Good ol’ peanut butter – and all the rest!

March 15, 2019 6:33 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Peanut butter: you’ve got to love it. Hundreds of peanuts squished into a jar, blended until beautifully smooth or deliciously crunchy – perhaps with a touch of salt or sugar – giving you a protein-rich toast topping, dipper or cooking ingredient that’s packed with nutrients and energy.

What kind of nut butter works best for you?

 

We’ve got 21 different types of peanut butter right now at Naturally Good Food. We stock plain organic and non-organic butter; crunchy and smooth butter; butter with added salt or a touch of honey; and peanut butter with other nuts too.

If we had to plump for just a couple? We love Meridian’s smooth Coconut and Peanut Butter and their Dry Roasted Peanut Butter (basically, a pub snack you can spread on toast). If you really can’t get enough of the stuff, you’ll need our bulk 1kg tubs – it’s the cheapest way to get your favourite sandwich filling.

What about organic?

We sell organic peanut butter from a range of suppliers. We’re big fans of organic farming, for all crops: we like the taste of organic, the health benefits of organic and the environmental benefits brought by organic farming. We particularly like organic peanut butter: here’s why.

Peanuts have soft, porous shells, which work like sponges. Contaminants (fertilizers, pesticides and moulds) can permeate these, reaching the nut itself. We’re therefore keen to stock lots of organic peanut butter, as well as our standard jars. We know that organic nuts are pretty pricey – but even when you can’t afford organic whole nuts, you might be able to stretch to a jar of organic nut butter.

How do you make peanut butter?

Peanuts are shelled, roasted and blanched (with their inner kernels removed at the same time), before being ground to a paste. Sweeteners or salt are then added and usually an emulsifier. The emulsifier – often palm oil or some other vegetable oil – keeps the product stable, preventing the natural peanut oil from separating out and moving to the top.

Some companies, notably Meridian among our own suppliers, prefer not to use any emulsifier at all. They reckon their customers are clever enough to be able to mix the oil back in themselves! Meridian have also taken an ethical stand on the issue. They don’t want to be associated with the trade in palm oil (a common emulsifier in nut butters) and its destruction of the rainforest environment. By avoiding emulsifiers, they reckon they can best protect the environment and – crucially – get even more nuts into their jars.

Can you make peanut butter yourself?

You certainly can! You’ll need to roast the peanuts yourself, then rub them to remove their skins (and their internal – slightly bitter – kernels if you can). Your food processor will be needed for the grinding process and you can add whatever you like to the paste. The result will be about the freshest peanut butter you’ll ever taste.

What if you don’t like peanut butter?

Once upon a time, there was just peanut butter – but those days are long gone. Our shelves are now packed with nut and seed butters of every conceivable type: name a nut, we’ll almost certainly have it in butter form! If you fancy a complete change, why not try a seed butter instead? Seeds are too often the poor relation of nuts, but they’re equally good for you and often much cheaper.

At Naturally Good Food we’ve got butters made from almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, coconut, hazelnuts, hemp seed, linseed, macadamias, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts.

If you’re trying to eat more raw food, you’ll need an alternative to peanut butter anyway, as we don’t stock raw peanut butter (uncontaminated raw peanuts are, it seems, hard to track down). We stock several other types of raw nut butter though, all of which have been processed at very low temperatures, retaining as many of the nuts’ original nutrients as possible.

All our nuts and seeds are important sources of nutrients, particularly for those on vegetarian and vegan diets. They’re bursting with vitamins and minerals, rich in amino acids, packed with unsaturated and monounsaturated fats, high in fibre and protein and a great source of energy.

Recipes using our nut butters

There’s no need to stick with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! There’s a host of wonderful nut butter recipes out there. Here are some we’ve previously shared on our website.

You can see all our nut and seed butters and spreads here.

Naturally Good Reads v2

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This post was written by Yzanne

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