Nut Butters

When you think of nut butter, what is the first ‘nut butter’ that comes to mind?

If I were to be asked that question a couple of years ago, I would have instantly said ‘peanut butter’, as I thought peanuts were the only nuts that were made into a spread.

Now since I shop mostly in the organic sections of the grocery store (as that is where most of my friendly foods are, ie: gluten free, dairy free, etc) the aisle where the peanut butter is located is met with numerous other ‘butters’, like almond butter, cashew butter, pumpkin seed butter, sunflower seed butter (my favourite), pecan butter, tahini (sesame seed butter), walnut butter, coconut butter, and I’m sure there are many more that I am not even aware of!

Nut butters are so versatile. I personally like sunflower seed butter, almond butter and coconut butter the best, and I don’t just put these spreads on toast. I’ll mix them into a warm bowl of oats, spread some on a gluten free rice cake, top a muffin with some, mix it into apple sauce, dip fruits and veggies into it, or put a dollop of it on a baked sweet potato.

Artisana Nut Butters, are an organic nut butter company that “[create] uniquely delicious, healthy, gourmet food”, as said on their website. I will second that statement, as they’re nut butters are amazingly good.

The coconut butter was the first that I ever tried from their company, I fell in love with it. It’s so warm tasting and the taste is very tropical. I also the love the health benefits that come with coconuts: packed with lauric acid, which kill bacteria and boosts immunity, helps with digestion, kills candida and is great for the skin. Coconut oil is very different from coconut butter, as coconut butter is the coconut meat pureed, coconut oil is just pure “coconut oil”. Coconut oil is great for frying veggies and used in place of dairy butter.

Tahini is a paste, or butter made from sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are high in copper, manganese and calcium. They say that copper is good in helping reduce pain in rheumatoid arthritis…so I wonder if it would help in patients with IBD, as inflammation occurs too.
Tahini is very bitter tasting, it isn’t the sweetest of the nut butters, but it sure is creamy and it great for making hummus.

Almond butter has turned out to be one of my new favourites, it is a bit more grainy textured then smooth, but I enjoy the taste. It isn’t too strong tasting, but you can still taste the subtle hint of almond. If you like a sweeter tasting spread, almond butter might not be your first choice, as it isn’t as sweet, but you could alway add a squeeze of honey to what ever you put almond butter on. I like almond butter on celery, spread on apple slices or a piece of warm gluten free toast.

The cashew, pecan and walnut butters are all very creamy rich tasting butters that are great if you like the distinct flavour of all these three nuts. They’re great for spreading on toast and would even be a good substitution for tahini in hummus!

Nuts and seeds are such healthy whole foods that are packed with great nutrients. Nut butters for the most part are all gluten free, dairy free and for the mostly never sweetened.
It’s fun to see the variety of nut butters in the supermarkets and trying out new flavours. Who said a peanut butter and banana sandwich had to be made of peanut butter?
Next time try an almond butter sandwich, a coconut butter sandwich (for a tropical taste) or my favourite, a sunflower seed butter sandwich (gluten free that is)!

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