Gluten-Free Nut Butters (Updated June 2016)

Enjoy gourmet nut butters? Here's what's safe when you're gluten-free

Which almond butters and other nut butters are gluten-free?. Getty Images/Only_Creatives

Gourmet nut butters fit nicely into popular diets like the Paleo diet and the raw foods diet, especially if they're minimally processed (and contain delicious-sounding ingredients like chocolate, maple and honey). But how well will nut butters fit into the gluten-free diet?

Pretty well, it turns out. In my survey of this micro-industry, I found numerous gluten-free options for those of us with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (as well as those following the diet for weight loss or more general health reasons).

There's at least one nut butter company that's certified gluten-free (Justin's), as well as plenty of companies that make nut butters with little risk of gluten cross-contamination.

So which should you choose? That will depend on what's available in your area, your sensitivity level to trace gluten, and your own personal tastes.

Gluten-Free Nut Butter, From A to Z

Here's the rundown of nut butter manufacturers and their gluten-free status:

  • Artisana Organic Foods. This small California company makes raw, organic almond, cashew, pecan, macadamia and walnut butters. According to a company spokesperson, Artisana considers its products to be gluten-free, as well as dairy- and soy-free. Artisan does not test for trace gluten, but its facility does not process any gluten, dairy, or soy ingredients, the spokesperson said. It also does not process peanuts, something that may appeal to those who are allergic to peanuts. Artisana products are available online and in some stores.
  • Justin's. Justin's bills itself as "the best-tasting nut butter on the planet," and the company has six flavors that do sound delicious: maple almond butter, classic almond butter, honey almond butter, vanilla almond butter, chocolate almond butter and chocolate hazelnut butter. All are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which requires testing to below 10 parts per million of gluten (lower is always better). All Justin's nut butters are also dairy-free and GMO-free, and all except for Justin's honey-containing products are vegan, as well. The classic almond butter has no sugar added. Note that Justin's products contain trace amounts of peanuts and soy due to processing on shared equipment. You can purchase Justin's products directly from the company or at stores.
  • Krema. In addition to its better-known peanut butter, Krema makes almond butter, cashew butter, and pistachio butter. All are considered gluten-free. According to the company, the nut butter products each contain a bit of peanut oil to help roast them before grinding and to enhance their flavor. The pistachio butter contains salt. None of Krema's products contain any other additives.
  • MaraNatha. MaraNatha produces numerous different almond butter varieties (including salt-free, sea salt and honey flavors), sunflower seed butter, cashew butter and even coconut butter. The company also makes sesame tahini butter. According to MaraNatha, all products are "free of gluten-containing ingredients and are produced in a facility that does not process gluten-containing ingredients." Note that the company does not test for trace gluten; because of this, I'd advise those who are sensitive to trace gluten to exercise caution with the sunflower and sesame products, since sunflower and sesame seeds tend to be harvested with the same farm equipment as gluten-containing grains, and therefore can be cross-contaminated with gluten. The almond, cashew, and coconut products should be safe.
  • Nutella. Nutella produces a very popular nut spread made from roasted hazelnuts, skim milk powder and a bit of cocoa. According to the company's statement on gluten, "Nutella hazelnut spread does not contain any ingredients derived from gluten-containing cereals: wheat, barley, rye, oats or triticale. There is also no risk of cross contamination with any gluten ingredients." Nutella products are labeled "gluten-free."
  • Nuts 'N More. Nuts 'N More makes a variety of almond butters that are fortified with whey protein and flaxseed, including plain almond butter, chocolate almond butter, cinnamon raisin almond butter and coconut chocolate almond butter. However, Nuts 'N More does not consider its products to be gluten-free; according to the company, "Our protein is sourced from a facility that also produces non-gluten free products."
  • Once Again Nut Butter. Once Again offers organic and natural almond butters in creamy, toasted and crunchy varieties, organic and natural cashew butters, tahini and sunflower butters. All are considered gluten-free, according to the company. Again, though, I'd exercise caution with the tahini (sesame seed) and sunflower butters due to the risk of gluten cross-contamination at the farm level. The company has this to say about allergens other than gluten: "We manufacture peanuts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and soy products here at OANB [Once Again Nut Butter]. We have dedicated equipment, and areas to segregate these commodities as much as possible, but there is still a possibility of cross-contamination. Therefore, we suggest that it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to allergens." Find Once Again products online or in some grocery stores.
  • Rejuvenative Foods. Rejuvenative Foods offers plenty of raw nut butter options: almond butter, Brazil nut butter, sunflower butter, pecan butter, hazelnut butter, pistachio butter, pumpkin seed butter, cashew butter, hemp seed butter, tahini and mixed nut and seed butter. The company considers its products to be gluten-free and produces them in a facility that does not process wheat or other gluten grains. However, the company does not test its raw ingredients or finished products for trace gluten. If you're sensitive to trace gluten, move cautiously with the sunflower, hemp seed and tahini-containing products, as those contain the raw ingredients that are the most likely to have gluten cross-contamination.
  • Squirrel Brand. This artisan brand produces two gourmet nut butters: crème brûlée almond butter, and Italian black truffle almond butter (Squirrel Brand also makes gourmet peanut butter). According to the company, the nut butter products contain no gluten ingredients, but sadly are produced in a factory that also makes gluten-containing products. Therefore, Squirrel Brand is not calling them "gluten-free."
  • Wild Friends. Wild Friends, another gourmet nut butter company, makes almond butter and sunflower butter in several delicious-sounding flavors (vanilla espresso almond butter, for example). According to the company: "Our only flavor that contains an ingredient with gluten is our Honey Pretzel [peanut butter], which has bits of pretzels swirled into it! That being said, our facility is not gluten free certified, so we do not recommend consuming our nut butters if you are acutely allergic to gluten." All products are made on shared equipment with the pretzel-containing peanut butter, and the company does not test its products for gluten.

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