Well spread: The Best Nut Butters
Everyone's going nuts for nut butters. These days, supermarkets are stocking not just people-pleasing peanut butter, but also a wide array of more unusual nut spreads—from macadamia butter to cinnamon-spiced cashew butter.
Packed with protein, vitamins and minerals, nuts butters can make a seriously healthy snack, especially for vegetarians. But some brands also cram in lots of sugar, salt and artificial additives, which can cancel out the butter's benefits.
Another common ingredient is palm oil—a controversial ingredient, as its production is linked to major issues such as deforestation, climate change and animal cruelty.
We've scoured the virtual shelves to bring you five all-natural nut butters free of palm oil and unnecessary nasties, and made as simply as possible. All passed the WDDTY office taste test; try them on toast, oat cakes, apples or straight from the jar!
100% Nuts Crunchy Peanut Butter, £2.89 (227 g)
www.wholeearthfoods.com; tel: 0345 602 1519
Whole Earth does a variety of different nut butters, but this recipe is nice and simple: there's nothing in the jar but organic peanuts, which have been gently roasted and crushed together to form a paste. Although not used in this one, the company does include palm oil in some of its products, but assures customers it's "100 per cent sustainable palm oil that has no impact on the environment, local people or local habitats."
Mix it up
Mixed Nut Butter, £3.29 (170 g)
www.ocado.com; tel: 0345 656 1234
Organic company Biona carefully selects the nuts for its butters, which are freshly roasted in small batches just before milling. This butter is a 100 per cent organic blend of peanuts, hazelnuts, cashew nuts and almonds—with no salt, sugar, oil or anything else added. Biona also does butters of each of these nuts on their own for those who prefer a single-nut spread.
Pip & Nut
Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butter, £3.50 (250 g)
First sold at Maltby Street Market in London, Pip & Nut butters can now be found in Selfridges, Sainsbury's and other big stores. Created by keen runner Pippa Murray, all the butters are made from whole roasted nuts plus a sprinkling of sea salt, with no added palm oil, refined sugar or artificial flavours. And some are available in squeeze packs so you can eat them on the go. This particular blend is a sweet and spicy combination of cashew nuts (more than 90 per cent), cinnamon, coconut oil, honey and sea salt.
Organic Raw Whole Almond Butter, £8.55 (425 g)
www.healthysupplies.co.uk; tel: 0800 689 1982
Cornish company Carley's makes a range of organic nut butters in its eco-friendly factory—all free of added salt, sugar, palm oil and artificial anything. If you're a raw-food fan, go for one of their raw recipes, like this Raw Whole Almond Butter, made from unroasted nuts that are cool-milled at a temperature below 44° C. Roasted and mixed nut recipes are also available.
Macadamia Butter, £6.99 (170 g)
www.meridianfoods.co.uk; tel: 01962 761 935
Nut-butter-makers for more than 30 years, Meridian has a great range of peanut butters as well as speciality nut butters like this macadamia recipe, which is 100 per cent macadamia nuts. The butters are made using dry-roasted, skin-on nuts, and there's never any palm oil, refined sugar or artificial flavours added. You can choose from smooth or crunchy, salted or unsalted and organic or non-organic recipes.