Nut butters – the differences!

Did you know there are often 2 varieties of nut butters for the same nut? I didn’t.. and if you are like me, PICKY, you too might have found your 1st non-peanut butter experience utterly disappointing.

When I started my anti-inflammatory diet I was told to replace my beloved peanut butter with almond butter. I thought “ok well I like almonds, almond butter will taste ok”. So I went to Costco and bought the BIG jar of almond butter and the next morning made my usual smoothie with it. I wanted to cry. 

It tasted awful, sort of bitter and just altered the entire taste of my smoothie to an unpalatable taste.

I left the jar untouched… feeling like there were no other options. It wasn’t until a trip to Avril that I discovered a)how many different nuts had been converted into nut butters but more importantly b)that there were 2 jars of almond butter from the same manufacturer with different labels. I started reading and realised that you have your typical roasted nut butter and then you had raw nut butter. I bought a jar of raw almond butter from the same manufacturer that I had bought my untouched almond butter from and went home to try it.

What a difference!!!! It wasn’t bitter, didn’t over power the taste of my smoothie and dare I say, you couldn’t really taste it?!

Whats the big friggin difference? Raw isn’t a big fancy word for some vegan/earth friendly/hippy foodie thingy, it just means the nuts weren’t roasted before they grind them to a butter.The roasting process, like for any food, changes the taste and in some foods, you might not always like the taste.

I’ve since tasted both roasted and raw cashew butter as well as roasted sunflower seed butter. I found that almond butter had the more distinctive taste difference. Roasted cashew butter is ok, I didn’t find it utterly disgusting like I did the roasted almond butter, but I still prefer raw butter and overall I prefer cashew butter. The sunflower seed butter “almost” tastes like peanut butter so if you want a PB&J, go with sunflower seed butter (I like the brand “sunbutter).

Now, most of the nut butters you find in standard grocery stores will be roasted. If the label doesn’t say whether its roasted or raw, look at the ingredients, it will say, for example, “roasted almonds”. Then you know it’s roasted and not raw. If you want raw nut butters, look in the organic food aisle or go to health food grocery stores for a HUGE variety.

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