The Nut Butter That Best Suits Your Personality
Find your ideal toast topper, sandwich filler or straight-out-of-the-jar snack.
If You've Got a Sweet Tooth...
These days, you'll find nut butters that include all kinds of sweet mix-ins, from maple to chocolate to toffee. But if you're trying to lower the amount of added sugar you consume, plain cashew butter
is a good occasional splurge. The nut itself is naturally sweet-tasting; in spread form, it makes a great dessert alongside apple or banana slices.
If You're a Budget-Minded Health "Nut" (Er, Legume)...
Despite all the new nut butters on the market, it'd be a crime to disregard classic peanut butter
. It's delicious, goes amazingly well with everything from strawberry jam to dark chocolate, and is actually pretty nutritious. It's higher in protein
than almond, cashew, hazelnut or sunflower seed butter; and is a great source of monounsaturated healthy fats. Best of all: It's widely available and wallet-friendly. For the most nutritious bang for your buck, look for peanut butters that contain only two ingredients: peanuts and salt.
If You're Adventurous and Up for Something Different...
Primarily marketed as a nut-free alternative spread, sunflower seed butter
is made from the kernels of sunflower seeds. We'll be honest: It has a unique taste that doesn't closely resemble any other nut butter. Think somewhat bitter, and a little earthy. Give it a try, though, and you might just love it...it's especially good in granola bars or as a sauce for vegetables, similar to the way you'd use tahini (mix it with some soy sauce, olive oil and as much water as you need to make it a drizzly consistency). Bonus: Sunflower seed butter is higher in magnesium, zinc, iron and vitamin E
than peanut butter.
Photo: iStock/Bartosz Luczak
If You Savor Your "Me" Time...
Yes, almond butter
is pricey (it can run about $13 for 16 ounces, versus $6 for the same size peanut butter). But if you're looking to treat yourself, you could do far worse than a jar of almond butter. Women in particular stand to benefit from one of almond butter's star ingredients: calcium. The spread has 56 mg per tablespoon (for comparison, peanut butter has 14 mg and cashew butter has 7 mg), which is of great importance for bone health—
and women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis than men are
. The National Institutes of Health
recommends that women ages 18 to 50 consume 1,000 mg of calcium daily; over age 50, consume 1,200 mg.