Every Butter: 9 Spreads That Aren't Peanut Slideshow

Every Butter: 9 Spreads That Aren't Peanut

If there was ever an underutilized food, it's nut butter. Not the stuff from Jif, or that 10-ingredient creamy stuff you get in a plastic jar for two dollars — the real good stuff. Sometimes peanut, sometimes not. Sometimes chunky, sometimes creamy. Sometimes salty, sometimes sweet. The nut butter possibilities are truly endless. But people cut themselves off from the myriad of flavor possibilities when they only stick to the peanut.

Nut butters are also super-healthy for you. Peanut butter contains protein, healthy fats, and so many nutrients — so even though it's high-calorie, it's nutrient-dense. Eating 190 calories of peanut (or any other nut) butter is much different for your body than eating a 190-calorie cookie. Nut butters should be a part of every healthy person's diet.

People often ask how they're supposed to use a jar of nut butter — aside from digging right in with a spoon (which, admittedly, can really complicate portion control). After all, eating just one spoonful of anything never felt entirely satisfying.

I personally go through jars of nut butters at an alarming pace, and I never eat a single spoonful on its own. Instead, I spoon the spread over a cozy bowl of oatmeal, bake scrumptious healthy cookies with it, or smooth it over a crispy slice of toast with fruit and yogurt. Sometimes I eat it with ice cream, sometimes I mix it with yogurt, and other times I use it as a dip for some strawberries or a banana. Like I said, the possibilities are truly endless. I'm never bored. And with so many other nut butter flavors and blends to try, I never will be.

Almond Butter

Okay, so almond butter isn't technically a nut butter. Why? Because (like peanuts, actually) almonds aren't technically a nut — they're a fruit. But this spread is still undeniably delicious.

Almond is the second most popular nut butter after peanut, and a common alternative for those with a peanut allergy. The texture mimics peanut butter but tends to be a bit thicker and grainier. It's also sweeter. Almonds have a sweet taste that doesn't need amplifying, unlike peanut butter, which often contains salt or other flavor additions.

Cashew Butter

Cashews have way less protein than peanuts and almonds — peanut butter has 8 grams per serving while cashew butter only has 3. However, the texture of cashew butter is stickier and creamier than other grainy nut butters, which makes it a favorite of many.

Coconut Butter

You've heard of coconut oil, but yes — there is also coconut butter. And each spoonful tastes like a tropical paradise in your mouth. Pair it with pineapple and a screensaver of a palm tree and you'll think you're on an island in the South Pacific.

This spread has virtually no protein, of course, since it's from the fat of a coconut. But it's still great for you. Just like coconut oil, it possesses many healthful qualities and can reduce blood pressure with healthy fats.

Hazelnut Butter

This is a way healthier alternative to Nutella. That stuff is 99 percent sugar (basically). Hazelnut butter has more fat than the other nut butters on this list, but don't worry — it's the good kind. Another added bonus to a spoonful of hazelnut butter? Caffeine. Each serving of the spread has 3 grams of it, making it the perfect energizing spread for your morning slice of toast.

Mixed Nut Butters

Can't decide on a nut butter? You don't have to — food companies have gone ahead and mixed them all together for you. Mixed nut butters are often made with a blend of three or more kinds of nuts. Some fancier varieties have seven nuts and seeds, and even include chia seeds for an extra boost of omega-3s. The resulting blend is a flavor that truly can't be paralleled by any other ingredient.

Pistachio Butter

Pistachios are nicknamed the "skinny nut" for their lower calorie density, so if you want a larger portion of nut butter to fuel you, this blend is your best friend. With more protein than most spreads — a whole 10 grams to each serving — it's one of the healthiest things you can eat with breakfast.

Pumpkin Seed Butter

Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are another healthy fat source that's relatively low in calories and high in protein. While sprinkling pepitas over salads or a creamy squash-based soup has been popular for years, pumpkin seed butter is a relatively new item to hit grocery shelves. The butters are often made with roasted or sprouted seeds, and are rumored to make delicious healthy salad dressings.

Sunflower Seed Butter

Also called sun butter, this product is a favorite for schools and parents of kids with allergies. Sunflower seeds also have an impressive amount of magnesium, which can help relieve anxiety and boost energy levels. For 10 other foods with calming capabilities, click here.

Walnut Butter

A spoonful of this will banish all your junk cravings. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are responsible for normalizing blood flow and reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. For this reason and so many more, it's one of our list of nuts that are best for your health.