Peanut butter is one of the most popular spreadable foods and can be slathered on just about anything you like for added flavor. Some even eat it straight from the spoon. It's versatile for sure, but it's not something I would recommend eating at all.
Commercially processed peanut butter contains trans fats, which are linked to a number of health effects, such as memory impairment and heart disease.
I recommend that you make your own nut butter instead, from raw, organic nuts and seeds that are brimming with healthy fats and nutrients. This recipe, which comes from POPSUGAR, shows you how to do just that.
Crunchy and Creamy Homemade Nut Butter Recipe
2 total cups of two to four kinds of raw nuts such as:
- Place the nuts in a food processor and grind until smooth for five minutes. You may blend it for a shorter or longer time as well, depending on your desired consistency.
- Store unused nut butter in an airtight container and put it in the fridge.
Try Out These Nuts to Discover Your Own Unique Flavor
Each nut has its own distinctive flavor, so take your time to find your favorite. You can combine two, three or four different kinds in different measurements to adjust the taste accordingly. Try any of the following nuts for this recipe:
- Cashews: Originating from Brazil, cashews contain 20 percent of the daily recommended value for magnesium, a nutrient that may aid in reducing the frequency of migraines as well as improving blood pressure.
Cashews have generous amounts of copper that may aid in protection from heart disease and cancer. The amazing thing is that magnesium and copper in combination provide unique benefits, such as improved bone strength.
- Almonds: Probably one of the most popular nuts used around, almonds contain most of their benefits on their skin, which are rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acids. Almonds may help improve heart health, which was confirmed in a study published in the journal Circulation.
In the study, participants with high cholesterol levels were able to lower their risk for cardiovascular disease through regular consumption of whole, raw almonds.1
However, note that each almond contains almost 1 gram of protein, so your consumption should be strictly moderated. Excess protein will convert most of those calories to sugar, which may fuel the growth of cancer cells.
Another reminder about almonds — be careful where you purchase them from. Most almonds in the U.S. are sold as "raw" even though they've been pasteurized through dry roasting, steam processing or Propylene Oxide (PPO) treatment.
The third method happens to be very harmful to your health, because PPO is a highly toxic compound once used as racing fuel. To find authentic raw almonds, look for providers that sell in them small quantities with a waiver on the pasteurization requirement.
- Walnuts: Among the nuts in this list, walnuts probably have the most well-rounded health benefits. For one, they're packed with compounds that may reduce prostate and breast cancer. They contain l-arginine as well, an amino acid that offers improved cardiovascular health.
Plant-based omega-3 is abundant in walnuts, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound and may also prevent pathological formation of blood clots. To top it off, they contain rare, powerful antioxidants, namely the quinone juglone, the tannin tellimagrandin, and the flavonol morin. These antioxidants work well against free radical damage and may even thwart chemically-induced liver damage.
- Pecans: Grown all over the U.S., pecans were a staple food for Native Americans for hundreds of years. They're mostly known for their vitamin E content, which may help improve neurological function, cell protection and may even avert heart disease by preventing blood lipids from oxidizing. Pecans contain 245 percent of the daily recommended value per serving of manganese, a compound known to improve heart health.
- Macadamia nuts: One of my personal favorites, macadamia nuts are known for their oleic acid, a healthy, monounsaturated fat that may protect against heart disease and stroke. They're high in magnesium, manganese, and l-arginine, providing similar health benefits like walnuts.
- Pistachios: Powerful antioxidants such as lutein, beta-carotene and vitamin E are found in pistachios. Through regular consumption, the antioxidants have shown that they may help with lowered levels of bad cholesterol, according to a study published by the Journal of Nutrition.2
Pistachios may even aid in weight management. In a study released by Nutrition, participants who ate unsalted pistachios daily lost an average of 0.7 inches from their waistline. Not only that, but they had reduced cholesterol by 15 points, improved blood sugar and lowered inflammation throughout their body.3
- Sunflower seeds: Adding these to your daily diet can boost your immune system, thanks to their phytosterols. Other helpful compounds include vitamin E and B, copper and manganese, all providing their own benefits for optimal health.
Don't Be Afraid to Experiment
When it comes to making your own nut butter, don't be afraid to mix it up! The great thing about making your own nut butter is the freedom to create your own unique flavors. The possibilities are endless when you're the one in charge of what you're eating.
Before heading off to the kitchen to make your own nut butter, always make sure to purchase the ingredients from certified organic providers to keep yourself safe from pesticides and other harmful substances.
+ Sources and References