Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Going Nutty for Nut Butters

Walk down the peanut butter aisle in your local grocery store and you will find dozens of varieties of peanut butters to choose from. There are the traditional peanut butters (Jif, Skippy, Planters, Peter Pan), natural, reduced-fat, low sodium, honey roasted, enriched with omega 3 fats… you name it and I bet it is out there. 


During the 90s or the “Snackwells Diet Phase” fat was deemed a “bad” food. This was based on the fact that fat is more calorically dense per gram than carbohydrates (starches/sugars) and protein. As a result many food products removed the fat and replaced it with sodium and sugar to reduce the calories. To this day, sometimes when I recommend that a client add nut butter to their diet they look at me like I have three heads. “Won’t that make me fat?” or “Isn’t peanut butter high in fat and calories?”


If you choose the right product, peanut butter is low in sugar and a good source of protein and healthy fats. Most nut butters contain ~190 calories per 2 Tbsp, but help you fill full and satisfied for hours. They are also a good source of a variety of vitamins and minerals.


Going Natural

Always go for the natural variety, these do not have trans fats in them. These trans fats raise our LDL or “bad” cholesterol and lower our HDL or “good” cholesterol. Many labels claim to have 0 grams of trans fat, but you have to check the ingredients list! If a serving has less than .5 g it can be labeled as 0 g. If the ingredient “partially hydrogenated oil” is listed, put the item down, because that is a trans fat! Fully hydrogenated oils are okay!


Separation is natural… but it can still be messy and annoying. Most natural butters will need to be stirred well before using because the oil separates. If you don’t stir well, the bottom of the jar will be very dry. After it has been stirred, I store mine upside down and that seems to help. Some brands have come up with no-stir natural varieties which are much easier to handle and taste great.


Think beyond peanuts: In many natural food sections/stores there are also a variety of nut/seed butters: almond, cashew, sunflower, tahini (sesame). They can add some variety to your diet! Have a peanut/tree nut allergy? Sunflower butter tastes great and is safe for you to eat! You can even make your own by processing whole nuts in a food processor!


Thinking Beyond PB+J…

Spread on whole wheat toast or add to oatmeal for a quick breakfast

Spread on whole wheat crackers, celery, banana, or an apple for a snack

Add to smoothies for extra staying power

Make a peanut sauce for chicken, tofu, or vegetables



  1. Hi Nicole!,
    (I would email but my email is currently down right now, getting on top of it to fix!)

    I work for AMRAP4Life (, a social network for dedicated athletes. I came across your blog and really enjoyed your passion for clean eating. Your recipes are amazing and healthy! The Raspberry Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars are to die for! We run a community that exists for anyone who is into fitness as an important part of his or her lifestyle - whether they're a runner, CrossFitter, swimmer, cyclist, bodybuilder, healthy eater, Paleo enthusiast, etc.

    It began when our Co-Founders, Jeremy and Jason took their love of physical fitness and merged it with their passions for technology and social networks. Members create profiles, connect with new friends, post their workouts on Wall of Champions, share training and nutrition tips, RECIPES, event info, articles, and encouraging words. I feel like you have an endless amount of amazing recipes that would be great for our website!

    Be sure to sign up at to check it out & add us on Facebook! It would be great if you could let readers know about what our site has to offer. Also, if you’re ever interested in guest blogging, we’d love to have you submit a post! Let us know which one it is, and we’ll approve it. I’m here if you have any questions!

    Steven Kunevich

    Sign up for free here (as I've posted several times haha)

  2. Hey Stephen,
    Thanks for the comment! I checked out the site and looks like you have lots of good stuff on the works. I will be sure to check you guys out, life is just crazy busy right now, so I don't have much extra time to blog.

    Hope you have an awesome summer!

  3. Sounds great, oh and we are all busy so I understand. A simple recipe entry would be amazing! Your recipes are so great!

    Have a great summer as well!


  4. My new email is, if you have any questions =]