September 1, 2006
Seed and nut butters
What they are: Non-peanut butters can be just as smooth (or crunchy) as their well-known counterparts. These peanut-butter alternatives are finding supermarket shelf space because of peanut allergies. The seed and nut butters are simply ground pastes of almonds, cashews, macadamias, roasted soybeans (typically called soynut), or sunflower seed s . Smaller companies are making the non-peanut varieties, and the ingredient lists read like recipe card s instead of chemistry lab inventories. Sunflower seed butter is an alternative for those who are allergic to nuts of all sorts. Sometimes these butters are made with nothing but the nut or seed itself. Without stabilizers, most of them separate between uses, so stir before you spread.
How to use them: Eat these butters just as you would their peanut kin: Spread on toast or bread with jam or honey. Or use for the famous Fluffernutter sandwich. Fill a celery stalk with any nut or seed butter and sprinkle with raisins for the classic ants-on-a-log or use for dipping carrots, cucumbers, or bell peppers. You can also substitute almond, cashew, or macadamia butter for peanut in many cookie recipes or use the butters as the base for an Asian-style cold noodle dish, making a sauce from the nutty spreads and topping the dish with scallions, cucumbers, and bean sprouts.
Where to find them: Nearly every supermarket now has seed and nut butters as well as specialty stores like Trader Joes. Look for these brands: Soy nut butters made by I. M. Healthy ($2.39 to $5.79 for 15 ounces) and Simple Food ($4.99 for 9 ounces); MaraNatha in almond, cashew, and macadamia ($5.79 for 8 ounces); and Sunbutter, with a variety of sunflower seed butters from crunchy to creamy ($4.99 to $5.69 for 16 ounces). Most supermarkets also stock a house brand.
Posted by Lisa at September 1, 2006 9:49 AM
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