Sunday, 29 April 2012

Almond Butter: A Review

We grew up with peanut butter. My kids are growing up with peanut butter. Some of my best food memories as a child is melted peanut butter dripping hot off a toasted english muffin onto my fingers or a plate below.

On the scale of healthy food, peanut butter has its good qualities and its bad. High in protein, spreading some PB on a slice of whole wheat bread offers a great protein to carb ratio. Also, it is high in monounsaturated fat - one of the better fats. However, it's the added sugar, salt and vegetable oil that's making me think there must be a healthier alternative.

In my effort to go more natural, I'm going to give almond butter a test run.

The First Impression
Seeing the container in the store is a little off-putting. The packaging (no offense, Barbour's) looks like it hasn't been updated since the seventies. And since there is no added vegetable oil to keep it from separating, the oil sitting on top as at least half an inch deep.

Stirring was a little ardous as well. The oil has not only migrated to the top, but the thicker parts of what was supposed to be smooth butter has dropped to the bottom. So the stirring process has to mix the oil back in, but also scoop up what can only be described as "almond sediment".

Once this goopy task is over (and the rationalizing that went with it) the result is... different... and pretty darn tasty.

Its nuttier tasting than peanut butter, not as thick (as evidenced by my drippy looking container - sorry for the grease stain), and the texture is...more real. Like they had actually crushed nuts and made it into a paste.

Skippy Peanut Butter.

Barbour's Almond Butter. 

We have to double the numbers in the Skippy chart so we are measuring the same quantity. 

The regular peanut butter has double the saturated fats, and a whopping 130mg of sodium compared to the 2mg in the almond butter. There is slightly more protein in the almond butter, and 60% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin E, a nice little antioxidant. Skippy doesn't even list Vitamin E.

In Conclusion
I like the almond butter. It has a more sophisticated taste, it was processed locally, and the sheer volume of sodium we would be cutting from our diets is staggering.

Which brings up my next challenge: switching the kids over.

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