Growing up I lived on peanut butter and snacked on nuts. What better way for a kid to get a boost of afternoon energy than with a peanut butter sandwich and big glass of milk. As an adult, I continue to love peanut butter and still snack on nuts. However, the amount and frequency has changed drastically as both are high in fat and calories and I am not running and playing 12 hours out of the day to help burn it off. Although peanut butter and other nuts are high in monounsaturated fats (good fats), they are still fats and still high in calories. I would strongly recommend steering clear of nuts and nut butters if you are concerned about your weight. There are plenty of other high protein, low calorie foods for you to choose from. Regardless of the variety of nut or whether it is natural or regular, all nut and seed butters average around 200 calories a tablespoon, 15% of daily protein and 1/4 of daily fat allowance. Tip on choosing nut butters: choose the jar that contains only nuts and salt. Most nut butters have additional preservatives, sweeteners and sugar including molasses and hydrogenated vegetable oils. Beware of the “natural” nut butters as they tend to add extra oils too. Of the nut and seed butters, pumpkin seed butter contains the lowest in calories, 160 per serving, 13 grams of fat 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of carbs. Almond butter contains the highest fat per serving at around 18-19 grams as compared to peanut 16-17 grams and cashew 14-16 grams.
Set the oven for 350 degrees, 2 cups of your favorite nut or seed, bake in a dish for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool, and place in a food processor with a steel blade until a smooth paste forms. Option is to add salt about 1/4 teaspoon per cup of nut or seed. Keep in an air tight container in the fridge and enjoy for weeks!