Nuts are often touted for their micro and macro nutrient components, but is one nut in butter better than another? Multiple studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts in their diet are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat nuts. It is feasible that nut eaters are healthier than non-nut eaters, but most likely the nuts themselves have a lot to do with these benefits.
When it comes to pinpointing the variability in nutrient content of peanut vs. almond vs. cashew butter, the differences are minimal. All three varieties contain comparable amounts of calories and fat in one tablespoon increments. Fiber content and potassium content are also neck-to-neck for all three nut varieties. Peanut butter does have a slight protein edge and contains on average two grams more protein per serving. Cashew butter possesses eight percent more nonheme iron than peanuts, yet peanut butter leads the pack for niacin and folate. If higher anti-oxidant vitamin E and magnesium intake is your goal, then almond butter should be your butter of choice since it has forty-five percent of your total recommended intake in a one ounce serving.
Despite the minimal differences in nutrient profiles, it is essential to be mindful of the ingredients if opting to purchase nut butter. More often than not, nut butters include sweeteners, oil, and excess salt. Aim for a jar that includes as little ingredients as possible i.e. nuts and salt to avoid excess calories and preservatives or try making your own! One to two tablespoons is all it takes to get the nutritional benefits of nut butter.
Homemade nut butters have a shorter shelf life than conventional store bought, so make them in small batches. One cup of nuts will make about 1/2 cup nut butter. Store the butter covered in the refrigerator for up to a month. Keep reading for the recipes!
2 cups roasted peanuts
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp cacao powder
1/4 tsp salt
In a food processor, blend the peanuts. Process for 10-15 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl every minute or so. Don't stop until you've released all the oils in the peanuts and the mixture is smooth and buttery. Just before the peanut butter is ready, whisk together the coconut oil and cacao powder. Add the cacao and coconut blend to the peanut butter and processes for another minute or so until well combined.
Pair this butter with banana for the perfect chocolate, peanut butter, and banana combo.
1/2 cup raw cashews
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
5 tbsps water (approx.)
Place all ingredients except water in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend, adding water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Pair this butter with fish or vegetarian tacos in place of sour cream!
2 cup roasted almonds
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/5 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a food processor, blend the almonds for about 10 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl every minute as needed. Add in the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and process until mixed well.
Pair this nut butter with your morning oats for a protein and spice kick.
Miranda Hammer — a registered dietician, nutritional nerd, and founder of Crunchy Radish — is constantly in pursuit of the most wholesome foods out there. Ahead, she shares some of her must-know, feel-good recipes.