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Almond to walnut: 7 types of nut butters that pack a nutritional punch
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Almond to walnut: 7 types of nut butters that pack a nutritional punch

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If the best part about nut butters is how good they taste, the nutritional punch they pack comes in a close second. Nuts — including those that have been roasted and ground into crunchy-creamy nut butter — are generous sources of protein, healthy fats and fiber, as well as necessary vitamins and minerals.

Amy Gorin

Amy Gorin, registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats.

“Nut butters seem to be more popular than ever,” says Amy Gorin, a registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, Connecticut.

Gorin recommends including “a healthy fat, whether that be nuts, a nut butter, olive oil or avocado, with every meal or snack. So you can absolutely eat nut butter every day!”

Below, Gorin outlines the benefits of some common nut butters. We added product and recipe suggestions, too.


Yumbutter almond

Almond

In addition to the protein, fiber and healthy fats all nut butters have in common, almonds also contain melatonin, “a hormone in your body that helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle,” Gorin says. “You can add almond butter to anything from homemade energy balls to a berry smoothie.”

Try: Yumbutter Ancient Inergy almond butter


Alma cashew

Cashew

Cashews are high in unsaturated fats and contain a lot of vitamins (K, B6) and immunity-boosting minerals (zinc, copper). Their creaminess makes them feel particularly indulgent. Cashews are often used as a vegan substitute for cheese in both sweet and savory applications.

Try: Alma Superfoods yellow aji cashew butter


Ground Up hazelnut

Hazelnut

Hazelnut butter is more than just Nutella! Every two-tablespoon serving of regular (meaning no chocolate added) hazelnut butter provides five grams of protein and  three grams of fiber. (The chocolate stuff is pretty great, though, and, as Gorin says, it’s “absolutely a healthier option than digging into a candy bar.”)

Try: Ground Up’s Oregon hazelnut and almond butter or Chocovivo’s stone-ground dark chocolate hazelnut butter


Blackberry Farm pecan

Pecan

“If you haven’t tried pecan butter, you’re in for a treat,” Gorin says.

Beyond the sweet roasted taste, every tablespoon of pecan butter contains one gram each of protein and fiber.

Try: Blackberry Farms pecan butter with sorghum


Big Spoon pistachio

Photo by Forrest Mason.

Pistachio

Pistachios are a good source of plant protein and fiber, Gorin says, and about 90 percent of the fats found in pistachios are unsaturated. “You get a trio of nutrients from pistachios that may help keep you fuller longer,” she adds. (Note: Gorin is a nutrition partner of Wonderful Pistachios.)

Try: Big Spoon Roasters pistachio crunch almond butter


Old Dog Ranch walnut

Walnut

Among nuts, walnuts have some of the highest levels of antioxidants and have been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body, Gorin says, which “could help reduce risk of disease.”

Try: Old Dog Ranch raw honey and sea salt walnut butter


Once Again sunflower

Sunflower seed

While not technically a nut, sunflower seed butter is an excellent toast-topper for those with nut allergies. Like nuts, seeds “provide filling protein, fiber and healthy fats,” Gorin says.

Try this: Once Again sunflower seed butter


As nut butters grow in popularity, Gorin anticipates we’ll see more innovative flavor and ingredient combinations. Undecided and adventurous? Check out Fix & Fogg’s Everything Butter, which includes hemp, almonds, peanuts, pepitas, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseed.

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