When you think of the term “nut butter,” your first thought is most likely peanut butter. This is certainly understandable, as many of us had no idea that you could even purchase other “butters” made from other types of nuts. Peanut butter is great and all, but there’s so much more out there.
Nut butters can be made from virtually any type of nut as long as it can be blended down to a smooth consistency. So, with all of the choices out there, which is the best nut butter? This is definitely subjective depending on who you ask, but we think there are a core group of nut butters that stand out as the best.
The most important quality the vast majority of consumers look for is taste, and we tend to agree. However, nut butters contain a lot of unique health benefits as well, and can offer more than the standard batch of peanut butter. The benefits are even more prevalent when the nut butter is organic. Read on to find out more.
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Nut butter is about as simple and raw as food gets. Just as is the case with peanut butter, nut butter is made by using nuts and their natural oils when blended down to a smooth consistency. You can basically make nut butter with any nut that can be broken down this way.
The majority of nut butters don’t rely on any other ingredients other than what’s in the nuts themselves. A little salt may be added depending on the type, but that’s about it. The final product is a spreadable, dippable version of the nuts, which can also be combined with other foods, and used in recipes.
Peanut butter remains the most popular, but other nut butter varieties are quickly gaining as more people discover the wide range of available flavors, and the many health benefits that come from using other types of nut butters.
It’s always best to use organic ingredients whenever possible, and the same applies to items such as nut butter. While nut butter is almost always made from one single ingredient, it’s still best when manufactured and grown organically. While this may sometimes cost a bit more, the benefits more than make up for it.
But what defines an organic product? Well, according to Organic.org, the definition is “produce and other ingredients that are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation.”
A better way to simplify this is just to say that organic nuts (and other plant-based foods) are grown using natural methods that avoid any unnatural things such as synthetic chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides that would “taint” the crop.
This is accomplished in many different ways. Rather than rely on chemicals and other unnatural factors, organic farmers instead use hands-on pest and weed control methods that include rotation, planting of bait plants, and cultivating insects that feed on other insects that can disturb a crop.
There are many other methods that are used in organic farming, but that’s the gist.
Before getting into the specific health benefits of certain nut butters, let’s first discuss the benefits from using organic versions of these.
Each day, thousands of gallons of pesticides are used on conventionally-grown crops. If you’ve followed the history of pesticides, you know that there have been plenty of widely used pesticides recalled over the years when their effects were realized.
This still continues today, although not as often. Still, the long-term effects of pesticides are still relatively unknown, so consumers are being exposed to chemicals that may have a negative effect on their health in the future.
Pesticides are one of the reasons we are told to vigorously clean produce that isn’t organic, in order to remove any remaining residue. First of all, this is never a guarantee that you’ll get all of it off, and you don't really have that option with nuts and nut butters in the first place.
Organic nut butters sidestep this problem altogether.
Organic food tastes better. There’s really no debate. Although some of the reasons are hard to pin down, the richer soil and avoidance of chemicals play a huge part in the overall taste in the end. Plants are healthier, and so are their produce. You're getting the food as it was meant to be cultivated
As I said earlier, thousands of gallons are used each day on arms across the planet. These pesticides not only over the ground and plants, but also make their way up and into the atmosphere. They can even end up in streams and other local bodies of water. Pesticide is poison, so you’re basically poisoning the environment with them.
When you buy organic nut butters, or really any other organic product, you know that it came from a farm that doesn’t pollute the atmosphere, soil, and water with poison.
Genetically-modified organisms are increasing in their use across the world. These lab-engineered food products are artificially created and altered to change strains and behaviors of certain plants, usually to better withstand weather, insects, herbicides, and pesticides.
GMOs do make sense from a practical standpoint,especially in parts of the world that have trouble growing certain foods due to drought, infestation, or other factors. However, just like pesticides, the long term effects are not known. GMO foods tend to lack in taste as well.
Organic nut butters obviously don’t contain GMOs, so you’re good.
Nut butters taste great, regardless of which variety you're currently favoring. However, they each offer their own unique nutritional benefits and health benefits that are definitely worth highlighting.
It’s safe to say that most people like pumpkin seeds, so why not take it to a new level with pumpkin seed butter? This butter provides a similar flavor profile to peanut butter, and is actually easier to spread and incorporate into recipes. Many people are hooked within seconds after trying it.
While pumpkin seed butter is versatile and easy to like, it’s actually one of the more potent nut butters in terms of health benefits and nutritional value.
Pumpkin seed butter is great to use on savory bread types such as rye and pumpernickel, and is an excellent inclusion into vegetable-based soups that could stand to benefit from a blast of unique flavor that elevates the dish to a new level. It makes a great dip, and is especially useful around the fall time when pumpkin foods and beverages are prevalent.
Still, most prefer to eat it with either bread or crackers. Feel free to experiment, you may be surprised what it can go with.
Almond may very well be the second most popular nut butter variety behind peanut butter. It contains a familiar flavor profile, and is somewhat easy to spread and use with many of the same foods you’d use peanut butter with. It was once mainly regulated to health food stores, but is now widely available.
If you’re familiar with all of the many benefits whole, raw almonds provide, rest assured that they are still present in the butter from of almonds.
Almond butter has endless uses that really just depend on your preferences and imagination. You can add it to your toast in the morning, or even waffles and pancakes. The consistency of almond butter makes it suitable for making your own granola and energy bars at home too.
Additional ideas include soups, dressings, and as part of a cooking dough mix. Almond butter is also great with ice cream, and can easily be used to make truffles and chocolate desserts.
Cashew butter isn’t as widely used as peanut and almond butters, but it’s quickly gaining in popularity as more people realize all of the great uses it has, along with all of the benefits that come with eating raw cashews in the first place.
Cashew butter has a slightly sweet, buttery taste, and boasts a flavor profile that allows it to be used for both sweet and savory culinary ideas.
Cashew butter can be used in several different ways, including outside of the standard dips, soups, and dressings. While it is definitely great to spread on healthy breads, crackers, and pretty much whatever else you’d like to apply it to, cashew butter can also be made into vegan cheese dip.
Cashew butter actually gives you a pretty handy shortcut when making vegan “queso,” as the butter is already smooth and ready to mixed with other ingredients. Cashew butter is also great on breakfast foods such as toast, waffles, and pancakes.
Okay, so coconuts may nut exactly be what you think of when you hear the word “nut,” but we are going to include it anyways, as it is one of the most useful and versatile butters you can buy.
Most of your are likely familiar with coconut oil, and may even cook with it from time to time. Coconut butter is a bit different, as it’s made from the pulp of the coconut, but obviously still includes the oil. Still, the result is a butter-like consistency that makes it easy to spread onto foods.
Coconuts have a huge amount of beneficial aspects for health and nutrition, but we’ll focus on these three.
Coconut butter culinary uses are practically endless, as it goes well with a massive variety of foods, both savory and sweet. You can eat it right out of the jar, or add it to fruits, toss it in with sauteed vegetables, add it to a smoothie, or even put it in your coffee.
Out of all the different butters we’ve gone over so far, coconut butter is the one that you can most often use in place of actual dairy butter.
You can cook with it in cookie recipes, pancakes, waffles, or any other sweet item that calls for butter or margarine. It can be included with vegetables during stir-frying, and you can sub out coconut instead of a pat of butter when eating things like sweet potatoes. And on and on.
You can cook with it in a pan instead of using fatty products like Crisco as well. This not only saves calories and fat, but adds a unique flavor complexity too.
The following four nut butters (including coconut) are among our top picks for the best you can buy. They display the highest quality, are all organic, and have affordable prices as well.
Making pumpkin seed butter is a sort of fine art within itself, and involves more than just grinding up a bunch of seeds together. Jiva Organics pumpkin seed butter is made the right way, and you can definitely tell with its taste.
This pumpkin seed butter is made from 100% organic raw sprouted pumpkin seeds, which are then soaked and germinated before being ground to a butter at around 108 degrees Fahrenheit. There are no fillers or anything artificial, just pumpkin seeds.
Each jar is sealed, and comes with attractive packaging and labeling that makes the pumpkin seed butter easy to give away as a gift. The pumpkin butter itself is very smooth and rich, and is easy to use even at room temperature. The jar’s opening is wide and easy to spoon out of.
The taste of the pumpkin seed butter is incredibly fresh, and can keep for months when stored in the refrigerator. There is not salt or sugar added, but the natural saltiness level is perfect, and makes this butter a great alternative for peanut butter, or used in any number of dishes.
Good pumpkin seed butters are few and far between. Jiva Organics is at the top of the list when it comes to both taste, spreadability, and the price as well. We think you’ll agree.
Almond butter is one of the best nut butters you can keep on hand, and is so easy to use with a wide range of dishes, or just out of the jar. As with pumpkin seed butter, the almond butter making process is a bit complicated, so not all almond butters are equal. This one from Jiva Organics is the best we’ve had.
Each jar is made with 100% organic almonds, which are then soaked and germinated until they are ready for processing. Once ready, they are ground down to a smooth, cream butter at 108 degrees Fahrenheit. No salt, no sugar, just almonds.
The 8 oz jar features Jiva Organics’ simple and tasteful packaging, and is full of creamy almond butter with just the right amount of texture. The jar is easy to spoon almond butter out of for recipes, or just to eat by itself.
The taste is the perfect balance you’d want from almond butter, as the care gone into making it comes out with its full flavor and smooth consistency. It’s easy to spread and spoon, and is okay to use at room temperature.
Almond butter is one of the most popular nut butters for a reason, so it pays off to use a quality product that tastes great, and is cultivated organically. We love this almond butter, and you will too.
If you’re new to cashew butter, it’s time to get familiar. Cashew butter has a very unique taste that is articulated when it’s in this form. The cashew butter making process requires patience and care, and it's evident this cashew butter product has received both.
This raw cashew butter is made from organic cashews, and doesn’t use any filler, added salt, or sweeteners. You are getting pure, raw cashews that have been slowly ground at an ideal temperature during the process.
Each jar is packaged in an attractive way, and provides easy access to the rich, smooth cashew butter inside. The cashew butter has a perfectly balanced taste that only cashews can provide, and it’s very easy to scoop and spread.
Whether you’re new to cashew butter, or are looking for a superior brand, this cashew butter should be your only choice. The quality is outstanding.
Coconut butter gets a little tricky at times, as some have too much oil, while others are way too dry, and end up having a wax-like consistency. Jiva Organics’ coconut butter strikes the perfect balance, and offers a very usable coconut butter that you’ll find yourself using on everything.
This coconut butter is made from organic coconuts, and that’s it. It doesn’t have any added sugars or filler, just pureed and blended coconut and oil, in a rich creamy spread.
This 16 oz. jar is full to the brim with perfect coconut butter that should retain its form at room temperature. This makes it easy to spoon out and portion whenever you need it, and the labeling makes it easy to give as a gift as well.
The taste is the best you’ll have. The coconut butter is balanced, and has just enough from the actual coconut flesh to give it a great texture, while still allowing it to melt over hot items.
Coconut butter is life-changing in many ways, and since you’re likely to be using it with a lot of your cooking and cleaning, it makes sense to find the best possible product. Jiva Organics coconut butter is the one.
Nut butters don’t require any kind of culinary expertise, only that you are willing to try them out and use them in any of your cooking at home. As with any food product, organic is always best, so you can’t go wrong with any of these.
If you’re looking to get started using nut butters, or just want to have the best on hand at home, we recommend ordering one, or all of the above products. You'll be glad you did.