Nutrition Articles

Go Nuts for Nut Butters!

A World of Choices Beyond Peanut Butter

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Homemade Nut Butter Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 2 cups of nuts or seeds (your choice) on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning, until nuts are fragrant. Cool slightly, then place the nuts or seeds into a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until a smooth paste forms. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt per cup of nuts or seeds if you’d like (this enhances the flavor; omit if you’re watching your salt intake). Kept in an air-tight container in the fridge, your homemade butter will last for weeks!

Nutrition and Serving Sizes
Thanks to their healthy fats, all nut and seed butters are high in fat and calories. Regardless of nut variety (peanut, hazelnut, almond) and type (natural or regular), one 2-tablespoon serving has about 200 calories, 15% of your RDA for protein, and about a quarter of your daily allowance for fat. Watch your portions to keep your calories in check!

Type of Nut Butter (2 Tbs.) Calories Fat Protein Carbs
Peanut, no sugar added  190-210  16-17 g  7-8 g  6-7 g
Peanut, sugar added  190  16-17 g  7 g  6-7 g
Almond  190-200  18-19 g  5-7 g  6-7 g
Cashew  160-190  14-16 g  4-6 g  8-10 g
Hazelnut  180  17 g  4 g  5 g
Hemp  180  13 g  9 g  4 g
Macadamia  230  24 g  2 g  4 g
Pistachio  180-190  13-15 g  6-7 g  9-10 g
Pumpkin seed  160  13 g  10 g  4 g
Sesame tahini  190  17 g  6 g  7 g
Sunflower seed  180-220  12-20 g  6-9 g  5-9 g


Be sure to read labels to find the nutrition profile that fits your needs, especially if you eat a low-sugar or low-sodium diet.

New Ways to Enjoy Nut Butters
That ping-pong-ball-sized serving can be a healthful addition to sensible foods like whole grain bread, crackers or pita; fruits (apples, bananas) or vegetables (celery or even carrot sticks). You can’t beat the old PB & J sandwich, but there are plenty of other uses for peanut and other nut butters.
  • Spread nut butter on a slice of whole-grain toast and top with sliced strawberries or jam.

  • Spoon 1 Tbsp. of chocolate-hazelnut butter in a bowl of plain oatmeal and top with sliced bananas.

  • Spread almond butter on a whole-grain waffle.

  • Add 1 Tbsp. of nut butter to a smoothie for extra protein and thicker texture. Here's a great recipe to try.

  • Spread almond butter on sliced apple for a snack.

  • Use nut butter instead of the peanut butter when making your own granola or energy bars; this recipe includes almond butter, dried fruit, almonds and pumpkin seeds.

  • Spread a whole wheat tortilla or pita with almond butter, top with sliced apple and a drizzle of honey. Try this recipe.

  • Swap almond butter into your family’s favorite peanut-butter cookie recipe.

  • Substitute sunflower seed butter or other nut butters for peanut butter or marshmallows in crisped-rice treat bars.

  • Instead of using finely chopped nuts to top seafood or chicken, try using nut butter.

  • Substitute cashew butter for whole cashews in an Asian favorite, Cashew Chicken.

  • Top your favorite sandwich or salad with tahini dressing.

Great Online Sources for Nut Butters
Barney Butter
Futters Nut Butters
Justin's Nut Butter
Koeze Cream-Nut Peanut Butter
Krema Nut Co.
Naturally More
Naturally Nutty
Once Again Nut Butter

Sources:
CalorieKing.com
FDA nutrition info on almonds, from USDA.gov
Homemade Nut Butters, from CookingLight.com
MaraNathaFoods.com
Nut and seed butter nutrition info and uses, from FuttersNutButters.com
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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.

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