27 new ways to enjoy nut butter
If you're a fan of peanut butter but are looking for a more nutritious alternative, there are plenty of nutrient-packed choices out there, available in most major supermarkets and health food stores. Almond butter leads the pack, but lining the health food aisles you'll also find soy nut, walnut, cashew, sesame seed and sunflower seed butters.
Try making the switch to walnut butter to curb your craving – walnuts are packed with healthy omega 3. Or why not enjoy almond butter on your toast; it contains three extra grams of monunsaturated fat per serving than peanut butter, great for a healthy heart.
We've come up with 27 new ways you can enjoy nut butters – there are far more interesting ways to eat it than on your morning toast!
#1. Almond butter and banana oatmeal
Mix a tablespoon of almond butter through your morning porridge and top with some sliced bananas for a protein-packed start that also counts as one of your five a day.
#2. Nut butter and toast
Choose granary bread for the healthiest option or a seed-packed slice of toast, then spread with the nut butter of your choice for a nutritious breakfast or snack.
#3. Super smoothie
Adding a tablespoon of any nut butter to your smoothies will boost your protein intake and energy levels; it will also leave you feeling fuller for longer. Try adding a spoonful of almond butter to your berry smoothie after a workout for the perfect pick-me-up.
#4. Crunchy dippers
You've probably enjoyed celery or carrots dipped in peanut butter in the past – swap your peanut butter for walnut or almond butter for a healthier snack; just make sure you control your portion size.
#5. Indonesian satay sauce
This spicy peanut sauce tastes great as a dip for lean chicken or pork skewers, or use it as a sauce for your vegetable stir fry. You'll find plenty of recipes online, but our favourite is simple; combine 2 tablespoons of nut butter with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar or honey, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and a chopped red chilli plus a little water, and heat through in a small saucepan. If you're making stir-fry sauce, thin this down with some coconut milk.
#6. African peanut soup
#7. Nut butter cookies
Swap peanut butter for almond or cashew nut butter to make cookies – there are loads of variations on the traditional recipe, and these make a perfect treat for your cheat day.
#8. Make your own nut butter
This Ultimate Nut Butter recipe from Deliciously Ella is packed full of nutritious ingredients: walnuts, almonds, pecans and heart-healthy coconut oil. Enjoy it slathered on some granary toast or stirred through your morning porridge.
#9. Almond butter and apple pancakes
For a delicious treat one weekend morning, whip up these almond butter and apple pancakes to boost your protein intake and start your weekend the right way!
#10. Salad dressing
You can make all kinds of tasty salad dressings with nut butters – we love honey and almond butter dressing, with or without Dijon mustard. Hazlenut and pistachio vinaigrette is also lovely with salad or spooned over roast lamb.
#11. Fruit dippers
Nut butters make a great on-the-go snack as they're so portable, so pack some crunchy slices of apple or tangy pear piece and enjoy dipping them into the nut butter of your choice – walnut butter is great for this!
#12. Nut butter parfait
Spoil yourself by making this nutritious yet decadent dessert. Layer nut butter with fresh fruit and yogurt to boost your way towards five-a-day.
#13. Healthy icing
Make 'healthy' icing for cakes and cupcakes by blending nut butter with a little butter, some icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract or chocolate chips – great on muffins, cupcakes and more!
#14. Nut buttered fish
Replace breadcrumbs with almond butter and smother fresh fish such as salmon or trout before baking for a gluten-free alternative that's healthy and delicious served with sweet potato wedges and vegetables.
#15. Make tofu tasty
Tofu stir-fries can be bland and boring, so spice up your tofu with an Asian-inspired nut butter sauce. Add sugar, lime juice, soy sauce and chilli for a hot, sour, sweet taste infusion.
#16. Asian-inspired roast chicken
For roast chicken with a difference, baste your chicken with a little melted butter, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and some chilli sauce or hot sauce for a spicy, nutty finish. This tastes great in wraps, salads and stir-fries.
#17. African-style potato salad
We love potato salad, but mayonnaise-based dressings are loaded with fat and calories. For a healthier take on a traditional favourite, toss cooked new potatoes and wilted greens (spinach is great) in a dressing made from melted walnut butter mixed with tomato salsa.
#18. Nutty Coleslaw
For a mayonnaise-free take on coleslaw, dress the finely sliced vegetables of yor choice with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar, ½ cup of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt. Choose a healthy nut butter with no artificial additives or nasty ingredients.
#19. Perfect popcorn
Tasty, nutty popcorn clusters are a great quick snack. Make yours by dissolving ½ cup of honey with ½ cup of almond butter and ¾ teaspoon of salt. Add sugar to taste and cook over a low heat for around 3 minutes. Spread your freshly popped popcorn on a baking tray and pour the nutty mixture over – leave to cool. Yummy!
#20. Banana and almond granola clusters
This recipe from Deliciously Ella is packed with goodness. Almond butter, oats, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, manuka honey and bananas – wow! A great way to start your day, filled with antioxidants, protein and fruit.
#21. Almond fudge protein bars
Combine oats, vanilla protein powder, crispy rice cereal, honey, almond butter and vanilla extract and what do you get? This recipe from Running with Spoons, which is pretty perfect, in our opinion! These no-bake almond fudge protein bars are ready in just 20 minutes and are great for a post-workout snack. They're also the ideal snack if you suffer from peanut allergies.
#22. Nut butter energy bites
Mix 1 cup of nut butter with ½ cup of sugar, ½ cup of wheat germ and one egg then scoop the mixture into muffin tins or place tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes to make this perfectly portable snack that's ideal when hunger strikes.
#23. Chocolate nut butter oats
This can be made the night before and left in the fridge for a healthy start to Monday mornings. Mix oats with almond milk, cocoa powder and chia seeds. In the morning, mix through some almond or walnut butter to add protein – delicious!
#24. Hearty African stew
This recipe from Teaspoon of Spice combines healthy, antioxidant packed sweet potatoes and lentils with tomatoes, spices and nut butter for a super-satisfying stew that will leave you feeling full. Serve with brown rice or quinoa for a delicious dinner when it's cold outside.
#25. Alternative chicken wrap
If you're bored of your usual tortilla wrap and are looking for a lunchtime alternative, iceberg lettuce wraps are the way to go – much lighter during the summer months. Fill the wraps with diced apple, red onion, chicken and a dressing made from 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of nut butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. You can reduce the amount of honey if you don't have a sweet tooth.
#26. Chocolate avocado dessert
Avocados are packed with heart-healthy fats and vitamins, and their creamy texture makes them a great addition to desserts of any kind. We're a little bit in love with this chocolate, peanut butter and avocado dessert from Healthfully Ever After – thanks to the added banana, it counts as two of your five a day! We bet you can't say that about many other delicious desserts.
#27. Banana nut butter 'ice cream'
In the past, we've sung the praises of making banana 'ice cream' by simply blending frozen bananas. Now, it's time to add some variety to the mix by spooning some nut butter into the blender too. No milk, sugar, cream or eggs needed. This is a great way to use up over-ripe bananas as they will add sweetness. You'll find it hard to believe this is healthy!