Going Beyond Peanut Butter - The Expansion of Nut Butters and Their Benefits
Previously, the question needing answer was, "Smooth or chunky?" But the expansion of nut butters over the past few years has further broadened the question and options. Try these unique and healthy ideas using 7 popular nutty spreads!
Previously, the question needing answered was, "Smooth or chunky?" But the expansion of nut butters over the past few years has further broadened the question and options. Try these nutty spreads on your next slice of toast, in a smoothie, or simply off the spoon!
Going Beyond Peanut Butter
Almond butter can generally be found as raw or roasted butters, describing the almonds prior to the grinding period. It is rich in healthy fats, contains small amounts of protein, and adequate calcium. Almond butter also contains a significant amount of fiber (4 grams) compared to other nut butters.
Cashew butters are light in flavor and offer a creamy mouth feel. Cashews offer copper, magnesium, and phosphorous but may fall short in other notable nut butter nutrients. Cashews also have a fairly high starch content.
Hazelnut butter is not only rich in flavor, but loaded with vitamin E and magnesium. Compared to most nut butters, it is lower in calories yet is fairly high on the fat spectrum (17 grams). However, hazelnut butter contains a low amount of saturated fat and generally absent of sugar.
Macadamia Nut Butter
Out of all the nut butters, macadamia nut butter should be treated most as a delicacy and treat. Macadamia nuts contain the most calories (230 cals) and fat (24 grams) per serving, or two tablespoons. On the plus side, macadamias are rich in iron, copper, and fiber. When it comes to its use, moderation is certainly key.
Soynut butter is an alternative for individuals with tree nut or peanut allergies thanks to the use of soybeans. Before ground into its grainy texture, soybeans are typically oil or dry roasted. Although generally low in nutrients associated with nut butters, it provides the some of the greatest protein (9 grams), fiber (5 grams), and calcium (60 milligrams).
Sunflower Seed Butter
Sunflower seed butter trumps peanut butter when it comes to its vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and zinc levels. Although it lacks calcium, it is an ex'seed'ingly good alternative for individuals with tree nut allergies. Sunflower seed butter also contains lesser amounts of saturated fat compared to others but with generous amounts of protein, similar to soynut butter.
Powdered Peanut Butter
Since most oils and fats have been pressed out of peanuts, powdered butter is lower in calories (45 calories) and fat (1.5 grams) per 2 tablespoons of powder. It is important to realize when water re-forms the powder into butter, the 2 tablespoons of powder generally condenses down to 1 tablespoon of paste. But either way you look at it, calories and fat are significantly lower but with a compromised taste and texture.
Choosing Nut Butters
When choosing a nut butter, do not let "natural" and "organic" fool you into thinking the product is "healthy." Commonly, nut butters can be filled with added oils, sugar, and salt. To avoid unnecessary additives, utilize the ingredients label and stay clear from words such as "palm oil" and "corn syrup." For example, the ingredients on a peanut butter jar should feature peanuts and maybe a little added salt. When it comes to nut butters, what you eat is just as important as how much you eat. Although nut butters are generally considered to be a healthful source of fat and protein, it is also rich in calories. The general serving size of nut butter is two tablespoons, or the size of a golf ball, and contains about 200 calories on average.