If you’re allergic to peanuts or have had a run-in with the Paleo diet, chances are you’ve kicked your peanut-butter addiction and moved on to an alternative. Nut butter — a blend of one or multiple tree nuts and/or seeds — has become the new health-food craze. Nuts and seeds are more nutrient dense than peanuts and offer more beneficial fats. They’re also less inflammatory than peanuts, which are notoriously allergenic and contain compounds like peanut lectin and aflatoxin that can cause gastrointestinal distress, among other things. Despite the fact that many brands of peanut butter contain added sugars and hydrogenated vegetable oils, PB has been touted as a “health food,” thanks to its beneficial ratio of fat, protein and carbs. Fortunately, similar macronutrient profiles derived from higher-quality ingredients can be found in many nut butters, like the ones featured here. However, be warned — they are very easy to overeat and should be consumed responsibly.
Justin’s almond butter is made from California almonds using a proprietary nut-grinding technique. Although the company offers a variety of nut-butter flavors, its Classic Almond Butter contains only two ingredients: dry-roasted almonds and sustainably sourced palm-fruit oil. This all-natural, gluten-free product also matches peanut butter in protein content.
When snacking, almond butter makes a great alternative to peanut butter to add flair to your fruit smoothie or apple slices, baby carrots and chopped celery. It also can be enjoyed on top of Paleo pancakes or even paired with a chicken breast. If you’re feeling creative, try blending almond butter, coconut milk and roasted red peppers together to make a Paleo “peanut” sauce. It takes a little more effort, but almond butter also makes a great center to homemade Paleo “Reese’s Cups.” If nothing else, take advantage of Justin’s single-serve packets and keep some with you in the office or car for those hunger emergencies, aka “hangry” prevention.
SunButter, made from sunflower seeds, has been a savior for children who have peanut allergies. In fact, the company was created in part because the founder’s niece had a peanut allergy. SunButter makes several products, but two — Organic and Natural No Sugar Added — stand above the rest in that they are free from added sweeteners.
SunButter is a favorite among children and is recommended for those who want or need to follow a peanut-free diet. SunButter can be used in a variety of recipes, especially those with a Thai flair. It’s also absolutely delicious eaten with carrots or fried plantains.
When it comes to nut butter, Nuttzo is unique in that it combines seven different nuts and seeds rather than showcasing one. The company offers three flavors; of these, the Power Fuel PF variety, in particular, is peanut-free and contains nothing but sea salt and organic nuts and seeds (cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, hazelnuts, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds). The addition of flax and chia seeds provides a dose of omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linoleic acid.
Enjoy Nuttzo with carrots, celery or right off the spoon. Nuttzo is also irresistible served on top of fresh apple wedges. Next time you whip up a fruit/vegetable smoothie, add Nuttzo PF for a nutrient boost.