a bit more. The almond dust needed time to turn into a good paste (I was thinking it would just be a few minutes -- I almost added some oil but decided to wait), but with a little patience it did and it's delicious, so thanks! - 11/12/2012 2:57:48 PM
  • The only thing I know is that soybeans would not be good - my mom had to use soy butter as a kid during the second world war because there was a shortage of peanut butter and she said it was disgusting. - 9/4/2012 10:46:48 PM

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