Paleo Plan

Is Almond Butter Paleo?

almond-butter-paleoLike almond flour, almond butter frequently appears in Paleo recipes or is a quick go-to snack that Paleo people love. But just because it’s derived from almonds, which are definitely Paleo, does almond butter automatically make the cut? Should you eat it, or should it be nixed from a Paleo menu plan altogether?

Nutritional Value of Almond Butter

Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon (16 g)

  • Calories: 101
  • Total Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Monounsaturated fat: < 1 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: < 1 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Lauric acid: 6 g
  • Carbohydrate: 3 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Fiber: 1 g

Health Benefits of Almond Butter

Almond butter is, generally, whole almonds that are ground until they become butter. At home this can be done in a basic food processor. Commercial processing is, of course, much different. So do the health benefits of almonds become the same benefits of almond butter?

While whole almonds contain many nutrients—including vitamin E, calcium, B3, folate, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and manganese—commercially processed almond butter will contain significantly less because nutrients are often lost or damaged through processing. If making your own almond butter with minimal heat, it will retain nearly the full nutrient profile.

Almonds are beneficial for many different body systems, including cardiovascular,
nervous, and digestive systems. They also benefit:

  • Longevity
  • Weight loss
  • Improve lipid profiles
  • Lower LDL cholesterol

Where To Buy Almond Butter

To maintain the best nutrient profile, it is best to make your own almond butter.
But in a pinch, there are many organic, minimally processed almond butters
available in grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and Whole Foods, or online at
Amazon.

Almond butter should be stored in the fridge after opening to preserve quality.

Should I Eat Almond Butter? Is Almond Butter Paleo?

If you’re purchasing almond butter, it is essential to read the label. Many manufacturers add other ingredients, like canola oil, sunflower oil, or peanut oil, along with salt, other preservatives, or other ingredients. Ideally, you want almond butter that contains only almonds, although some added sea salt is fine for taste.

Almonds also contain a certain kind of omega-6 fatty acid, known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), that should be kept limited within the diet. PUFAs can contribute to food and other forms of allergies, and when they comprise a large part of the diet, can make it harder to digest and absorb other nutrients.

For the best results, a Paleo diet should be based largely on vegetables, animal fats, whole nuts and meat, substituted occasionally with items like almond butter.

How To Make Almond Butter

Almond butter is very easy to make. All you need is a food processor or a NutriBullet/Magic Bullet (note that a standard blender is not powerful enough) and
almonds.

To make almond butter with raw almonds, soak the nuts overnight in clean water to help make them easier to digest. Place 1-3 cups of soaked almonds into the food processor and blend on medium or high for 3-6 minutes or until it develops a buttery texture. If you are not using soaked almonds, they will first look like flour before they look like butter.

You can also add approximately 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of sea salt for each cup of almonds if you want your almond butter to have a hint of salt. For chunky almond butter, follow the above instructions, then stir in by hand some finely chopped almonds. Because almond butter tends to be on the dry side, you can blend in some extra virgin olive oil (approximately 1-2 teaspoons per cup of almonds) while you’re first processing the almonds to give it a creamier texture.

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