The perfect nut butter does exist. Go nuts for these delicious, low-sugar spreads.
Nut butter: It's one of those miracle foods that tastes fabulous and also can be really healthy, since it's packed with healthy fats and plenty of protein. Of course, along with all the great brands and flavors out there, the shelves are also full of nut butter brands that are laden with sugar, hydrogenated oils, and other undesirable ingredients. Here's a collection of some of our favorite nut butters that are delicious and nutritious, too.
This story was originally published on March 3, 2016 and has been updated for accuracy.
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Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter
Almond butter tastes great, but if there’s one drawback to it, it’s often kind of gritty. Not so with Barney Butter, which is silky-smooth and free of bitterness, thanks to the blanched almonds (that is, the skins are removed). You can feel good about this nut butter in other ways, too: The palm oil is ethically sourced and the ingredients are non-GMO certified, so the butters are as good for the planet as they are for you.
Nuttzo Crunchy Seven Nut & Seed Butter
Organic cashews, Brazil nuts, almonds, chia, flax, pumpkin seeds—the ingredient label on this crunchy spread reads like a who’s-who of the healthy nut and seed world. Why choose among all those little nutrient-rich crunch bombs when you can have them all in one jar? If you like your spreads smooth, move along; this one is all crunch, all the time. Its rich flavor makes it fantastic for sandwiches, spread onto apple or banana slices, or just licked right off a spoon (not that we would ever do that…).
For kids (or adults) with a peanut and/or tree nut allergy, welcome to your new favorite spread. Made in a nut-free facility from roasted sunflower seeds, it’s loaded with vitamin E, an antioxidant that boosts immunity and fights inflammation. Use it anywhere you would a nut butter (even in cookies).
Nutiva Organic Coconut Manna
Coconut is certainly having a moment, so it’s no wonder that coconut butter made our list. It isn’t as smooth and spreadable as other nut butters; the texture is grainier, and the oil separates and rises to the top. (It’s easily re-incorporated though; simply warm the whole jar in a small pan of hot water and stir.) But it is rich, slightly sweet, luscious, and so satisfying. Use it in desserts, spread it on toast or fruit, or add it to oatmeal or smoothies. (And here are some more ideas for how to incorporate it.)
If you think of tahini as simply an ingredient in hummus, you’re in for a treat. Try this sesame seed butter just about anywhere you would use peanut or almond butter and watch it take on a whole new life. Spread it on sandwiches or apple slices, whisk it into dressings, even bake it into cookies or cakes. And it’s nut free, so good for people with allergies. We like this particular brand for its smooth texture and pure sesame flavor, free of the bitterness present in some tahinis. (FYI, Soom also makes a chocolate flavor.)
Rawmio Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Yes, this is pricier than another, more well-known brand of chocolate-hazelnut spread that shall remain nameless. But it's worth the extra few dollars when you consider that this verison is organic, has far cleaner ingredients (only three, and no emulsifiers or artificial flavors), and 8 grams sugar per 2-tablespoon serving compared with 21 grams in the other brand. Needless to say, it’s also super-delicious and loaded with rich chocolate flavor.
Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter
Nut butter that tastes like vanilla frosting? Yes, please! This jar has all the goodness (few and all recognizable ingredients, vegan, light on the sugar), but it’s the indulgent flavor that will knock you out. The secret? Along with vanilla, it’s made with organic cocoa butter, the fat that makes chocolate so luscious (but don’t worry, it’s also heart healthy and anti-inflammatory).