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Friday, March 20, 2009

Real Age Food Bites

Spread These Around: 5 Grown-Up Alternatives to Peanut Butter

What’s not to love about nut butters? Okay, the high fat and calorie content is a bit of a bummer, but remember: A little goes a long way. What might seem like a skimpy 2-tablespoon serving is actually a thin spread of nutritional heaven, loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, iron, and vitamin E -- not to mention a hunger-halting trio of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Just skip the grape jelly and white bread. These are way too good for PB&Js.

1. Almond Butter
Almond butter can be a bit runny, but its smooth almond taste makes a perfect dip for raw veggies and apple slices. Or try this Cherry Almond Smoothie or Carrot Salad with Almond Butter Dressing.

Our pick: Whole Foods’s house brand, 365 Everyday Smooth Almond Butter ($5.99)
2 tablespoons: 190 calories, 16 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 5 milligrams sodium, 6 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 7 grams protein

Bonus: Look for a butter that has lots of brown specks -- they’re flecks of almond skin, which is full of antioxidant vitamin E.

2. Cashew Butter

Cashew lovers (who isn’t?) should try stirring this nut butter into soups, sauces, and curries -- instant yum. Or just spread it on wheat toast when you need a creamy-crunchy snack. For a quick sweet treat, whip up these Chocolate and Nut Butter Bites:

Our pick:
Arrowhead Mills Creamy Cashew Butter ($5.99)
2 tablespoons: 160 calories, 13 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 milligrams sodium, 9 grams carbohydrate, <1>

Bonus: Compared to other nut butters, cashew is significantly lower in fat and calories and has a little more iron, too.

3. Macadamia Nut Butter
Give broiled tilapia or flounder a surprisingly flavorful twist by brushing it with a little melted mac butter. If you’re into sweet ’n’ salty combos, spread it on a lightly salted rice cake.

Our pick:
MaraNatha Creamy and Roasted Macadamia Nut Butter ($5.99)
2 tablespoons: 230 calories, 24 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 milligrams sodium, 4 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 2 grams protein

In studies, macadamias have shown heart-healthy cholesterol-lowering powers.

4. Pecan Butter

The subtle flavor of pecans can get lost on bread; instead, smear it on thinly sliced apples or jicama sticks. Delish. Love peanut noodles? Try this Pecan Pasta Sauce recipe.

Our pick: Artisana Raw Organic Pecan Butter ($12.99)
2 tablespoons: 213 calories, 20 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 milligrams sodium, 5 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 4 grams protein

Bonus: Pecans are high in beta-carotene and gamma-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E that helps keep LDL cholesterol from gumming up your arteries.

5. Walnut Butter

Since walnut butter’s a little bitter, pair it with something sweet -- say, a drizzle of honey or apricot jam on a whole-grain bagel. For extra protein and a fresh flavor kick, add a tablespoon to hot oatmeal on a cold morning.

Our pick: Artisana Raw Organic Walnut Butter ($11.99)
2 tablespoons: 205 calories, 19 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 milligrams sodium, 4 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 5 grams protein

Walnuts are a top-notch source of alpha-linolenic acid (AHA), which turns into good-for-you omega-3 fatty acid.

1 comment:

  1. para tuloy akong nasa klase sa dami ng pede mo matutunan sa blog mo tita cecile...