by guest blogger Nicole Cherie Jones, associate product editor at Rodale’s
Here’s the nutritional scoop on good-for-you nut butters, plus yummy snack recipes to try.
This sweet-and-savory blend pairs protein- and fiber-rich almond butter with Amazonian superberries camu camu and maqui, which add vitamin C, polyphenols, and anthocyanins—powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation and aging, as well as support the immune system.
TRY: Berry-Fresh Open-Face AB&J
Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of berry-nut butter on whole wheat toast and top with fresh raspberries or blackberries for a post-workout snack that will help refuel your muscles and recharge your body.
Creamy and tropical tasting, this spread is loaded with medium-chain triglycerides—healthy fats that may boost metabolism and help prevent weight gain, says nutritionist Karen Ansel. Plus, studies show minimally processed, organic coconut products pack antioxidants that promote muscle recovery and immunity. Coconut oil and butter also “lubricate from the inside out,” says Lina Hanson, author of Eco-Beautiful. Translation: glowy and youthful-looking skin and shiny hair.
TRY: Tropical Roasted Sweet Potatoes (recipe courtesy of Bicycling magazine)
Roast bite-size chunks of sweet potato in a 400-degree oven until crispy, then toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut butter.
TIP: You can also use it to make coconut milk
Mix coconut butter with hot water in a 4:1 ratio. Convenient when you don’t want to open an entire can of the milk, and it helps you avoid the BPA found in many can linings.
Almonds are full of healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E—and they help beat cravings. The greatest hunger reduction happens when the nuts are consumed as a midmorning or midafternoon treat, according to a new study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The addition of cacao nibs makes this an indulgent-tasting treat that can also help boost your mood, since chocolate has been show to stimulate the brain and trigger emotions like euphoria.
TRY: Gluten-Free Chocolate-Banana-Nut Sandwich
Use chocolate-nut butter as a filling between banana halves (sliced lengthwise). Enjoy immediately as a midmorning or afternoon treat to fend off cravings.
A great source of magnesium (twice the amount found in peanuts!)—which can prevent migraines by relaxing blood vessels—this earthy-tasting butter is made with sprouted seeds so the vitamins and minerals are easier for your body to absorb. It’s also a good alternative for people with nut allergies.
TRY: Spicy Sunflower Seaweed Rolls (recipe courtesy of Bicycling magazine)
Mix ½ cup of sunflower-seed butter, ⅓ cup of chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, ¼ cup of chopped parsley, 1 chopped shallot, 1 chopped garlic clove, juice of half a lemon, ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne. Spread the mixture on sheets of dried seaweed (nori) then roll up the nori for a healthy snack.
Previously published on Rodale’s.