10 Types of Nut Butter & Their Uses
Learn all there are about 10 types of nut butter. These spreadable treats are more versatile than you think! Have you tried these different types of nut butter?
You are undoubtedly familiar with peanut butter, but that’s just the beginning. There are many different types of nut butter out there, and they’re all wonderful.
Let’s explore 10 types of nut butter, their characteristics and their uses. There’s surely nut butter for you on this list. Have you tried them all?
What Is Nut Butter?
Nut butter is the silky paste you get from crushing nuts. You need not add any other ingredient. In fact, any type of nut can become nut butter, and the result is always similar — a smooth, spreadable butter-like food with an oily texture and a nutty flavor.
The most prominent nut butter is peanut butter, but there are many other types of nut butter out there, and they’ve become increasingly familiar for their attractive flavor and nutrition. Let’s learn more about these nutty treats.
What Are The Most Popular Types of Nut Butters and How To Use Them?
The most popular types of nut butter are not nearly as prevalent as peanut butter, which has been part of our diet since we were kids. Still, a wide variety of nut butters are now available, primarily thanks to craft nut butter producers that have given alternative nut butters a place in the spreadable food market.
Nut butter is easy to use. Spread them on bread or crackers or cook sweet and savory recipes with them. Here are the 10 Most Popular Types of Nut Butter:
10 Types of Nut Butter
The most favored types of nut butter are peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, pistachio butter, hazelnut butter, walnut butter, macadamia butter, pecan butter, chestnut butter and pine nut butter. There are others, but these are dominating the nut butter scene.
1. Peanut Butter
Interestingly, the most beloved nut butter in the world is actually not a nut butter at all. Peanuts are legumes, like chickpeas and beans, and not real nuts. Still, peanuts become a lovely spread when pureed.
The bad news is that commercial peanut butters are packed with salt, sugar and other additives, so stick with peanut butter made 100% with peanuts — it’s healthier and tastier. Make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with it!
2. Almond Butter
Almonds aren’t true nuts either, but seeds from almond trees. Almonds are native to Iran and surrounding countries and have been around for millennia — they’re one of the first domesticated fruit trees in history, specifically grown for their seeds. Today, California is the leading producer of almonds worldwide, followed by Spain, Iran and Turkey.
Almond butter was one of the first nut butters to gain popularity, as it became available as an alternative to people allergic to peanuts.
3. Pecan Butter
Pecans are native to the US, as the hickory trees from where they come from grow along the Mississippi River. Half of the world’s pecan production comes from northern Mexico, and these nuts have been used for centuries in tasty desserts like the pecan pie.
Pecan butter is darker than other nut butters, but it has a mild, nutty taste with noticeable grittiness. This pecan butter is fantastic on pancakes and other breakfast goodies.
4. Pistachio Butter
The seed from pistachio trees, often considered a nut, comes with a hard, cream-colored shell, but the nut itself has a green color. Did you know you can get 50,000 pistachios for a single tree every two years? The trees live up to 300 years as well.
5. Hazelnut Butter
Hazelnut butter is made by crushing roasted hazelnuts, and the result is a heart-warming spread with a comforting and attractively familiar flavor.
What we know as hazelnuts are actually the kernels of the seeds from hazelnut trees, consumed already 8,000 years ago. 70% of the world’s hazelnuts come from Turkey, and Ferrero Rocher, the Italian chocolate company, consumes 25% of the global supply to make Nutella! You can also make your own Nutella at home, which is a type of nut butter in its own right.
6. Walnut Butter
Walnuts are the gnarly seeds of the drupes from Jungian trees. There are two types of common nuts, the English walnut, actually native to Iran, and the black walnut native to North America.
The major producers of walnuts are China, the USA, Iran and Turkey. The nuts have many uses, from baklava to chicken with walnut sauce; this is one of the most versatile nuts and one of the trendiest types of nut butter.
7. Macadamia Butter
Macadamia nuts are a unique species native to Australia, and the bushfood was really important for aboriginal peoples on the continent. Interestingly, South Africa is the largest producer of these flavorful nuts today, followed by Australia and the USA (Hawaii).
Macadamia nut butter is one of the most expensive types of nut butter, since the nuts are rare and pricey, but it’s also one of the most flavorful. Macadamia butter is delicious as a rub for chicken.
8. Cashew Butter
This type of nut butter is made by crushing cashews until smooth and creamy, and just like peanut butter, you can also find chunky styles in the market.
Cashews come from the tropical cashew trees, native to Brazil but now primarily grown in the Ivory Coast and India. The nut comes inside a fruit, which is also used in various recipes and even liqueurs. People use cashews in many Asian dishes, so it makes sense to use cashew butter to coat noodles for a nutty meal!
9. Chestnut Butter
Chestnuts grow in many places globally, all in the Northern Hemisphere. There are dozens of different types of chestnuts, but they all share flavor similarities. The seeds can be candied, boiled, steamed and even pan-fried, but they’re not widely used to make nut butter, which has a subtle sweetness to it.
Roasted chestnuts are a tradition for many, especially during the holidays. That’s precisely the time when everyone seems to want a jar of chestnut butter at home!
10. Pine Nut Butter
Last but not least, pine nut butter is gaining popularity, especially for gourmet cuisines. Pine nuts are expensive, and nut butter producers need a considerable amount of nuts to make a jar of the pale-colored butter.
Pine nuts are the seeds of pine trees and are a vital ingredient in pesto, for example. European, American and Asian pine nuts exist, and they’re all equally pricey. You get a few grams of nuts from every pine.
What is your favorite type of nut butter? And how do you add it to your cooking?
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