Nut and seed butters can be used as a topping, a thickener in baking or cooking, binding ingredients without using eggs (for example, raw truffles – recipe to follow shortly), spreading on toasted bread, in smoothies, and so much more! Nutritionally speaking, nut and seed butters as a collective contain 6-9g protein per 2 tablespoon serving, are high in minerals, B vitamins, some contain higher amounts of omega-3’s, and all contain a small amount of fiber.
Flavour: The most famous of all nut butters, nutty, slightly sweet
Nutrition: B vitamins, copper, manganese, protein, molybdenum, phosphorus, vitamin E
Special tip: Peanuts are also on the list of the top food allergens. Peanuts are more susceptible to molds and fungus, one in particular to note is aflatoxin, produced by a fungus that can potentially grow on peanuts and is considered a carcinogen by the FDA. Some studies show aflatoxin can cause serious health issues including liver cancer. Peanuts are the only nut I recommend roasting and not consuming raw because of the potential for aflatoxin. Good news, with time our agriculture and practices growing peanuts has become exponentially better making toxicity of aflatoxin less likely. So should you abandon peanuts? No, just purchase quality sources.
Flavour: The second most famous nut butter due to the access of almonds. Slightly sweet, nutty, even when blended in the “creamy” version, is still a little gritty due to the almond skins
Nutrition: B vitamins, vitamin E, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, molybdenum, monounsaturated fats, fiber, and protein
Special tip: Purchase almonds raw to give you more variety with culinary use and decrease the chances of the fatty acids going rancid. As with other nuts and seeds, almonds can help combat heart disease in multiple ways, and the skins in almonds contain a natural prebiotic, the food that feeds the good bacteria in our gut.
Flavour: The creamiest and possibly most expensive of all nut butters. Creamy, sweet, versatile, and can be transformed into a sweet or savory butter or spread.
Nutrition: Copper, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, zinc, protein, mono and polyunsaturated fats
Use: Best mixed with other ingredients such as cashew creams or added to any soups and smoothies to thicken
Flavour: Dense, earthy, slightly bitter and nutty
Nutrition: Contains the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids out of the nut butter family, also copper, manganese, molybdenum, biotin, B vitamins, protein, and monounsaturated fats.
Special tip: Walnuts have been shown to help with heart disease, may increase brain health and function, lowered risk of diabetes, fights inflammation and oxidative stress especially from antioxidants found in walnuts, and more. I typically by these raw and unsalted to toast on my own when needed.
Use: Best mixed with other ingredients such as raw desserts, smoothies, etc.
Sunflower Seed Butter:
Flavour: Nutty, rich, earthy, not as sweet as cashews or almonds
Nutrition: B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, healthy fats, fiber and protein
Special tip: Sunflower seeds make an amazing flour to use in baking, light in texture, affordable, with a strong flavor.
Use: As a dip for carrots or other crunchy veggies and fruits
Pumpkin Seed Butter:
Flavour: Depending on if you use raw, lightly toasted, or roasted, the pumpkin seed flavor will change. It’s slightly sweet, bitter, and earthy (especially when toasted)
Nutrition: highest in zinc than most other nut and seed butters, also contains manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, healthy fats, protein and fiber.
Special tip: Most likely you won’t find this seed butter in stores, but you can easily make it at home and I highly suggest you try it! It’s best mixed with almonds or walnuts, both of which are creamy when mixed with the pumpkin seeds which tend to blend a little “dry”.
Use: great for a boost of zinc, I love it with gluten free crackers and sprouts
Sesame Seed Butter ( Tahini):
Flavour: My favorite of all seed butters, it’s slightly bitter, creamy, nutty, and bold in flavor.
Nutrition: Highest in calcium than most other nut and seed butters, contains copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, fiber and protein
Special tip: Use tahini with some apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to create a delicious Tahini Drizzle or dollop on top of warm grains, roasted vegetables, etc.; the possibilities are endless.
Use: Best mixed with hummus, smoothies, or eaten on toast!
How to Make Nut or Seed Butters?
1 cup nuts or seeds of your choice + a pinch of sea salt. Blend in a high speed blender with nut grinder attachment and blend until smooth. Takes less than 5 minutes. If your blender needs a little help, you can add a touch of coconut oil to thin, but the oils will natural release once it’s been blended.
I hope this was helpful for you so the next time you’re making a nut butter sandwich with jam, trying one for a recipe, or wondering what flavors will go with what- you’ll know! Share below your favorite combinations of nut and seed butters and your favorite ways to use them in cooking!