Unique Nut Butter Uses & Recipe Ideas

A PB&J might be a classic but the evolution of nut and seed butters calls for innovative recipes. From creamy ideas to crunchy and spicy options, there’s a nut butter use for all!

Unique Nut Butter Uses & Recipe Ideas

Nut butter uses have extended far beyond a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Flavored nut butters truly have taken over the industry and revolutionized high-protein eats.

Looking for the best mixed nut butter recipe? Read on for everything there is to know about unique nut butter uses and recipes worth trying. 

Is Mixed Nut Butter Healthy? 

Nut butters are often made from nutrient-dense nuts and seeds. They contain many nutrients that benefit the heart and overall health. 

For those with peanut butter allergies, alternative seed and nut butters provide a nutritious and delicious alternative. Nut butters provide the body with many of the nutrients it needs, such as: 

• Fiber
• Protein
• B vitamins
• Phosphorous 
• Zinc
• Vitamin E 

Mixed Nut and Seed Butter Benefits

When it comes to mixed nut and seed butters, the more nuts and seeds, the merrier! Each nut or seed brings a different nutrient profile to the creamy mixture overall. 

Nuts and seeds contain healthy, natural fats. These components are great for: 

• Heart health
• Lowering "bad" cholesterol (LDL) 
• Increasing "good" cholesterol (HDL)
• Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes

Mixed nut and seed butters often have a bad reputation for being high in fat. Healthy and high-quality nut butter are traditionally made without added sugar, preservatives, or sweeteners. They focus on providing healthy fats, like antioxidant vitamin E, and remind the public that the oil separating from the other ingredients is natural.

If a layer of oil appears at the top of the mixed nut butter, this may actually signify the butter is a healthier alternative. Companies often add high amounts of hydrogenated oil (trans fats), in addition to high levels of sugar and salt, to keep the nut butter from separating. 

Remember, "separation is natural" and a simple stir or storing the nut butter upside down will do the trick when it comes to making a healthy nut butter more spreadable. 

How To Use Mixed Nut Butter

There really is not a "wrong" way to use nut butter. In fact, most nuts can be turned into nut butter either on their own or combined with a tasty companion nut or seed. 

One of the most excellent uses of mixed nut butters is as a spread. Since these butters contain protein and fiber, they can help people feel full for longer periods of time. 

Some of the most common nut butter varieties include: 

• Peanut butter
• Almond butter
• Cashew butter
• Walnut butter

A few more exotic varieties include: 

• Sunflower seed butter
• Soy nut butter
• Tahini (sesame seed butter)
• Pistachio butter
• Coconut butter
• Pecan butter
• Hazelnut butter

Beyond being used as a spread, there are many more exciting and creative ways to use nut butter. 

Scoop Into a Smoothie

Morning meals benefit from a scoop of nut butter. At breakfast, it is especially important to provide protein and healthy fats. 

A healthy combo, such as almond butter and chocolate protein powder, can turn a boring breakfast smoothie into an exciting chocolate-covered almond-flavored treat! 

Drizzle Atop Oatmeal

Instead of staying away from oats, up-level the oat game by drizzling or mixing a dollop of nut butter into the bowl. Peanut butter provides a pleasant favorite, but any mixed nut variety will do. 

Flavored options deliver specialty flavors and dreamy textures with butters like chocolate toffee apple.

Prep Pre-Workout Snacks

The satisfying addition of mixing nuts and seed butters into a pre-workout snack provides the perfect fuel for exercise.

Look for recipes like nut butter stuffed dates or baked granola bites. These combinations have a great blend of electrolytes and nutrients designed for athletes. 

Pour Onto Pancakes (or Waffles)

A childhood favorite for many people, pancakes topped with peanut butter introduces optimal morning meal nutrition. Get creative with a variety of buttery toppings! 

Almond butter combined with additional toppings (i.e. bananas, apples, honey) is another appetizing idea. Whole grain pancake and waffle recipes and being intentional about the amount of syrup added can keep the meal especially healthy. 

Layer a Parfait

Layering a parfait with a combination of Greek yogurt and nut butter creates a protein-lover's dream. For texture-enthusiasts, using butters with crunchy chunks of nuts and seeds instead of creamy butters can kickstart the day. 

Embrace the mixture by experimenting with different flavors and textures. 

Slather as Toast Toppings

Ready for a drool-inducing toast topping combination? Try slathering a whole-grain piece of toast with nut butter, sliced figs, and a bit of honey. 

Goodbye, boring breakfast! 

Get Nutty with Muffins

In or on top of muffins, nut butter is always a good idea. Muffins already provide a fantastic to-go snack.

Mixed nut and seed butters can help keep on-the-go snackers full for longer throughout the day. 

Ball with Energy Bites

Energy balls or energy bites with nut butter in them are excellent additions to any diet. They are handheld, protein-packed ways to deliver needed nutrients to the body. 

Snack on these when the cravings strike instead of reaching for unhealthy, unsatisfying alternatives. 

Make Homemade Protein Bars

Store-bought protein bars often increase the levels of sugar and salt in their recipes. Instead, whip up delicious and nutritious protein bars with nut butter at home! 

Cashew butter is a common favorite, with many people preferring the flavor to peanut butter. 

Add Chunkiness to Chili

It may sound ludicrous, but adding a 1/2 cup of nut butter to chili really does the trick! Not only does it increase the richness, but it also adds protein and healthy fats to further balance the meal. 

Recipe curators say flavorful and salt-forward nut butters (such as peanut butter or cashew) work better than more bland or seedy varieties. 

Toss Into Stew

Like chili, stews can also benefit from a scoop of nut butter. Start out with half a cup to add a welcome smooth addition.

Creaminess will be enhanced, and the stew will become exceptionally well-rounded when bulked up with vegetables. 

Try in Thai

Thai food is notorious for highlighting peanuts, especially in sauces. Duplicate this delicious flavor at home to escape the unnecessary fats and additives often added in a restaurant setting. 

Lean cuts of protein, such as lean beef or chicken, can provide a tasty companion to the nut butter and veggies. 

Use in Asian Food

Like Thai food, Asian-inspired meals are ignited with nut butter flavors. Try pairing spring rolls with nut butter-based sauces, including chicken pad thai detailed below.

Fresh vegetables act as a tasty component of many side dishes in Asian cuisine, and nut butters can provide a healthy and delicious dipping companion. 

Stir Fry Just Right

Already a medley of magnificent flavors, stir fries are a great way to add variety to the diet. Try adding a bit of nut butter into the sauce or stir fry of choice.

Peanut is a popular favorite, but cashew butter also adds an interesting depth of flavor. 

Dress a Salad

Who does not love a nutty salad dressing? Many common favorites, like poppyseed dressing, already contain nuts and seeds.

Try homemade varieties made with nut butters like almond or walnut for a welcome surprise. 

Savor a Savory Dish

Not only for sweet cravings, nut butters make an incredible partner to savory dishes. Especially for veggies-based options, meals like stuffed eggplant or tomato sauce can benefit from the creamy addition of nut butter. 

Start out by experimenting with cashew butter, which adds a creaminess but often surrenders to the flavor of other ingredients. 

Mix Into a Dough

Troubleshooting a cookie recipe? Especially for gluten-free bakers, mixed nut butters add a welcome addition to cookie dough. Almond butter, for example, can add the necessary bulkiness and nutrients that make a gluten-free cookie complete. 

Serve in Dessert

Like black bean brownies, nut butters can hide and surprise as an ingredient in dessert.

Try mixing a favorite nut butter, such as almond butter, into blondies, brownies, or cake bars. This can also help add vitamins and minerals to balance out a traditionally sugar-heavy dessert. 

Freeze with Fruit

For a frosty treat during summer months, make banana bites. Simply drizzle a fruit of choice with a nut butter of choice. Freeze on a baking sheet for a few hours and then enjoy a healthy, cool, and satisfying snack.

Delight with Fruit Dip 

Simple and easy to customize, a bit of nut butter mixed with Greek yogurt makes a surprisingly creamy fruit dip. Opt for exotic varieties but make them at home. 

For instance, instead of buying sugar-laden Nutella, homemade hazelnut butter mixed with Greek yogurt for fruits can be a delicious and healthy dip. 

Mixed Nut Butter Recipes

Mixed nut butter is not just great as an addition to meals. It can be the basis as well! 

Mixed nut and seed butters step in and help recipes find their signature flavor. The following few recipes are helpful when just starting out with mixed nut butters. 

Peanut Butter Cups

The peanut butter cups available at the store tend to be high in sugar and fat and low in nutrients. Making homemade Reese's peanut butter cups can be a great way to skip unwanted calories.

Try substituting the peanut butter with other delicious nut and seed butters, such as almond butter or sunflower seed butter. 

Apple Nachos

A heart-healthy twist on traditional nachos makes for a delicious appetizer or snack. Apple nachos can be made with virtually any variety of apple, nut butter, and other toppings. 

Also pair a favorite nut butter with honey and dark chocolate, which makes a sweet taste without added sugars. 

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are delicious and nutritious. Up the nutrient level by including a favorite variety of nut and seed butter.

Especially when eaten for breakfast, overnight oats are a quick and easy way to fuel for a busy day. 

Zoodle Salad

Serve zoodle salad aside almost any Asian-inspired recipe. The almond butter soy dressing optimizes the flavors of nuts and seeds to produce a perfect balance. It is a great, light, refreshing addition to a dinnertime meal. 

Chicken Pad Thai

A mix of peanuts and soy creates an authentic Thai meal with homemade chicken pad thai.

Unmistakably, this Thai dish blends salty, sweet, sour, and spice into one delicious dish. The nuts in this recipe play a crucial role in achieving this goal.

Avocado Ice Cream

A nice creamy nut butter makes an excellent addition to avocado ice cream. Mix in a natural peanut butter, sliced bananas, and chopped peanuts for a "Nutty Monkey" ice cream dish. 

The Bottom Line on Mixed Nut Butters

It is hard to go wrong with nut butters. Whether on or in a dish, they accentuate other flavors by providing a winning nutrient profile. By pairing well with salty, sweet, and even spicy dishes, they make a perfectly nutty companion to most meals. 

Remember, there is really no "wrong" way to use them! They pair nicely with both sweet and savory flavors, so don’t be afraid to mix and match until you find the winning combination.

References:

Bhandari P. The Healthiest Nut Butters and Their Benefits. Advanced Health. https://www.sfadvancedhealth.com/blog/the-healthiest-nut-butters-and-their-benefits

Cedars-Sinai Staff. Nut Butters: Which One Is Healthiest? Cedars Sinai. Published January 17, 2020. https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/nut-butters.html

Jones K. 15 Creative Uses for Nut Butter. Kelly Jones Nutrition. Published May 28, 2019. https://kellyjonesnutrition.com/creative-uses-for-nut-butter/.

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