Gone are the days of just peanut butter being stocked in your pantry. Well, it’s still there, but with some attractive alternatives. A quick glance online or in your favorite farmer’s market, and you’ll see that nut butters, like almond butter are increasingly gaining popularity in America.
If you’re like most Americans, you’ll have at least tried almond butter by now. But there are so many tastes and textures when it comes to almond butter. How do you know which one is the right one for you to buy? We’re going to explore the different qualities of almond butter and introduce to you our favorites.
How to Choose an Almond Butter – Buying Guide
So, you know there are different flavors and textures of almond butter. Now, let’s take a closer look at them in order to decide which one or two are best for you.
Roasted for a Deep Nutty Flavor; Raw for a Potent Flavor and High Nutritional Value
Like the American favorite, peanut butter, you can find almond butter in either raw or roasted form. If you like a rich, toasted nut flavor, roasted is the way to go. However, if you’ve only eaten roasted nut butters in the past, you might be slightly surprised at the taste of raw almond butter. Raw almonds tend to have a potent, cherry-like flavor. That being said, if you’re not a fan of cherry, raw almond butter is not for you.
People typically choose roasted almond butter to use for a spread on toast or crackers, whereas raw almond butter is often used for dips and sauces.
Also, like most foods, when almonds are roasted, their nutritional value decreases because the heat causes the enzymes and antioxidants to start breaking down, leaving you with a lower vitamin E content. In addition, dry roasted almonds are a little higher in calories and fat and a bit lower in protein. So the nutritional differences between raw and dry roasted almonds are small, but they’re still there.
Creamy or Crunchy? It’s a Question of Preference
If you were considered a “picky eater” back in grade school, crunchy might be more to your liking. That’s because most “creamy” almond butters have a slight grainy texture that’s difficult to get over. (But if you’re like a lot of gym goers and enjoy your daily protein shake, the grainy texture probably won’t make a difference.) However, some companies do blanch their almonds, leaving you with a smoother, less grainy texture.
Creamy almond butter spreads more evenly on breads or fruits and is easier on the teeth. Crunchy almond butter will give a nice crunch to your morning banana toast. In addition, creamy almond butter might be easier to spot on the shelves, as it is more abundant in stores.
When it comes to nutritional differences between creamy and crunchy almond butter, there aren’t any. Well, there are, but they’re pretty insignificant, and unless you eat it everyday, it really shouldn’t be a factor in choosing your almond butter.
Fun Flavors–Like Blueberry Cinnamon Bun–for an Extra Spin
A little flavor never hurt anybody, right? Despite almonds being one of the highest rated nuts for both flavor and health, some of us like a little extra flavor added in our almond butter spread.
If you’re the friend who spends their weekends trying out new pastry recipes, then you might get excited about a blueberry cinnamon bun almond butter. If you like a little kick in your food, then a ginger almond butter is for you (often with added health benefits). If you’re the kind of person who just can’t function without their morning cup of Joe (or 2), pick up a vanilla espresso almond butter and dig in.
Some other popular and trendy flavors include honey, coconut, and cinnamon raisin. There are naturally flavored almond butters for the more health-conscious, but we found that both naturally and artificially flavored almond butters are both a hit with consumers.
Health Freaks, Keep Those Pesticides 0ut with Organic
Almonds can get pesticides? Yes. Despite their hard exterior shell, almonds are still susceptible to pesticides, among other chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics are often used in the production of conventional almond butter. These harmful substances have proven to aid in the development of certain illnesses.
These days, most supermarkets have an “organic” section, so take the extra couple minutes to pick up an organic almond butter for better health.
Top 10 Best Almond Butters to Buy Online
For all you almond butter lovers out there, below are our top 10 favorites. They’re good on toast, vegetables, fruits, and on their own!
10. Wild Friends Foods All-Natural Almond Butter Variety Pack: Classic Creamy, Chocolate, and Vanilla Espresso (Pack of 3)
Try all 3: Classic, Chocolate, and Coffee
The classic creamy is nutty, spreadable, and has just a hint of sea salt, balancing out the flavor. The chocolate has got just the right amount of unsweetened dark chocolate and sea salt, so so it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth and still leave you feeling refreshed. The vanilla espresso is just the extra amount of pick-me-up you’ll need for your Monday mornings, as it contains real espresso grounds. It’s almost like a vanilla latte and tastes delectable drizzled on your Friday night ice cream bowl.
This is a perfect trio, with both classic and fun flavors. The one recurring downside expressed about this product is that it is extremely thick and requires a lot of mixing. So if you’re looking to get a quick arm work out at home, this might be the one for you.
9. Jif Creamy Almond Butter (Pack of 2)
Creaminess That Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
If you grew up in America in the last 50 or so years, you know and love this nostalgic brand. Jif’s almond butter is sweet and creamy and goes perfectly on a slice of white bread and jam. If you don’t want to be overwhelmed by a very nutty tasting almond butter, this moderately roasted, mild nut flavor will leave you satisfied with every spoonful.
Some consumers have expressed weariness about the high amount of sugar and hydrogenated oils this has compared to most almond butters out there, but if you’re just looking for a tasty comfort food, this won’t let you down.
8. Almondee California Almond Butter
An All Natural, Rich Flavored Almond Butter
This is a simple creamy almond butter, popular among health-conscious consumers. Grown in California, the almonds made to use this almond butter are gluten free, GMO-free, and all natural. It blends well with smoothies and is a good fruit dip.
This almond butter is known for its very smooth and creamy texture. If you prefer a rich, potent, almond taste, this is for you. If you’re watching your budget, however, this may not be a great match.
7. Zinke Orchards Crunchy Almond Butter (Pack of 3)
Crunchy with a Rich, Roasted Flavor
This additive-free butter has that deep, roasted almond flavor you’ve been craving. And get this. It’s crunchy AND spreadable! That’s right. You get the nice, easy spread without sacrificing the crunchy goodness. It does, however, have a quite unappetizing oily pool at the top when you first open the jar; once mixed, it becomes a more uniform consistency.
This protein-rich almond butter pairs well with apple or nectarine slices, as well as toasts or crackers. Tip: add just over a tablespoon of this almond butter to your favorite fruit smoothie and you won’t regret it.
6. Kirkland Signature Creamy Almond Butter (Pack of 2)
Cheap and Tasty Option to Add to Your Protein Shakes
At about $0.50 an ounce, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you fall in love with this almond butter. But that’s not all to look forward to when you order your Kirkland Signature Creamy Almond Butter online. It has a rich almond taste with just a slight natural sweetness to it. It pairs well with a plain yogurt or in your favorite protein shake.
As popular as this option is, reviews suggest that the consistency is far too thin and runny, even after being refrigerated. Easy on your taste buds and wallet, this almond butter won’t fail the budget-minded people.
5. MaraNatha Coconut Almond Butter, No Stir (Pack of 2)
All Natural Almond Butter with a Coconut Sweetness
It’s 2018 and everyone is talking about coconut. So why not coconut almond butter? The sweetness of the whole coconut pulp in MaraNatha’s Coconut Almond Butter will surely take you to a tropical escape. And the coconut taste is not so overpowering as to take away from the classic almond butter flavor.
This can be stored in the fridge or pantry and will go with just about anything. With 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, you won’t feel guilty after eating this. Untrue to its name, expect to get in a mini bicep/tricep workout from stirring.
4. Justin’s Maple Almond Butter
Coarse Textured Maple Goodness
You don’t have to be Canadian to thoroughly enjoy Justin’s Maple Almond Butter. It’s the perfect combination of rich maple and roasted almonds with just a hint of saltiness. It’s a bit coarser than some almond butters with some tiny crunchy nut pieces.
Tip: this also comes in easy to carry 1.15 Oz packs that are perfect for your autumn hiking, picnic trips, and even your kids’ lunch packs. But warn them not to freely share with their friends, as this almond butter does contain traces of peanuts.
3. Artisana Organics Raw Almond Butter
Truly Raw–the Cherry Undertone will Complement Almost Anything
Even your super health-conscious vegan friends will love this! The only ingredient in this almond butter is organic pure ground California almonds. But don’t think it’s lacking in flavor; it’s every bit as tasty as its flavored counterparts. It’s dense and has a potent almond flavor, with just the slightest hint of cherry.
This almond butter’s grainy texture really complements fresh fruit slices, smoothies, or tastes divine on top of your morning oatmeal. It’ll surely leave you asking for more.
2. Barney Butter Almond Butter, Bare Smooth
A Velvety Smooth Almond Butter for Those With Peanut Allergies
Another California almond product, this almond butter is a smooth and flavorful spread. Unlike most almond butters, the almonds here are blanched to remove the skins, creating an ultra smooth, velvety texture.
With just 1 gram of sugar and 0 milligrams of sodium, this almond butter is neither salty nor sweet. It has a mild flavor. So if you’re looking for a very potent almond flavor, this isn’t the one for you. The consistency is quite thick and goes well in smoothies, on toast, and even in baked goods.
1. Legendary Foods Pecan Pie Keto Almond Butter
Tastes Just Like Crunchy, Creamy Pecan Pie–But Healthier
If you’re from the south, pecan pie is bound to be one of your top 3 comfort foods. Lucky for you, you don’t have to call your mom every time you get a craving anymore; this butter tastes pretty close to the real thing. The only thing is, the texture’s creamy–a bit different from pecan pie filling–with the crunch of almonds throughout. It’s good in it’s own way.
It’s also pretty healthy. Legendary doesn’t roast their nuts, so all those almond-y nutrients make their way straight into your body. One thing to look out for: though there’s no added sugar, there is erythritol and stevia, which are sweeteners we grudgingly allow because they don’t have any serious side effects. At least you know that this almond butter will seriously satisfy your sweet tooth.
Quality, taste, and texture are essential in finding the perfect almond butter to add to your pantry. There seem to be countless options out there when it comes to almond butters and they just keep coming. Hopefully, this tips above have helped you take a targeted approach when choosing the right almond butter for you.
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