As a kid how could you not love a good PB&J sandwich? Whether it was cut into fun shapes, with crust on, crust off, strawberry jam, grape jelly, crunchy vs. creamy (team crunch all the way), you name your favorite. And truthfully, everyone has their own specific peanut butter to jelly ratio. Needless to say, my world of PB&J changed forever and for the better, after I discovered almond butter. My mind was blown; I thought almond butter was so creative and unique. Not to mention that it made a killer sandwich. Sometimes I would even do PBAB&J, otherwise known as peanut butter AND almond butter and jelly. Try it out sometime if you haven’t already, it’s basically spreadable trail mix and so tasty. Although I have come to find that almond butter isn’t quite as unique as I initially thought, it was my gateway into a whole array of other nut butters. To list a few, there’s walnut, hazelnut, pecan, and soy nut butter. Really, you can take just about any nut and can turn it into a butter. Seeds are moving into the butter-sphere as well! Tahini and sunflower seed spread are two popular ones. Thanks to so many options, even those with nut allergies can most likely find a type of nut or seed butter that can be consumed safely.
And let’s not forget about all the health benefits of nuts!
- Nutritious fats: nuts boast large amounts of heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Healthy fats also help keep you filling satisfied at meal time
- Abundance of vitamins: high in vitamin E and B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and protects cells from free-radical damage while B vitamins play an important role in energy metabolism
- Rich in minerals: manganese, magnesium, copper which help maintain bone health. Manganese and magnesium additionally keep blood sugar in check and copper helps the body utilize iron to prevent iron-deficient anemia.
- Protein power: nuts are a great way to sneak in extra protein into the diet
- Phytochemicals galore: besides vitamin E which contributes to antioxidant properties, nuts contain many other antioxidants with more cardio-protective effects
These health benefits are more pronounced in homemade nut butters without any added sugar or oil but, if you’d rather try store-bought first before hitting the kitchen, check out this article on the best buys!
With all the new and various types of nut butters, the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich has come a long way. Nut butter hasn’t stopped there either.
Check out 5 different and delicious ways to use this nutty gold below:
Mixing in nut butter with your favorite smoothie adds a whole new level of creaminess.
2. Dressings and Sauces
Also, cashew butter makes a mean vegan Alfredo, just saying.
Get fancy with this decadent raw pie or go the classic route with these lovable peanut butter cookies
5. Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for nut butter ice cream!
6. Power Breakfasts
Wake up and get in your morning protein kick with these nutritious wonders.