Nutritious Nut Butters
Nut butters are more than just delicious. Studies show that consuming nuts regularly may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and protect against certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Despite the fact that nuts and seeds contain a higher fat and calorie content, research indicates that consuming nuts does not lead to weight gain. Including about an ounce of nuts and seeds in your diet per day can have significant health benefits, especially when the serving of nuts replaces the calories from elsewhere in the meal, such as a piece of bread. Because of their rich flavors, only a small amount of nut butter is needed to add “wow” to wide range of recipes.
A little science bears this out. Nut butters are packed with important nutrients. They contain protein, calcium, and potassium, and are rich in fatty acids, fiber, and phytosterols. And that isn’t all. Nuts and, by extension, nut butters, are also rich in vitamins E, B6, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and minerals such as selenium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. High in antioxidants and phytonutrients, some nuts and seeds are especially rich in the essential polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid.
Think “nut butter” the next time you want to add extra flavor and nutrition to your cooking.
Excerpted from Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.
- Nava contributed her Curried Cashew Vegetable Soup to Nut Butter Universe. Explore the book for dozens of easy and creative ways to incorporate nut butters into your daily meals!
- Here are more recipes by Robin Robertson, a longtime VegKitchen contributor and author of numerous vegan cookbooks.
- For more tips on plant-based nutrition, make sure to browse VegKitchen’s Nutrition page.