Nut butters are a great protein alternative in a pinch! You can add them to a smoothie, smother on toast or veggies, or even eat them straight out of the jar. High-quality nut butters without preservatives or added sweeteners have incredible nutrient profiles.
Raw Versus Roasted Nut Butters
Before you hit the grocery store, ever wondered if there’s a difference between raw and roasted nut butters? Once you roast nuts, you change their flavor profile, which is a good thing! From a nutrient perspective, there are no big changes except for one thing:
If you choose the roasted kind, pay attention to whether they are roasted in oil. If roasted this way, the nuts will absorb up to five percent of the oil. Not that fat is bad, but this is the type of fat that can do more damage than good. So if you plan to choose roasted nut butter, the dry version would be the ideal choice.
On average, 2 tablespoons of nut butter contain about 190 calories and 17 grams of heart-healthy fat. And many nut butters contain other vitamins and minerals, some of which are given here. Here are four amazing nut butter choices and their flavor and nutrient profiles to help you choose:
1. Cashew Butter
Flavor: Creamy, sweet, and savory
Key Nutrients: Magnesium, iron, and protein
Best Use: This works best with other ingredients. My favorite combination is cashew butter + coconut butter and eating as is.
2. Almond Butter
Flavor: Slightly sweet, nutty, and gritty
Key Nutrients: The best source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and a great source of protein, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and magnesium
Best Use: This works great in smoothies and as a binder for raw snacks. It’s also a great addition to curries.
3. Peanut Butter
Flavor: Sweet, creamy, and smooth
Key Nutrients: Protein, B vitamins, and vitamin E
Best Use: This is best used on it’s own, with a piece of dark chocolate, in baking and cooking, or simply on toast.
NOTE: Peanut butter is susceptible to mold, so choose a roasted version.
4. Walnut Butter
Flavor: Dense, nutty, earthy, and slightly bitter
Key Nutrients: Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, folate, vitamin B, and fiber
Best Use: This is best used in smoothies or for raw baking.