Saturday, April 30, 2011

What's Your Favorite Nutty Butter?

by Lisa Beach, Ph.D.
Did you know that peanuts contain a cancer-causing toxin called aflatoxin?  It’s a kind of mold, and it is found in all peanuts. It can be kind of upsetting to find out that things we’ve been doing for a long time (or things we grew up with) are not necessarily exactly what we thought they were. It’s true that peanuts may not kill you, and I’m not saying they will for sure anyway (there are other variables involved…you don’t want me to start on that here!)—but it’s a good idea to add some variety since we do know for sure that this toxin exists and has a link to cancer.
I don’t see this as the only reason to stay away from peanuts—-other nuts make perfectly delicious butters too!  The awareness along with the deliciousness is why I recently conducted a Nut Butter Taste Test.
We tasted:
Dark Chocolate Almond
Sunflower Seed
The one tasting most like peanut butter was the Sunflower Seed (Sunbutter) variety. Women were most likely to like the Dark Chocolate Almond the best (but the guys generally liked it too), and the overall general consensus was that Almond Butter was really good (I happen to like the Dark Chocolate Almond with the Almond Butter together—-smooshed into a sandwich with two crackers).  Only one person liked the macadamia butter—it was really runny and didn’t have a lot of flavor. The cashew butter had a few more fans, but it was definitely second to worst according to my friendly tasters!
The crackers we used as delivery vehicles for the nutty butters were mini stone ground wheat crackers (no high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils).
The Chosen Ones
Clockwise from the top: Dark Choc Almond, Cashew, Almond, Macadamia, Sunflower Seed


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