The Best Protein-Packed Nut And Seed Butters

The Best Protein-Packed Nut And Seed Butters

For most people, the love affair with peanut butter begins with a childhood favorite: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Others fell in love with peanut butter on celery sticks or apple slices. Since those early introductions to peanut butter, you probably found other uses for the creamy, protein-rich treat. However you use it, peanut butter delivers great flavor and texture, but it has a lot more competition now. 

Other nut and seed butters offer more diverse nutritional profiles and often taste better than classic peanut butter. Additionally, many nut and seed butters tend to be less processed and less sugary, making them better for your body. Plus, about three million people in the U.S. are allergic to peanuts, but they can take advantage of other nut and seed butters. Cashew, almond, walnut, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, and pistachio butters exhibit more unique flavor profiles and textures. They also tend to have more heart-healthy fats, fiber, and protein than your average peanut butter. Finally, many of these nut and seed butters tend to be easier to digest than peanut butter. Continue reading to see which nut and seed butters you should consume to increase your protein intake

Walnut Butter

Walnuts are naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which boost the health of your heart and brain. Omega-3s may also lower inflammatory markers in the body. Although walnut butter may have a lower protein content than peanut butter, it is a better choice because of the omega-3 content. Walnuts contain more heart-healthy antioxidants than other nuts, including almonds and peanuts. You can find walnut butter at your local health food store or order it online. 

Sunflower Seed Butter

Super smooth and undeniably delicious, sunflower seed butter is easily spreadable and pairs well with oatmeal and smoothies. This is a great alternative to nut butters if you have a nut allergy. Sunflower seed butter boasts an impressive nutritional profile, offering large amounts of magnesium, copper, fiber, protein, niacin, and vitamin E. Get creative and put it on top of a warm baked sweet potato for a complex carb, healthy fat, and protein combo!

Almond Butter

Almond butter is probably the most popular alternative to peanut butter. It has a naturally sweet flavor profile, thick texture, and high protein content. It does rank below peanut butter on the protein scale, but it contains more vitamin E, manganese, copper, biotin, calcium, iron, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats than peanut butter. Incorporate almond butter into smoothies, desserts, oatmeal, or slather it on celery sticks and apple slices. 

Cashew Butter

Cashew butter is very decadent, but it is slightly thicker than peanut butter. It exhibits a toasty flavor profile that pairs well with multigrain bread and dates in vegan desserts. You can even add cashew butter to curries to make them extra rich. Offering about six grams of protein per ounce, cashew butter ranks a little lower than other nut butters on the protein scale. It does, however, offer lots of phosphorus, copper, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. 

Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter)

Commonly known as tahini, sesame seed butter is a go-to ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It has a delicate nutty flavor that goes great in sauces, marinades, dressings, and even desserts. Tahini is naturally rich in protein, but it also contains iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. It also contains vitamins B1, B3, and B6, in addition to selenium and monounsaturated fats that help to reduce inflammation

Pumpkin Seed Butter

You wouldn’t think about pumpkin seed butter being a thing because people typically eat pumpkin seeds whole. If you want to try something new, pumpkin seed butter shares a similar profile to sunflower seed butter, but it’s very rich in zinc. This nutrient is necessary to optimize immune function, so a spoonful of pumpkin seed butter may help you meet your RDI. It can have a slightly bitter flavor profile, but you can incorporate raw agave nectar or maple syrup to sweeten it up. 

Pistachio Butter

Rich in vitamins like B6, pistachio butter is a luxurious spread that you’re bound to love. Vitamin B6 is an integral nutrient for optimal brain and heart health, but it also enhances immune function. Pistachio butter contains more potassium than other nut and seed butters, in addition to protein and amino acids like L-arginine, which is necessary for blood circulation. Pistachio butter is great in savory applications like pesto.

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