We're nuts for nut butters!
This article was originally published in September 2014
Peanut butter always will be a classic, but the emergence of new nut butters provides loads of nutrition and flavor in delicious, creamy (or crunchy!) form. Whether you’re a cashew lover, prefer pecans, or go wild for walnuts, here’s a sampling of what you’ll find at PCC.
Many schools now are banning nut butters due to student allergies. Seed butters provide tasty alternatives to spread on sandwiches or apple slices.
SunButter’s organic sunflower seed butter — Similar to peanut butter in taste and consistency, it’s a good source of protein and boasts lots of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
Omega Nutrition’s organic pumpkin seed butter — Also high in vitamin E, and made with only pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil and sea salt.
Tahini — Made from hulled sesame seeds and a key ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, it’s high in calcium and the key to making creamy hummus. Also delicious in dressings made with lemon and garlic.
Rich and naturally sweet, almond butter contains calcium, magnesium and potassium, which help strengthen bones and muscles. It’s high in protein, too. You’ll find a variety of almond butters on our shelves, including raw and organic, and creamy or crunchy options. In our bulk departments you can grind your own almond butter with California almonds and get just the amount you desire at peak freshness.
Delicious idea: Make Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Bars.
Cashew butter — High in protein and a good source of B vitamins, exceptionally creamy, and great in smoothies and sauces.
Delicious idea: Make a spicy Thai dipping sauce to use with satay, spring rolls or grilled tofu.
Pecan butter — Pecans are heart-healthy and contain more than 19 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The raw, organic pecan butters at PCC are made of pecans and cashews, to lend extra creaminess.
Delicious idea: Combine pecan butter with a little maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread the result on pancakes, waffles and toast, or use as a filling for cinnamon buns.
Walnut Butter — Artisana Organic Raw Walnut Butter is made of just walnuts and cashews. It’s a good source of omega-3 fats and a great way to add protein, essential vitamins and minerals to your diet.
Delicious idea: PCC’s recipe for Homemade Energy Bars.
Macadamia butter — Raw, organic macadamia butter from Wilderness Poets is made with nuts grown on the Big Island of Hawaii. They’re chock full of good-for-you fats.
Delicious idea: Use in sweet or savory dishes: Combine with dates and vanilla for a naturally sweet, raw frosting or whisk with lemon juice, garlic and fresh herbs for a zesty, creamy salad dressing.
Better with chocolate
When combined with chocolate, nut butters turn into a decadent treat. Use as a dip for fresh fruit, spread onto a crêpe or toast, or eat by the spoonful.
Try Nocciolato Organic Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa and Milk, Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter or Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, Rapunzel Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, or Wilderness Poets Cashew Cacao Hempspread. These are delicious, wholesome alternatives to Nutella, which isn’t sold at PCC because it’s made with artificial flavor.
Love for peanuts
CB’s Organic Creamunchy Peanut Butter — Made only of organic, freshly roasted U.S. peanuts — no added oils, no added sugars, no emulsifiers, no salt, just freshly roasted peanuts. CB’s organic peanuts also are used in our grind-your-own peanut butter in our bulk departments.
Making nut creams
You can use nut butters to flavor, thicken and replace dairy cream in recipes. Whisk about 1 cup water into 1/4 cup nut butter to create a nut cream, a good substitute for heavy cream in pasta sauces and desserts. Start with neutral-flavored cashew or almond butter, then branch out to more flavorful nuts.
For some of us, there are few things more pleasurable than dipping a spoon into a jar of a favorite nut butter and eating it plain (or maybe with some chocolate chips). But if you’re eager to expand your nut butter repertoire, try these great PCC recipes. Experiment with different nut butters for great results:
- PB&P Overnight Oatmeal
- Peanut Sauce with Tofu and Mustard Greens
- Super Protein Balls
- Beet Cheez-y Ravioli
- Cashew Cacao Smoothie
Go local: Wilderness Poets
Organic, raw nut butters from local company Wilderness Poets are worth singling out. The pistachio is wildly popular, but all the company’s nut butters (macadamia, pecan, almond, cashew, hazelnut and cacao hempspread) are delicious spread on your favorite toast. We sell them in jars and individual packets.