Monday, October 7, 2013

Almond butter

I really didn't want to blog product reviews, but this isn't so much about that. No one will ever ask me to review their product. I'm too mean and basically, I hate everything.

I'm semi-Paleo in my dietary habits - meat & veg, little processed foods, low-carbohydrate. The recommendation is to forgo legumes, likes beans and peanuts, which I find ridiculously different, even more so than giving up pasta, rice, and bread. I still eat peanut butter and can definitely see where that sabotages me. But it's so good.

Anyway, one common suggestion in this area of weakness is to replace peanut butter with the healthier (and mucho more expensive) almond butter. When I first started this diet in May 2012, almond butter was impossible to find in my area, even at higher-end grocers. Amazon had it, of course, but um...cost prohibitive.

Lately, this has changed, in that all the big grocery stores now carry a couple varieties of almond butter. I won't eat the natural (stir in oil) kind because it make me queasy just opening the jar. Seriously, no can do! I never buy crunchy, because my partner has recurring diverticulitis and I don't want to kill him. So far, here's what I've learned.

Jif Almond Butter (creamy):

Tiny jar, but the cheapest butter I can get from the big grocers. The taste is bland, but certainly edible, and the texture is slightly oil, not rich. For people looking for a peanut replacement, this probably works okay. The best price I've seen is $5.99 on sale.

Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter:

Again, smallish jar, very pricey, but ounce-for-ounce very close to the regular, non-sale price of Jif. The taste and texture are decent - richer and fuller, less oily. This one also feels thicker. Not terrific, but a step up. I also feel better about the quality. Best price: $7.99 on sale.

Berryhill (Aldi) Almond Butter (creamy):

The jar is mid-sized between the other two brands. I have to admit it: the texture of this one is far superior. It has a grainy texture, but in a good way, like with fudge. Probably because it has so much sugar (6g) in it? The taste is very nice, but not to-die-for good. That said, if you can find it, the price is very reasonable, considering. Price: $4.99.

Just added:

MaraNatha Almond Butter (No Stir)

This particular no-stir butter is...perilously close to having an oily sheen. It is just barely no-stir, in other words. However, the product has a terrific dark and inviting color as well as a rich texture very similar to my fave (Berry Hill from Aldi's). In fact, I kind of wonder if they might be the same product. But I couldn't compare them side-by-side, so that's mere speculation. The taste was a lot more wholesome and buttery than Jif or Barney butter, even though the sugar content was rather low (3g/serving). It's a good product. Sadly, this one is also quite a bit more expensive. Price: $9.99.

Note: when I eat peanut butter, I only eat Jif. Just FYI.

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