Image via Favim.com.
By Nutritionist and Health Editor Melissa Fine.
Move over commercial peanut butter; Organic, raw coconut and nut butters are filling up the shelves at health food stores and even supermarkets. Apart from being delicious and nutrient-dense, they’re extremely versatile because unlike commercial spreads, they don’t have sugar, salt or undesirable vegetable oils added to them.
Here’s what you can do with 100% nut and coconut butter, AKA the real deal:
1) Ice it: If you’re trying to make your favourite cake recipe healthier, why not switch that sugar and butter-laden icing with a coconut or cashew butter-based icing instead? I love spreading Artisana’s 100% Coconut Butter (from health food stores) on healthy homemade muffins or banana bread; High in fibre, it’s a far more nutritious alternative to your typical icing. It’s also tasty on toast.
Or, try this Creamy Cashew Frosting from the team at Artisana – A good source of iron too, thanks to the cashews:
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth; You may need to add a little water if too stiff.
2) Drizzle it: This is my favourite way to use nut butter; My porridge never goes without a generous drizzle of the stuff. I love having drippy, omega-3 rich walnut butter on top of my banana oats to bring it all together and to help keep me full until lunch. Or, why not jazz up some plain rice or quinoa with a drizzle of coconut butter? Although quite firm at room temperature, it melts beautifully once it’s exposed to heat, making your side dish more special.
3) Sauce it: I love using nut butter as a stir-fry or dipping sauce to complement savoury dishes. For a simple but flavour-packed sauce, combine 1 heaped TBS cashew or almond butter butter with 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce, 1 tsp rice malt syrup, a pinch of each ground ginger and chilli flakes (if you like your sauce spicy) and a TBS or 2 of either hot water or coconut milk to thin; Pour over a tofu or chicken stir fry and your dinner will suddenly seem more awesome.
4) Squeeze it: Keep a handy single-serve squeeze-pack of nut butter in your desk, pocket or handbag for when 3.30itis calls or when you’re on-the-go; Perfect for camping and plane trips. In Artisana’s words, ‘Knead, squeeze and eat’, or squeeze onto rice cakes, sliced fruit or a tub of natural yoghurt. This makes for for a more satisfying snack, thanks to the well-rounded mouth feel from the good fats in nut butter.
5) Blend it: Adding creamy coconut or nut butter to your smoothie or soup is a great way to bump up the fat, fibre and protein content of your meal or snack, making it more satiating (and delicious!).
To get you started, here’s a Coconut Butter Blueberry Smoothie recipe, courtesy of Artisana HQ:
Place ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth and drink up!
ARTISANA: ORGANIC NUT & SEED BUTTERS
Welcome to Artisana – Organic nut & seed butters. Handmade with care, these organic live foods are crafted using a special low heat process that always preserves the life-essential fatty-acids, enzymes, and vitamins. All Artisana Nut Butters are free from peanuts, gluten, processed sugars, additional oils, dairy or GMO’s.