Since we’ve been loading up on pantry staples during quarantine, I thought it was the perfect time for a deep dive with one I can’t live without: nut butter. Gone are the days where peanut butter stole the spotlight on grocery shelves since loads of alternatives have arrived, and I’m not mad about it. The options can actually get a little overwhelming, so we’ve rounded up our tried and true favorite brands in each category to share with you.
A good nut butter is delicious, clean (as in, just a handful of ingredients) and versatile, and can be used in a variety of dishes, dressings, desserts and more to get that nourishing dose of healthy fat, protein and fiber we all need.
Personally, I like to mix nut butter into my smoothie or oatmeal for breakfast, or use it as a topping on toast for an afternoon snack, but as you’ll see below, there are loads more options. Scroll on for our top 5 favorite nut butters, along with some recipe ideas for incorporating nut butter into your diet. Allergic to nuts? Don’t fret. Sunflower seed butter also made the list, and can be used as a nut-free substitute in any of the below recipes.
Cashew Butter Pick: Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Cashew Butter, Julie’s Real
Out of every brand I’ve tried, Julie’s Real is my all-time favorite brand of nut butter. Their cashew butter is sweetened only with natural honey, cinnamon, and vanilla bean, but it practically tastes like frosting. It’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet without all of the junk and added sugar that some nut butters can include. Plus, you get the benefits of the heart-healthy fats that are found in cashews. Personally, I like using this one as a sub for maple syrup on my pancakes or waffles, or drizzled on top of my dessert. Be warned: it’s so good, you might end up just eating it by the spoonful too.
Cashew Butter Recipe: 10-Minute Chocolate Truffles by Minimalist Baker
Almond Butter Pick: Vanilla Almond Butter, RXBar
This one is a crowd favorite, and has a creamy, rich consistency, making it the perfect addition to a healthy snack. The ingredients are super clean, and the egg whites add a little boost of extra protein that will help keep you full throughout the day. This one is so rich and creamy, that it’s the perfect snack to enjoy on it’s own. RXBar offers their nut butters single serving packets too, and you can keep it in your purse for quick fuel on-the-go. #snackhack
Almond Butter Recipe: No-bake almond butter cup bars by Minimalist Baker
Peanut Butter Pick: Classic Creamy Peanut Butter, Wild Friends
Sometimes we just need a good ‘ole classic dose of PB. Whether you’re making an elaborate dessert or just a regular PB&J sandwich, Wild Friends has the best creamy peanut butter around. You might see some oil separation on top when you first open the container, but just give it a good stir and snack on.
Peanut Butter Recipe: Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins by Rachel Mansfield
Seed Butter Pick: Organic Sunflower Seed Butter, OnceAgain
If you’re allergic to nuts or just want to mix things up, seed butters are on the rise, and an equally tasty and nutritious alternative to have around. I like the OnceAgain brand, and use their Sunflower Seed Butter in place of nut butter on toast, in my oatmeal, or even in a salad dressing. Sunflower seeds are a great source of Vitamin E, which can support immunity.
Sunflower Seed Butter Recipe: Collard Green Spring Rolls + Sunbutter Dipping Sauce by Minimalist Baker
Healthy Pick: Raw Cashew Butter, Artisana Organics
If you’re looking for a more basic, healthy option, Artisana Organics has a great line of nut butters with minimal ingredients. Their cashew butter is my favorite, but the Pecan, Walnut, and Hazelnut Cacao butters are also delicious, smooth and clean. I’ll usually bring a couple of single serving packets with me when I’m traveling for an easy snack at the airport or on a hike. The cashew butter is super creamy, and makes a great addition to your morning smoothie.
Cashew Butter Recipe: Pancake Party Be Well Smoothie by Kelly Leveque