Nuts are a healthy addition to any diet. They can be consumed raw or roasted. They make excellent nut butter as well. Most any nut, including coconut and some seeds, can be made into nut butter. They have health benefits of their own. Here we'll compare peanut to almond butter
I’ll bet if you stand in the peanut butter and jelly aisle at the grocery store, your jaw will hit the floor, and you’ll stare dazed at the shelves. We’re used to an array of jellies, syrups, and other condiments, but peanut butter? We’ve been trained by countless generations of mothers to reach for Jif or Peter Pan. What’s all this about nut butter?
The 1990s and 2000s were notable for many things, among them experimentation with foods. We saw the rise of chef shows on TV, and we wanted to cook like that. We watched as TV cooks made purees out of anything that once grew on a tree or rose from the ground. How could nut butter be any different?
We’re going to compare almond butter to peanut butter. We’re going to see what health benefits both offer diners, what other nut butter exists, as well as which nut butter is healthier for you.
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Other Nut Butters Exist?
Sure, other nut butter are out there. Even seeds and coconuts are made into nut butter, particularly sunflower seeds. Coconut is classified as a nut, a seed, and a fruit. It’s a tad grainer than other nut butter, but it has a sweet taste.
You might have to look online for some of these nut butter, or you could pull out the food processor and make them yourself. The other nut butter is walnut butter, Brazil nut butter, pistachio butter, cashew butter, hazelnut (a la Nutella,) macadamia butter, pecan butter, chestnut, and pine nut butter.
To make nut butter, you first choose your nuts. They are then used raw or toasted. Place the nuts in a blender or food processor with as much water as you wish. If you want a smoother product, add a touch of oil to the mix. Blend until the consistency you wish is achieved. Store in an airtight jar or container in the fridge. Stored properly, it should last three to six months.
Organic vs Processed Nut Butters
It’s worth mentioning that consumers have had it up to here with processed, pre-packaged foods grown with growth hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modifications. They’re turning to organic and natural foods. These are grown without chemicals, other than natural fertilizers, and without anything that gives them a shelf life.
There is, however, some question as to the nutrients in organic foods. You should know that organic farmers treat their fields with things that return the nutrients to the soil. They engage in field rotation to further return nutrients to the soil. This gets into the foods grown there, and thus into the people buying organic foods.
The surest way for you to obtain the healthiest nut butter to give your family is to make it yourself in a blender or food processor. This ensures your family will be eating no additional trans fat, hydrogenated oil, saturated fat (the bad kind,) or extra sugar.
Whether you make pumpkin seed butter, butter from sunflower seed, roasted almonds, or roasted nuts in general, it only takes a few minutes, two ingredients, and a jar to give your family the healthiest nut butter available.
Note to self: Before we start on the amazing health benefits of almonds and their butter, you need to know what to look for on the shelves. The jar you pick up should only have two ingredients: nuts and salt. If the ingredients list says anything else, put it back. You don’t need the unhealthy benefits of preservatives, colorings, hydrogenated oils, or pounds of salt.
We’re told that nuts are an important part of the food group pyramid. They contain fiber, protein, oils, and minerals like Omega-3 fatty acids and calcium that the body needs for proper nutrition. Generally, that’s all we read or hear about nut butter, so, convinced that we’re eating healthily, we grab a jar and go. So what are these health benefits we hear so much about?
- Skincare. We just discussed the oils and minerals in almonds. However, they also contain Vitamin E. Combined with the oils, these nutrients provide antioxidants that prevent wrinkles and age spots.
- Metabolism booster. Carbohydrates goose the metabolism, but they also cause problems. The carbs in almonds boost the metabolism in a good way for a period of time while optimizing varying body functions.
- Heals chronic disorders. Inflammation, stomach problems, chronic pain, and other disorders are caused by free radicals attacking the cells. Studies have found that almond butter reduces the risk of these health problems.
- Aids diabetics. Carbs make the blood glucose levels spike in diabetics. Almond butter hasn’t as many carbohydrates as other pre-packaged snacks, so it’s better for blood sugar levels.
- Prevents heart problems. Almond butter contains unsaturated fats, which are good fats. They prevent high cholesterol while supplying the body with good fats. Eat almond butter if you don’t want a stroke or heart attack.
- Losing weight. If you’re on a strict diet or perhaps a keto diet, almond butter is the best for you. Low in carbs, low in calories, but high in the good stuff like Omega-3 fatty acids, this nut butter lifts your energy levels.
Fun facts: the almond is actually in the Rose family. It grows inside a furry hull much like a peach, in which family almonds are also included. Almond farmers rent bees to pollinate their almond trees. The bees won’t work in the dark, in the early morning, or during a frost. We have a lot for which to thank bees!
No American child ever went to summer camp without a lunch bag packed with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Peanut butter is the go-to snack paired with apples, celery, pretzels, crackers, bananas, and lots of people won’t eat waffles or pancakes without peanut butter on them.
Aside from tasting great with a number of foods, peanut butter is good for you. Most mothers don’t tell their kids this fact; why spoil the experience? However, peanut butter qualifies as a superfood, because it decreases the risk of cancer, helps with diabetes, and reduces the risk of heart disease. What other health benefits does peanut butter pack?
Peanut butter is rich in the same nutrients that almond butter contains. Much the same health benefits can be found in a jar of crunchy or smooth peanut butter:
- Peanut butter could decrease cholesterol levels
- Peanut butter could improve sensitivity to insulin, resulting in lower blood glucose levels
- Contains Vitamins A, C, and E
- High in potassium, which protects the heart
- High in fiber, which also protects the heart
- High in several antioxidants which help in controlling disease
Fun facts: two American presidents, Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter, were peanut farmers. The first commercial production of peanut butter occurred in 1884. Americans consume enough peanut butter in one year to cover the floor of the Grand Canyon.
Should You Stir Almond And Peanut Butter?
You should, if you buy natural or organic nut butter. They will only contain nuts and salt. The natural oils in the nuts will separate, leaving the butter on the bottom and the oil on the top. To stir it, take a butter knife, and stick it all the way to the bottom of the jar. It won’t be easy; you’ll have to apply some muscle. In the end, you’ll have a jar of perfectly blended nut butter.
Should Almond Butter Be Refrigerated?
Processed nut butters don’t have to be refrigerated, because they contain ingredients giving them a shelf life. Natural or organic nut butter should be refrigerated because it contains no shelf-life ingredients. The nut butter should last up to three months when it’s refrigerated.
What Does Almond Butter Taste Like?
The taste is comparable to peanut butter. Almond butter is richer, nuttier, and less sweet than peanut butter. It’s basically a matter of personal preference, although almond butter is a good alternative for those with peanut or other nut allergies.
How Do You Prevent Hardening Of Almond Butter?
If you’re making nut butter at home, there’s a chance of the butter getting hard. Just add a little unflavored oil (and that means a teaspoon) such as safflower or sesame oil and stir well. Keep adding a teaspoon of oil as you go to get the nut butter to the desired consistency.
Can You Eat Too Much Almond Butter?
Yes. It turns out that, although almonds are a beneficial addition to any diet, they do have some serious side effects. They’re sold in small to medium packages in any store. That’s a healthy and safe amount of almonds to eat or make into nut butter. However, lots of people don’t understand the concept of “enough.” It’s these folks that we want to address.
Too much almond butter can result in adverse interactions with medications like some antibiotics, blood pressure meds, antacids, and laxatives. Almonds contain Vitamin E along with hydrocyanic acid. These, taken to excess, can cause breathing difficulties, lethargy, nervous breakdowns, and sometimes death.
Why is Almond Butter Considered Healthier Than Peanut Butter?
Both nut butter is about equal in naturally occurring sugars and calories. Peanut butter offers a bit more protein than almond butter. Both nut butter is high in Vitamin E and magnesium, although peanut butter is a little lower in these nutrients.
Here’s the thing, though: almond butter is high in monounsaturated fat. This helps keep the bad cholesterol or LDL in check while fostering good cholesterol or HDL. The Omega-3 fatty acid in almond butter helps protect the heart as well. All these taken together are what make people think almond butter is the better butter.
Is Raw Almond Butter Better Than Roasted?
Not really, due to the fact that raw almonds are pasteurized to eliminate bacteria. Actually, there’s really no debate for that reason. Another consideration is that roasting lowers the phytic acid in the almonds. Phytic acid prevents minerals such as calcium or zinc from being absorbed into the body. It’s basically six of one and a half dozen of the other, so go for whatever best suits you.
Organic Facts: Health benefits of Peanut Butter
Organic Facts: Almond Butter