Everything You Wanted to Know About Nut Butters

1
Peanut Butter

No matter what your reasons – from health concerns to flavor options – there is a nut butter out there for you ... try one of these seven!
Getty Images, Glow Cuisine

Who doesn’t love a great peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Since lunch boxes could be opened, PB&Js have filled them. Not everyone, however, is lucky enough to be able to enjoy them.

For many, a peanut allergy or peanut sensitivity is a very real thing and even a hint of peanut butter would be dangerous. For others, peanut butter just isn’t that appealing. Still others read the label of the name brand they grew up with and are shocked to find sugars and oils they never knew they had been ingesting throughout their many years in the lunchroom.

The good news is that we have new options. Tons of them! No matter what your reasons – from health concerns to flavor options – there is a nut butter out there for you. In fact, there are several and, for the most part, the calories, fat and protein are similar to the major players.

Keep in mind the fat in most nut butters is unsaturated and heart-healthy, which is what makes them such a great option. Just watch your serving size. Two tablespoons isn’t much. And read the label! No matter which one you choose, make sure it doesn’t load up on extra salt, sugar, or oil.

The best nut butters around will have only one ingredient on the label! Those can be hard to find. Best bet: make your own! It’s so easy. But even if you don’t make your own, definitely steer clear of the “reduced fat” versions. They might as well just say “extra sugar” because that's what reduced fat versions use to enhance the taste. 

So let’s break down the nut butter players.

(Nutrition facts listed below are based on 2 tablespoons serving size)

190 Cal, 16 g. Fat, 2 g. Saturated Fat, 7 g. Carbs, 3 g. Fiber, 8 g. Protein

Let look at the granddaddy of nut butters first. Peanut butter has been a staple in the American diet for years. And for good reason. It’s fairly inexpensive and contains a healthy dose of protein to keep you fuller longer and possibly help you lose weight. A handful of peanuts is also a good source of fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, niacin, folate and vitamin E. Peanut butter also contain the antioxidant resveratrol. Plus, it's yummy!

2
Almond Butter

No matter what your reasons – from health concerns to flavor options – there is a nut butter out there for you ... try one of these seven!
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 190 Calories, 16 g. Fat, 1.5 Saturated Fat, 6 g Carbs, 4 g Fiber, 7 g. Protein

Almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut. They are a good source of potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron. That alone makes almond butter a great choice. Now add to that a delicious, mild taste and the same creamy texture as peanut butter and it’s easy to see why almond butter rivals peanut butter for shelf space these days. 

3
Cashew Butter

No matter what your reasons – from health concerns to flavor options – there is a nut butter out there for you ... try one of these seven!
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 190 Calories, 15 g. Fat, 3 g. Saturated Fat, 10 g. Carbs, 2 g. Fiber, 5 g. Protein

High in magnesium, iron and copper, cashew butter is built for bone strength! It also has a bit more monounsaturated fat. And if you have a sweet tooth, this is a great choice for you! It has the sweetest flavor of all the nut butters so it’s easy for packing in your lunch to dip veggies in or spread on whole grain toast. 

4
Walnut Butter

No matter what your reasons – from health concerns to flavor options – there is a nut butter out there for you ... try one of these seven!
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 174 Cal, 17g. Fat, 10 g. Saturated Fat, 3g. Carbs, 2 g. Fiber, 3g, Protein

Walnut butter is high in Omega 3’s, antioxidants , vitamins and minerals all of which can improve blood vessel health and reduce inflammation. Its nutritional downfall, however, is that it is lower in protein and higher in saturated fat. This butter has a meaty, “heavy” flavor. Not great for baking, but a good choice for cooking more savory dishes. You may have trouble spreading walnut butter, however, due to the heavy texture. Instead, use it as a replacement for peanut butter in smoothies, recipes and dips.

5
Hazelnut Butter

No matter what your reasons – from health concerns to flavor options – there is a nut butter out there for you ... try one of these seven!
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 180 Cal, 17 g. Fat, 1 g. Saturated Fat, 5 g. Carbs, 3 g. Fiber, 4 g. Protein

Hazelnuts are a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, copper and manganese. Like walnut butter, hazelnut butter falls short in the protein category when compared to most of the other choices. Still, hazelnuts have a flavor most people love so it’s a great spread for a new, unique taste.

6
Soynut Butter

No matter what your reasons – from health concerns to flavor options – there is a nut butter out there for you ... try one of these seven!
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 190 Cal, 15 g. Fat, 2 g. Saturated Fat, 14 g. Carbs, 5 g. Fiber, 9 g. Protein

Soynut butter is typically made by blending roasted soynuts with soynut oil. Soynut butter was promoted as a peanut butter replacement in the 1980’s when peanut crops were slim. This choice gives you the highest dose of protein and adds isoflavones to help prevent heart disease and cancer. Use this in place of peanut butter where needed, but prepare for a different palate.

7
Sunflower Seed Butter

No matter what your reasons – from health concerns to flavor options – there is a nut butter out there for you ... try one of these seven!
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180 Cal., 12 g. Fat, 1.5 g. Saturated, 8 g. Carbs, 4 g. Fiber, 9 g. Protein

Perhaps the most distinct flavor of all, sunflower seed butter is unmistakable. It has a runnier texture than the nut butters making it difficult to spread.  Made from the kernel of the sunflower seed, you can imagine how it tastes. If a mouthful of sunflower seeds is your thing, then this is for you! Its best use if probably in dressings or sauces.

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