Nut Butters for Power Snacks
Peanut butter is a high performance snack that will give you more performance for the same calorie count found in other low-nutritious foods. So if two tablespoons of peanut butter give you about 200 calories, you'll stay full a lot longer than if you had eaten 200 calories worth of fruits or chips. Hence, the words 'high performance snack'. But why stop at peanut butter? Natural nut butters made with other nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, are just as effective, if not more. Here's what you can expect from these nut betters, and how you can make them right at home!
Nut butters are nutritious appetite controllers: They aren't just controversial foods like green tea or soy milk, nut butters are actually well-known appetite controllers. Natural nut butters also help you avoid transfats, artificial sugars and flavourers, while giving you the extra snack punch. Rich in monosaturated fats, fiber and protein, natural nut butters could replace evening snack time for you. Just a couple of tablespoons of almond nut butter and you'll be pumping iron at the gym without feeling tired by the end of the day.
Which nut butters can you buy? Step aside the ever-popular peanut butter, there are new nuts in town! Almonds, walnuts, macademia nuts, pistachio or hazelnut, are all excellent for nut butters. Seed butters (sunflower, sesame and pumpkin) make great additions to meals as well. You can even go that extra mile and make soyabean butter, although we have to warn you - it is an acquired taste.
Here are some calorie counts for natural nut butters (per 1tbs):
- Almond: 101
- Cashew: 93
- Hazelnut: 94
- Peanut (natural): 94
- Sunflower: 80
How can you make your own nut butters? Nut butters can simply be made by first roasting the nuts or seeds slightly on a baking tray for a few minutes, and then grinding them. At first, the nuts and seeds will appear to be too dry to become a consistent paste. But within a few pulses, you'll notice that the nuts and seeds let loose their oils, and before you know it, your lovely and creamy butter is ready. Enjoy in good health!
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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