Nut butters are made by grinding suitable nuts into a paste via a blender or food processor. Nut butters are high in protein, fiber and essential fatty acids, and make a suitable healthy replacement for margarine and butter in sandwiches, toast, etc. Nut butters are also suitable for vegan and paleo diets.
Peanut butter is the most popular and easily recognizable to a lot of people but it doesn’t contain that much omega-3 fatty acids, which is required for more effective functioning of the immune system. You can acquire this by incorporating other nutritious nut butters in your diet with the best 7 being:
- The best nut butter is almond butter, which contains the least amount of calories per serving. It also contains the most fiber out of all the nut butters. Almond butter stabilizes the blood sugar levels, which leads to increased energy and reduced likelihood of unhealthy cravings. It also contains B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, phosphorus and magnesium.
- Walnut butter is full of omega-3 fatty acids and helps to trigger leptin, an hormone that tells the body when it has had enough to eat. Additional nutrients include biotin, copper, manganese, B vitamins and
- Cashew butter has a high content of protein, B vitamins and protein. Cashew butter can also be added to smoothies, oatmeal, and used as a dip for crudités like apples, cucumbers, celery sticks and carrots.
- Pistachio butter improves heart health and helps to lower LDL (bad cholesterol). They contain omega-3 fatty acids and a significant amount of omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain protein, fiber and potassium.
- Hazelnut butter contains a good amount of omega-6 fatty acids as well. They also contain fiber, vitamin E, potassium, manganese and protein although the protein content is less than the protein content of other butters. It can be paired with other benefits or ingredients for maximum benefit.
- Macadamia nut butter has a great flavor profile and is rich in fiber, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Macadamia nut butter has a very high fatty content so consume in moderation. Macadamia nuts can be a bit pricey though so if budget is an issue, try some other nut on the list.
- Pecan butter is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins A, B & E, potassium, magnesium, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, as well as a lot of fiber. It can also help lower bad cholesterol but should be consumed in moderation.
You can purchase nut butters in supermarkets but it’s best to make your own at home. If you have a frying pan and food processor, you can whip up any type of nut butter in minutes. You will need:
- 2 – 4 cups of whichever nuts you’re using. Organic nuts work best.
- A few tablespoons of oil (I like coconut and extra virgin olive oil for this recipe)
- A few teaspoons of sea salt but this is optional.
Directions for DIY Nut Butter
- Heat up a dry frying pan over medium heat then toss in the nuts. Move around every few minutes until toasted to your preference then remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Some people prefer to soak and dehydrate the nuts before processing into butter. This is up to you. If you’re doing this, don’t soak and dehydrate macadamia nuts. Here’s a detailed article on how to soak and dehydrate nuts.
- Pour into your food processor and start pulsing initially then move on to processing for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Add in the oil slowly as you process until creamy and smooth. Go easy on the oil as nuts already contain natural oils, which are released as you process them.
- Taste and add salt if you’re using.
- Store in an airtight container. It should keep for up to a month in the fridge.
You can jazz up your nut butters anyway you like with some suggestions being cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cayenne pepper, rosemary, basil, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar etc. Add in these ingredients after the nut butter is already creamy and smooth. You can also mix and match nut butters if you like. A great suggestion is pistachio and almonds.
While they fill you up and help your metabolism work more effectively, which leads to better weight loss, it’s important to keep in mind they are also high in fatty content and should therefore be consumed in moderation (not more than 2 tablespoons per serving is suggested).
An upcoming article will examine seed butters as well as their effectiveness for the body and weight loss goals.