4 Homemade Nut Butters (and Their Health Benefits)
Nut butters make the perfect pre- or post-workout snack! Most nut varieties are packed with protein to promote energy and recovery. They can also help balance cholesterol levels and tend to be a good source of healthy fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), fiber, and an assortment of vitamins and minerals (these vary depending on the type of nut).
The problem with many store-bought nut butters is that they often contain additives, including excess sugar, sodium, and trans fats such as partially hydrogenated oils. When you make your own DIY versions, you can be confident about what you’re putting into your body — no surprise ingredients here!
Because nut butters are relatively easy to make at home, you can try several batches using a variety of your favorite nuts. Simply soak, dehydrate in the oven, and process until smooth. Then scoop a heaping spoonful onto yogurt and granola, dip apple slices or celery, slather onto a slice of whole-grain toast… there are so many ways to enjoy your daily serving of this healthy yet hearty food.
Here are a few favorite nut butter varieties beyond classic peanut butter. Happy snacking!
1. Almond Butter
Almond butter has been climbing the ranks as a popular peanut butter substitute for sandwiches, dipping, and even baked goods. In addition to its complex and creamy texture, it boasts loads of fiber, beneficial fats, protein, manganese, vitamins E and B, and magnesium. Almonds may also help control blood pressure and cholesterol and can be excellent sustenance for those looking to lose weight. This is one butter that packs a punch — both in flavor and health benefits!
2. Cashew Butter
Cashew butter is less common, but still a great option. Cashews contribute to bone health (courtesy of calcium and magnesium) and can also help lower blood pressure. Much like almonds, they can help curb your hunger with monounsaturated fats. They are also rich in vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
3. Pecan Butter
Pecans are practically nature’s multivitamin. They contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, potassium, and zinc. Fun fact: they are the most antioxidant-rich tree nut!
4. Hazelnut Butter
Hazelnuts are a great source of oleic acid, which lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol, plus vitamin E, flavonoids, and vitamin B, which supports proper energy metabolism.
Any of these nut butters are great choices before or after your workout in order to simultaneously fuel up on nutrients and curb your hunger. Sufficient vitamin and mineral intake is essential to ensure your body stays strong and healthy as you continue along your fitness journey. Consider these tasty treats for your active lifestyle!