Nut and seed butters are a delicious way to fit healthy fats and proteins into almost any meal. They are incredibly versatile, going well in smoothies, sauces, with fruits and vegetables, and desserts. Once again, we’ve polled some of our registered dietitians for their favorite nut and seed butter brands. See their picks below!
Top Peanut Butter Picks
Not surprisingly, peanut butter remains an overwhelming favorite.
Meghan Stanfel, MA, RD, LD puts it perfectly: “Call me old fashioned, but peanut butter is still my favorite nut butter to date. This nutrient-dense spread is so versatile! Add a tablespoon to your favorite smoothie for a dose of heart-healthy fats and protein. Perhaps keep it simple with a slice of whole wheat toast for a well-rounded snack! Being mindful of brands that may sneak in added sugars, peanut butter can be a great addition to the diet.”
Some of our dietitians’ favorite peanut butters include:
Crazy Richard’s – Lindsay Livingston, RD, and author of The Lean Green Bean, says, “It’s locally made with just one ingredient: peanuts!” She also loves adding it to smoothies, sauces, and baked goods.
Nutrition per 2 tablespoons: Calories: 190, Total Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 0mg, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 8g
Elle Penner, MPH RD says Teddie’s All-Natural Super Chunky is her all-time favorite peanut butter. It contains just peanuts and salt, and no added sugar or oils. “It’s the chunkiest of the chunky — a must try!” says Penner.
Nutrition per 2 tablespoons: Calories: 190, Total Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 100mg, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 8g
Skippy’s Natural is Taylor Conrady RD, LDN’s favorite. It’s not overly sweet like the PBs that most of us grew up on, but maintains that classic taste and texture.
Nutrition per 2 tablespoons: Calories: 190, Total Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 3.5g, Sodium: 150mg, Carbohydrates: 6g; Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 7g
Smart Balance is RD Meghan Stanfel’s go-to.
Nutrition per 2 tablespoons: Calories: 190, Total Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 140mg, Carbohydrates: 8g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 7g
Best Peanut Butter Alternatives
Sunflower Seed Butter
Sunflower seed butter (also known as Sunbutter) is a popular, nut-free spread perfect for those with peanut and/or tree nut allergies or sensitivities. It’s made from sunflower seeds and contains about as much protein as peanut butter.
McKenna Welshans, RD, ACSM-CEP loves Once Again’s Organic, Lightly Sweetened Sunflower Seed Butter.
Nutrition per 2 tablespoons: Calories: 210, Total Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 50mg, Carbohydrates: 4g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 5g
Sesame Seed Butter (AKA Tahini)
Most would not think of Tahini as a nut-butter alternative, but it is Taylor Conrady’s favorite savory spread. Just like peanut butter, it goes well on toast or in baked goods, and also make a delicious veggie dip and salad dressing ingredient.
Nutrition per 2 tablespoons: Calories: 190, Total Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 0mg, Carbohydrates: 3g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 6g
Mixed Nut Butter
If you happen to shop at Trader Joe’s, their Mixed Nut Butter is another one of Elle Penner, MPH RD’s favorites. Its unique, nutty flavor comes from a nutritious blend of dry-roasted almonds, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans. Not only does it taste great, this nut butter also offers the nutritional benefit of eating a variety of nuts, no matter how you spread it.
Nutrition per 2 tablespoons: Calories: 190, Total Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 2.5g, Sodium: 35mg, Carbohydrates: 7g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 5g