Still rocking Kraft PB in your pantry?
Peanut butter is a healthy fat, you have been told. An appropriate snack for children, you have been told.
Not. So. Fast. Especially if we’re talking about the mass-produced Kraft, Skippy, Squirrel -type brands. These bad boys are seriously processed, contain too much sugar, not to mention other confusing ingredients, such as soybean oil, corn maltodextrin, hydrogenated vegetable oil, cotton seed and rapesee oil, mono and diglycerides. What is a diglyceride anyway, and why are you eating it?
On top of this, peanuts aren’t even really nuts, because unlike nuts, they don’t grow on trees. They’re legumes and are full of lectins. That being said, the peanut part of Kraft peanut butter still sounds like the healthiest part, at lease compared to soybean oil and sugar. And diglycerides!
OK, so I decided to look it up: Diglycerides are hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats, which we know are harmful to your health. The reason they’re in peanut butter is that they’re great emulsifiers, which helps create that night texture.
What to do, what to do?
Find a cleaner source, of course, and move in the direction of other nut butters, such as almond, pecan or hazelnut butter.
As a sidenote, a recent study showed that eating nuts as part of your regular diet helped boost sperm count in men (https://www.thespec.com/living-story/8738271-study-nutrition-in-nuts-may-help-boost-sperm-count/), and not peanuts. The men in the study were fed a mx of almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts.
Here’s a great clean nut butter brand: Nutista
They’re a San Diego-based company, but you can order their products online. Unlike store-bought nut butters, Nutista (www.nutista.com) products are not mass produced. They’re a small-batch maker who put their nuts through a very time-consuming stoneground method, 150-lb. batches at a time.
The stoneground method produces flavours and textures that store-bought types just never can. And the best part might just be that unlike many there nut butters on the market, there’s NO ADDED cane sugar or palm oil in any of their products! Just nuts. And a little salt, for the most part.
For example, The Nut Job. The ingredients in this product include: raw cashews, sprouted almonds, dry roasted peanuts, raw pecans and Himaylan sea salt.
The Steakhouse One. Ingredients here include: Blanched almonds, dry roasted peanuts, organic paprika, organic garlic, organic thyme, organic mustard, organic black pepper, organic cayenne, Himalayan sea salt.
And if you’re into less savoury and more sweet, there are plenty of others options, such as The Monkey King, which has chia seeds and banana, and a new product called the Very Berry Nutista.
Of course Nutista isn’t the only good quality brand out there. Some grocery store brands also contain nuts and not much else, but sometimes even organic almond butters assumed to be healthy have all sorts of other ingredients added to it, like soy and sugar.
The main thing to remember when sourcing a good nut butter brand is that less is more. Nuts and nothing else is best.
What are your favourite healthier nut butter brands?