While I could easily argue that the best way to enjoy nut butter is by the spoonful, straight out of the jar, it may be frowned upon to use that as the most common means of nut butter consumption.
But don’t worry, there are so many other great ways you can consume this healthy treat, and it definitely needs to be a regular addition to your diet – high in protein, a great source of healthy fats, and of course filling and satisfying!
Here’s 6 ways you may never have thought of that you can use nut butter:
- Sauces – Nut butter makes the perfect creamy element to add to sauces and dressings if you are after a healthier alternative to cream or oil. I particularly love it because it adds thickness to sauces, helping it coat your ingredients and stay on a thick, delicious layer on your veggies and pasta. Imagine a peanut satay sauce that covers a bowl of buckwheat noodles and heaps of sautéed veggies and tofu, sprinkled with some coriander and peanuts. This is the kind of thing nut butters make happen!
- Cookies - Because nut butter is naturally high in fat, you can add it to cookies and use it in place of other high fat options like butter. Doing so provides you with a source of healthy fat and protein simultaneously, both key players in helping reduce weight and maintain health. If you use whole grain ingredients such as whole-wheat flour and oats and eliminate the refined sugar, you may just have cookies that are healthy enough for breakfast!
- Bars – Perhaps one of my favourite uses for nut butter, bars and butter are best friends. Whether you are making a protein bar and want to use nut butter for the protein benefits, or just want to use it to help hold the ingredients together as a substitute for regular butter, nut butter is a healthy, tasty option for all your bars. Try using almond butter for brownies and cashew butter for blondies; mix things up and use sunflower butter for some granola bars and hazelnut butter for your favourite chocolaty dessert bars. But don’t think that it stops with nut butter inside the bars: you can also drizzle it over the top and it makes a good icing option or just a healthier alternative to melted chocolate. Simply heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds and it will be warm and runny!
- Bread – Banana bread, chocolate zucchini bread, orange date bread, whatever flavor of bread you may be thinking, you can totally make it happen with nut butter. Nut butter acts as both a fat and binding agent in this favourite baked good, meaning you can both cut out the eggs and remove the butter! Better yet, remove the refined sugar by sweetening with banana, cinnamon or maple syrup and use a combination of whole grain flours. This will allow you to enjoy a healthy protein packed, fiber filled bread that you can totally justify eating any time you like!
- Fudge – We’re not talking that ridiculously sweet, sugar loaded brown sugar fudge that your grandmother used to make, but rather, as you probably guessed, a healthier version which uses nut butter, coconut cream, dates and and coconut flour to achieve that fudgy texture. The best part (and hardest part) is playing around with the flavor options, and choosing which type you should have. Should it be chocolate peanut butter, using peanut butter and adding in cacao powder, or should you try almond butter? Maybe vanilla using cashew butter and some fresh vanilla bean. Whatever your preference, you can totally put nut butter to work and make your own homemade fudge!
- Cookie Dough – Remember when you were younger (or maybe now even when you’re older), and you always tried to steal a taste of cookie dough when mom was making chocolate chip cookies? Now you can make your own healthy version of cookie dough using nut butter, chickpeas, vanilla protein powder and of course, chocolate chips. Simply blend everything except for the chocolate chips in a food processor until smooth, thinning down with coconut milk as necessary. Remove from the bowl of the processor and stir in chocolate chips and come chopped nuts and you’ll have high protein, low sugar edible cookie dough that you aren’t even supposed to bake at all!