9 Nut Butters for Your Low-Carb KitchenArticle posted in: Nutrition
Peanut still may be the most popular type of nut butter on the market. However, almond, cashew, hazelnut—plus a handful of other nut and legume butters—are quickly gaining traction. And it’s no wonder! Nut butters are convenient, shelf stable and quite NUTritious (see what we did there?).
They’re also very versatile and can be used in so many ways—jelly and bread aren’t worthy! Plus, if you have a powerful blender at home, you can make your own nut butters with one ingredient: nuts. No preservatives, no hefty price tag—just blend and enjoy.
If you’re not a make-your-own-butter kind of person, just be sure your nut butter is all natural with no added sugar. Across the board, the serving size for nut butters on the South Beach Diet is two tablespoons. Stock up your low-carb pantry with a variety of nut and seed butters for endless amounts of Healthy Fat servings.
Check out these nine nutritious nut butters for your low-carb kitchen:
Now, grab a spoon and learn more about these creamy, dreamy spreads:
1. Almond Butter
Almonds are nutrient powerhouses in a great-tasting package. According to Healthline, one ounce of almonds contains over three grams of fiber, six grams of protein, 14 grams of fat (nine of which are monounsaturated), plus lots of vitamin E, manganese and magnesium. Almond butter has the highest concentration of nutrients per tablespoon with more fiber, calcium, potassium and monounsaturated fat than peanut butter. It has a naturally sweet flavor, giving it that satisfying, “this is a dessert” feeling.
Craving a milkshake? This Honey Almond Butter Cup Shake tastes totally sinful but gives you a great nutrient boost. Try it for breakfast!
2. Cashew Butter
According to Healthline, cashews are one of the lowest fiber, highest carbohydrate nuts. However, 16 cashews or two tablespoons of cashew butter are approved foods here at the South Beach Diet. That’s because cashews have so many essential vitamins and minerals; magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin B-6, K and E, says Healthline. Plus, fiber and healthy fats!
If you’re buying premade cashew butter, be sure to check the ingredients for added sugar. And, if you’re on a budget, check the price tag before you get to the register—cashew butter can be a little steep.
3. Peanut Butter
Every year, Americans eat enough peanut butter to cover the floor of the Grand Canyon, according to the National Peanut Board. They also share another fun fact; women and children tend to prefer creamy peanut butter, while men prefer chunky peanut butter. And believe it or not, there are six cities in the U.S. named peanut. Have fun researching that! Our point is this: Peanut butter is incredible. Peanuts have more protein than any other nut, plus 30 essential vitamins and minerals (including 20% of your daily niacin and manganese).
Unfortunately, most of America’s favorite peanut butters include sugar, salt and hydrogenated oils (like partially hydrogenated oil or palm oil to give peanut butter a longer shelf life) that come with saturated and trans fats, explains Food Network. Reduced fat peanut butters are often worse than regular options. Always seek varieties that contain one or two ingredients: peanuts and salt.
Try these Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Muffins when your sweet tooth strikes.
4. Walnut Butter
According to California Walnuts, walnut butter can have three totally distinct flavors depending on how the nut is prepared. Raw walnuts impart a very smooth butter, while soaked walnuts add more texture. Toasted walnuts make a naturally sweet, nutty flavored butter with an in-between texture.
Nutritionally speaking, walnuts don’t offer as much protein or fiber as some of the other butters in this list. However, walnut butter is very high in alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, says California Walnuts. In fact, they explain that no other nut is higher in ALA than a walnut.
You’ll love the crunch of walnuts in this Green Leaf, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad.
5. Hazelnut Butter
It can be difficult to find all-natural hazelnut butter unless you’re in a gourmet grocery store. And no, that chocolate hazelnut spread doesn’t count. About two tablespoons can deliver over 20 grams of sugar! It’s kind of like saying carrot cake is healthy because it’s made with carrots.
Pure hazelnuts and all-natural hazelnut butter are in rich in protein, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids and 11 percent of your daily fiber, says Healthline. They explain that the skins of hazelnuts are concentrated with antioxidants, so make sure to keep them on if you’re making your butter at home. Roasting can decrease antioxidant content and raw, unpeeled varieties are recommended. One serving of hazelnuts is 20 nuts. Like other nut butters, keep your serving size limited to two tablespoons.
Use hazelnut butter to make this Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake even more decadent.
6. Sunflower Seed Butter
If you’re looking for a nut butter with the closest texture to peanut butter, try sunflower seed butter! It has more monounsaturated fat, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper and selenium than almond and peanut butter. Plus, it provides more than 10 percent of your daily protein, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and Vitamin E, says the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This makes it a great alternative for people with peanut and tree-nut allergies.
7. Tahini (Sesame Seed)
Another good choice for people with nut allergies, tahini is a terrific savory option. Try this “butter” as a dip for carrots and celery or even as a great ingredient in dips like spinach-artichoke or roasted onion. Made from toasted, ground sesame seeds, tahini gives hummus its distinct flavor and texture, says Medical News Today. Just two tablespoons of this creamy seed butter is packed with nutrients, delivering 178 calories, 16 grams of fat, five grams of protein, 22 percent of your daily phosphorus, 14 percent of your iron and 12 percent of your calcium.
Mix tahini with a little garlic and you’ve got a great dipping sauce for these Inside-Out Cheeseburgers.
8. Pistachio Butter
Looking to add some more green to your diet? Puréed pistachios create a nut butter with a unique emerald hue, just like the nuts themselves. One serving has about 180 calories, 13 grams of fat, three grams of fiber and six grams of protein, says the USDA. This makes it a fantastic workout recovery snack. Embrace the green and make a post-exercise smoothie with fresh spinach, pistachio butter and yogurt. Talk about a nutritious start to your day!
Use pistachio butter to make these Peanut Butter Pancakes. A few chopped pistachios on top would taste delicious!
9. Soy Nut Butter
Do you have to avoid nuts? Seeds? Gluten? Dairy? Thank goodness for soy nut butter! This “nut” butter isn’t actually a nut: According to SoyFoods.org, soy nut butter is created from “fresh roasted whole soybeans.” It usually doesn’t include any nuts and is a marketed as an alternative to peanut butter. However, if you have any allergy, you should always read the nutrition and ingredients label to confirm. Soy nut butter is cholesterol free and has less total and saturated fat than peanut butter, says SoyFoods.org. This plant-based protein is the perfect addition to your nut butter collection.
Use soy nut butter and Chinese Five Spice to make a dipping sauce for these Grilled Pork Chops.