I guess I should say Happy Belated National Peanut Butter Day.
So. If you know me – you know of my love for nut butters. Well – even if you have seen me in the in the nut butter aisle of the store, and have seen the way I look at the nut butters- you would easily know of my love for these divine spreads.
January 24 is National Peanut Butter Day.
But now we in a place were there isn’t JUST Peanut Butter anymore- there are cashew, almond, sunflower seed butters. There are gourmet nut butters and nut butters that have chia and flax added to them. Nut butters have blown up in the past 2 years (I am just giggling right now at how many times I have already said “nut butter” – I may be 26, but I still have the maturity level of a 10 year old).
But back to real talk. Nut butters are great, and a nutritious way to incorporate a sweet a treat, or add in a little protein and heart healthy fats… or do both.
As you can see – I am quite the “butter” enthusiast!
Pictured above (L-R): MaraNatha Creamy Almond Butter, Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate, MaraNatha Coconut Butter, Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonderful, Justin’s Maple Almond Butter (both tub and in the packet), and Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter. Not pictured is my PB2, or the cashew butter that I recently finished destroying.
Clearly my butter game is on fleek
I use these as a way to incorporate protein into my “sweets” cravings, and into meals and snacks that are on the carb heavy side. For instance I’ll put some almond butter on some wasa crackers, or some white chocolate wonderful on some celery.
In addition to being a bit of protein addition – these are good ways to incorporate heart healthy fats. With the exception of the Coconut butter, and the PB2. Coconut butter contains less protein and more saturated fat. PB2 is powder from pressed nuts- in which the oil has been pressed out and removed to lower the calorie content – while it lowers the caloric content, it also lowers the the protein and fat content as well.
Nuts in general: macadamia, almonds, pecans, peanuts, cashews etc are good sources of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs)- which are the heart healthy fats. Remember, even with the good sources of fat, you want to exercise portion control if you’re being mindful of your weight as 2 Tbsp = ~ 180 kcal.
The only unfortunate thing is none of these have the grams of monounsaturated fats listed on the label 😦
However outside of me just telling you nuts are a good source of MUFAs, there are some tricks that can be employed until these brands up their label game.
Look at the Total Grams of Fat. Let’s use the Justin’s Maple Butter Label and Ingredient List as an example:
As you will see there is 15 g of Total Fat, but only 2 g of saturated fat. Ok where is the other 13 g of fat?
This is where you check the ingredients list, and make sure there is no “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” oils in the ingredients list – this indicates Trans Fats (no bueno batman).
So as you’ll see on the Justin’s Ingredient list – there is nothing that fits that bill. Therefore as we know nuts are a great source of MUFAs, therefore we can draw the conclusion that a majority of the remaining 13 g are coming from those heart lovin monounsaturated fats. It will be this way for most nut butters.
It will be different for the coconut butter, and sunflower seed butter- as sunflower seeds are rich in Polyunsaturated Fats.
So readers. Grab yourself some apple slices and almond butter, or some celery and dark chocolate peanut butter, or some ezekiel bread and some cashew butter, and just let those MUFAs sink in 🙂