Nut butter has long been a delicious and nutritious treat, that’s nothing new. What has changed, though, is the sheer variety on the market. Take a stroll down the nut butter aisle at your neighborhood health food store and it will seem like it goes on forever.
But which ones are the best nut butters?
To help you make the healthiest and tastiest decision for your next snack, here are a few key options that you’re sure to love.
1. Peanut Butter
We couldn’t very well do this list without touching upon the classic.
Though peanut butter doesn’t have the same vitamin and healthy fat content as some other options, it packs more protein than most of its counterparts.
And with emerging brands doing innovative new things with this tried and true classic, it’s no longer just a lunchtime snack for children. To see an example of peanut butter being elevated to a higher culinary level, check out americandreamnutbutter.com
2. Almond Butter
In recent years, almond butter has risen to be nearly as popular as its more classic counterpart. It has the highest content of healthy fats, making it one of the healthiest nut butters. Spread over apple slices or celery sticks, it makes a great post-workout option.
The trade-off is that it tends to be more expensive than other alternatives. And because almonds require a ton of water to produce — a single nut takes about a gallon of water to grow — some ecologically-conscious consumers tend to avoid them.
3. Cashew Butter
If you’re trying to cut down on your sugar intake, but can’t help but indulge your sweet tooth now and again, cashew butter is the choice for you.
They manage to be sweeter than most other healthy nut butters despite only having three grams of sugar per serving. The tradeoff, though, is that cashews are also lower in protein than most other nut, seed, and legume butters.
And since these legumes tend to be on the more expensive side, cashew butter may be best reserved as an occasional treat.
About 1% of Americans are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. While that figure doesn’t sound high, it adds up to more than three million people. That’s why alternatives for traditional nut butters have become a must these days.
Sunflower seed butter, or SunButter for short, is the most prominent of these new options.
SunButter is high in vitamins E and A, so it boasts some health benefits in addition to being delicious. However, it’s also a little higher in calories and lower in protein, so don’t go nuts with the stuff.
5. Hazelnut Butter
In terms of dessert nut butters, hazelnut reigns supreme.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s rich in oleic acid, too. This monounsaturated fat may help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Hazelnuts are also sugar-free and pack plenty of vitamin E.
As a bonus, it makes a great alternative for individuals with a peanut allergy.
Finding the Right Nut Butters for Any Snack
Trying to rank all of these choices is like trying to rank veggies: they’re all great for you. But there are always a few that you tend to edge out the competition.
Whether it’s because of their nutrient content or because you just love the flavor, some nut butters might serve you better than others. But in the end, there are no wrong choices.
And that’s especially true when you find fun and inventive ways to use them. For inspiration on how you can do just that, be sure to keep up with our latest recipes and kitchen tricks.