The Expanding Universe of 'Nut' Butters

Posted by: Ellen Schuster, BA, MS on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Expanding Universe of 'Nut' Butters

Article originally appears in the May 24, 2018 issue of the SNEB eCommunicator

When I read about a new nut butter alternative (chickpea) it prompted me to dig a little deeper. Not so long ago there was peanut butter - creamy or chunky. Now, in response to food allergies and our desire to have oodles of flavors/choices, behold the nut butter aisle. You’ll see at least 5 kinds of nut butters (more depending on where you shop or if you shop online), different flavors (chocolate, cinnamon raisin swirl and even jelly mixed in to name a few), as well as ‘natural’ and low sodium options. (Note: The School Nutrition Association has an Allergy Resource Center for schools at https://schoolnutrition.org/news-publications/news/SNA-launches-the-allergy-resource-center-for-school-nutrition-professional/ - you’ll find webinars, resources and guidelines.) Here is info to help you navigate the nut butter aisle...

Sugar and salt in nut butters
Find out about the sugar, salt in nut butters as well as chocolate/nut butter spreads and cookie dough spreads
https://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/sugar-in-food/sugar-in-peanut-butter/

Consumer Reports on nut butters 
Extensive info and chart on almond and cashew nut butters with cost, nutritional info and other info 
https://www.consumerreports.org/nut-butters/best-nut-butters-to-eat-right-now/

Alternative nut butters
The Amazing Chickpea
A new option...chickpeas (and sunflower seeds). How does it compare to peanut butter?
https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2018/04/05/Nut-butter-minus-the-nuts-The-Amazing-Chickpea-offers-a-pulse-based-alternative

Taste testing nut butters 
Including pumpkin seed, sunflower, pistachio and macadamia, coconut, pistachio, pine nut, chickpea, pea, chocolate soybean, 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2018/02/27/these-alternative-nut-butters-will-spruce-up-that-boring-pb-j/

Young children taste-test nut butters (3 minute video)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/09/03/are-peanuts-banned-at-your-childs-school-these-kids-have-the-most-adorable-solution/

7 kid-approved nut butter alternatives 
Pecan, almond, homemade pistachio, chocolate hazelnut, no-nut (peas), sunflower seed, soybeans - calorie, fat, protein, sugar amounts are provided
https://nurturelife.com/blog/top-7-kid-approved-peanut-butter-alternatives/

DIY alternatives; how to add new flavors at home to nut butter 
5 nut-free spreads
Suggestions include hummus and DIY ricotta and honey, Greek yogurt and banana, bean purée with cocoa and honey
https://www.care.com/c/stories/1519/5-nut-free-spreads-to-use-instead-of-peanut-b/

Healthy kitchen hacks: savoring natural nut butters
Different ways to ‘upgrade’ nut butter at home
https://foodandnutrition.org/from-the-magazine/healthy-kitchen-hacks-savoring-natural-nut-butters/