For me, my love of peanut butter started back in grade school when I literally ate a PB&J sandwich every day from kindergarten through 8th grade. I put peanut butter on celery and topping it with raisins (AKA “ants on a log”). And on occasion, would enjoy the not so healthy Oreo’s dipped in peanut butter (as they did in the movie The Parent Trap). Regardless peanut butter has always been a staple in my diet and my love has since expanded to all nut butters.
Today, peanut butter has some competition from the other nuts. Almonds, cashews, hazelnut, and even seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame have grown in popularity. There is even powdered peanut butter, made from roasted peanuts that have been pressed to remove most of the oil and then ground into a fine powder.
A standard serving size for nut butters is 2 tbsp which is about the size of a golf ball, though many of us wish it was the size of a baseball… The 2 tbsp serving contains about 190 calories and 16 grams of fat, depending on the type. Just like nuts in their original form, nut butters contain heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Look for nut butters that contain few ingredients- nuts and some salt… that’s it! Beware of more processed peanut butters that contain partially hydrogenated oils (fancy word for trans fat), corn syrup, and preservatives.
You can even make your own nut butter by putting nuts into a high power blender and grinding them up. I personally don’t trust my blender, so I have never tried it, but there are many recipes out there if you want it homemade.
Picking a favorite nut butter would be like a mom having to pick a favorite child. I usually have a couple of different nut butters in my pantry at a time. because I like to switch it up depending on what I’m pairing it with. Below is a list of what I’m currently trying:
-Kirkland’s Almond Butter (from Costco): my #1 go to for both flavor & price (24 oz jar for $7!) It is a regular in my pantry.
-Kroger Brand All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter: great for making homemade granola bars and energy balls
-Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams: for when i need a chocolate fix! I usually eat a spoonful right from the jar!
-PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter: I love adding powdered peanut butter to smoothies or plain yogurt to give it that peanut butter flavor
I also am a big fan of a brand called Justin’s and another called Betsy’s Best (founded by a fellow RD), however, these butters can be a little pricey ($10-15 dollars a jar!). When shopping for nut butters, I always look for ones on sale. I found that the “crank-your-own” butter at many health food stores or the big store brand jars from Sam’s Club or Costco are usually the best in price!
Are you a nut butter lover like me? What are your favorite types/brands and what do you spread on? Go nuts and post your comments below!