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8 best natural nut butters

Go nuts for these scrumptious spreads – with not one artificial additive in sight

Rachel Hosie
Friday 08 September 2017 11:57 BST

A few years ago, you'd have been hard pressed to find more than two jars of peanut butter on your supermarket shelf – one crunchy and one smooth.

But the world we live in today is very different. The nut butter market has exploded, with everything from cashew butter with cacao nibs to crunchy almond butter with hemp seeds gracing our shelves (and our Instagram feeds).

Healthy foodies generously drizzle and dollop nut butters atop their acai bowls and overnight "proats" (protein oats, of course) and more and more brands are selling their spreads in mammoth 1kg tubs, because we just can't get enough.

But it's all-natural nut butters that are driving all of this. Generally runnier than the creamy peanut butter you probably had growing up, the new wave of nut butters contain no added oil of any kind and no refined or artificial ingredients. That said, there are more and more creative flavours appearing on the scene that still come under the "all-natural" label, from maple sea salt to maca.

Whether you're into clean eating, obsessed with protein or simply want something delicious to elevate your porridge or smoothie, there's a nut butter (or five) for you.

1. Pic's Smooth Peanut Butter, 380g: £3.49, Tesco

Pic’s is a beloved New Zealand peanut butter brand that is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. And for good reason: it is insanely delicious. The smooth peanut butter is our favourite – it’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet, and tastes the most like regular (read: not all-natural) peanut butter of all the brands we tried. It’s made using freshly roasted hi-oleic Australian peanuts, which have more beneficial fats than others and stay fresh longer, too. The brand claims the smooth peanut butter is “double squished for an intense peanutty flavour and velvet texture.” And it’s right.

Buy now

2. Pip & Nut Coconut Almond Butter, 225g: £4.59, Holland Barrett

Arguably the brand that kicked off the nut butter revolution, Pip & Nut forced more established brands to up their game and spawned a series of competitors. All of its nut butters are generally quite runny and silky smooth (apart from the crunchy ones, of course). With an ever-expanding range of simple classics like smooth peanut butter and more unusual flavours like chocolate coconut hazelnut, Pip & Nut's butters all have a good balance of salty and sweet additions, so they're far from bland (unlike some of the nut butters that are 100 per cent nuts, without even a pinch of salt). Our favourite is the coconut almond butter – it’s sweet and indulgent without being sickly, and is lovely drizzled onto overnight oats.

Buy now

3. Meridian Cocoa & Peanut Butter with Coconut & Honey, 280g: £2.50, Sainsbury’s

For years, Meridian was the only key player in the natural nut butter world, but then the market exploded and it was forced to expand to remain competitive. Its range is now huge and includes all sorts of unusual nuts and creative flavours including macadamia (tastier than expected and naturally sweet) and coconut peanut (incredibly moreish). The cocoa peanut butter, with added coconut and honey, is particularly addictive – it's delicious spread onto fruit but also incredibly hard to stop eating straight out the tub.

Buy now

4. Spitiko Peanut Butter with Honey, 300g: £6, M&S

Made from 93 per cent peanuts and seven per cent honey, this peanut butter conjured up feelings of a holiday on a sunny Greek island (even when slathered onto toast on a grey British morning). The roasted peanuts add a real depth of flavour, it’s silky smooth and super addictive. The packaging adds a luxury feel and it tastes indulgent too – this peanut butter is particularly good drizzled over a pudding for that little extra wow factor.

Available in-store

5. ManiLife Deep Roast Peanut Butter, 295g: £5, ManiLife

This peanut butter has a deeper, richer flavour than all others - it’s one for the real peanut butter addicts. Made with Argentinian peanuts (99.1 per cent), its texture is quite unique, being simultaneously creamy and crunchy. With merely a smidgen of salt added, this is simplicity done really well – we love ours on banana or apple slices. It tastes incredible.

Buy now

6. Biona Organic Coconut Almond Butter Smooth, 179g: £4.99, Planet Organic

This almond butter is blended with coconut and a touch of coconut blossom nectar, which results in a really smooth, creamy spread. It’s sweeter and more coconutty than other brands of coconut almond butter, but the almond flavour certainly comes through too. It pairs extremely well with both almond milk or coconut milk, a banana and a handful of oats to make a delicious breakfast smoothie. What's more, Biona's organic nut butters are certified by the Organic Food Federation.

Buy now

7. Jackpot Peanut Butter, 500g: £5, Jackpot

Like ManiLife, this is a serious peanut butter. It’s incredibly chunky in texture and really thick in consistency, making this one moreish nut butter. The colour is darker than most and it has a strong roasted flavour. The brand claims that once you go Jack, you never go back, and it may be onto something.

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8. MyProtein Cashew Butter with Vanilla, 1kg: £16.49, MyProtein

The hint of vanilla in this cashew butter makes it smell like cookie dough, although the cashew flavour is stronger in taste – it also adds depth to what is usually quite mellow flavour with cashew butters. It’s thicker than others and darker in colour, too. It blends particularly well, adding a creamy texture to smoothies and milkshakes – we find cashew butter pairs deliciously with tropical fruits like mango and peach. MyProtein has a good range of nut butters, and we also love the peanut butter with honey and sea salt.

Buy now

The Verdict: Natural nut butters

No one can ever have too many nut butters and you simply must have one for all occasions, but if you only have space for one on your kitchen shelf, it’s got to be Pic’s Smooth Peanut Butter.

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