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Going Nuts Over Butter?

We’re sure you’ve heard of peanut butter, but recently nut butters have become all the rage. As a snack, and a creamer, as a dip – you name it. So, let’s break them down for you here.

What is a nut butter?

To put it simply, it’s a mixture made of finely ground nuts. Due to its high fat content, it spreads like natural dairy-based butter, but is otherwise unrelated. Nut butters can be made from any of a number of nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut and the humble peanut of course, among others. Even some seeds can be used to make similar butters, including pumpkin, sesame, flax and sunflower.

How is nut butter made?

While different nut butters have different flavouring agents and oils added, the essential method for all remains the same. Your favourite nuts and/or seeds are poured into a food processor and ground away. Depending on the strength of the processor and the nuts being used, this generally takes a while.

Initially the nuts will grind into a finer and finer flour, but show no signs of becoming creamy. But this is when the magic is about to happen! Eventually, the nut particles will begin exuding their natural oils, turning the flour-y mixture into a creamy rich butter.

Many variations yield slightly different results – some add a bit of oil to speed up the process, others quickly roast the nuts beforehand to give a better flavour. We’re of the opinion that these additional tweaks completely vary from nut to nut, so it’s relative. However, one thing that is never added is water-based liquids such as milk, juice, or liquid flavour extracts – that’s a sure shot recipe for a clumpy, congealed mess!

Which one is the best?

So, which butter should you go for? The answer to this question completely depends on you! Different butters have different tastes and textures, and can be used for different purposes. The Foodstree Team personally loves almond butter as their standout favourite, due to its versatility and because various flavourings can be added to it with ease.

However, there’s not much to differentiate them in terms of nutrition. Here’s approximately what you get in about 2 tbsp. of these butters:

Nut/SeedCaloriesFatCarbohydratesFiberProteinCalcium
Almond19016g6g4g7g80mg
Cashew19015g10g2g6g40mg
Peanut19017g7g3g8g20mg
Hazelnut18017g5g3g4g40mg
Macadamia23024g4g3g2g20mg
Soynut19015g10g5g9g60mg
Sunflower18012g8g4g9g0mg

 

Don’t be put off by their fat content – these are healthy fats that boost your heart health, reduce bad cholesterol, and decrease your risk of diabetes among other benefits. (For more on this stay tuned for our Mythbuster 2.0)

So, I think we can all agree, nut butters are an excellent addition to your staples! They are super versatile, as you’ll be able to tell with the recipes we’ve got coming up for you this month. You can head over to our shop page to get them ready made, or if you’re feeling adventurous get the ingredients to make them yourself.

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