How do you determine your favorite foods? A big part of the decision likely comes down to taste. Eating is enjoyable largely due to the pleasant flavors in food. But what makes things taste good – such as nut butter?
Some of the best-tasting nut butters include Nutella, peanut butter, and cashew butter, among a few others.
What makes these nut butters the best tasting? We’ll explain in this article!
Six of the best-tasting nut butters
Taste is very subjective, so it’s impossible to objectively determine which nut butters taste the best. What we can do is make some assumptions on which nut butters taste the best given their popularity and ingredients!
Most people’s taste buds have a preference for sweet flavors, so anything sweetened with sugar is usually a hit with most people. Nutella is the highest-sugar nut butter (though it’s not technically nut butter – we’ll get to that next), so it’s safe to say it’s one of the best-tasting nut butters.
So why isn’t Nutella considered nut butter? According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for something to be considered nut butter it needs to contain at least 90% nuts by weight. Nutella contains hazelnuts, but they don’t comprise 90% of Nutella’s weight, so it’s considered a hazelnut spread instead of hazelnut butter.
Since peanut butter is one of the most popular nut butters, it’s safe to assume it’s subjectively one of the best-tasting ones, too.
Peanuts are technically legumes, not nuts – but it’s treated the same as nut butters since they are similar nutrition-wise (high in fat and protein).
Peanut butter often has added salt and sugar, which can increase its palatability and make it taste even better. If you’re not into added ingredients, don’t worry – you can find natural peanut butter varieties that don’t have any added ingredients.
Granola butter isn’t technically a nut butter either, but it’s an allergy-friendly option that is in the same area as nut butters in most grocery stores. Nut butter contains ingredients like oats, maple syrup, and olive oil, making it a good nut-, peanut-, soy-, and sesame-free choice for people with common food allergies.
Granola butter contains added sugar in the form of maple syrup as well as spices to enhance the flavor, so we can assume it’s considered one of the better-tasting “nut butters”.
Reduced-fat peanut butter
Reduced-fat peanut butter contains less fat than regular peanut butter. Fat is another thing that makes things taste good (in addition to sugar), so if you reduce the fat content of something it won’t taste as good as the full-fat version. So how is this change offset to keep reduced-fat peanut butter tasting good?
Enter sugar again! Reduced-fat products generally contain added sugars and thickeners to help them keep a favorable mouthfeel and flavor, so the added sugar content might make reduced-fat peanut butter taste better than regular peanut butter.
Because of the added sugars, reduced-fat peanut butter is one of the higher-sugar nut butters – so reduced-fat doesn’t necessarily mean healthier!
Cashew butter is slightly higher in natural sugars compared to other nut butters, so some people might prefer its taste over other nut butters, including peanut butter. Because of its naturally higher carb content, cashew butter might not be the most keto-friendly nut butter, though.
Flavored nut butter
Like Nutella, other nut butter can come in flavored options. Added sugar, chocolate, cinnamon, and other ingredients can boost the tastiness of plain nut butter.
Some high-protein nut butters have added sweeteners, including artificial sweeteners (which usually taste sweeter than sugar). These nut butters might taste better than plain nut butters to some people, especially those who prefer sweet flavors.
Nutritional comparison of best-tasting nut butters
|Serving size: 2 tbsp.||Calories||Total fat (saturated)||Total carbs||Net carbs (fiber)||Total sugars (incl. added)||Protein|
|Nutella||200||12 g (4 g)||23 g||22 g (1 g)||21 g (19 g)||2 g|
|Peanut butter (natural)||200||16 g (3 g)||7 g||4 g (3 g)||2 g (0 g)||8 g|
|Granola butter||170||12 g (4 g)||14 g||13 (1 g)||4 g (4 g)||3 g|
|Reduced-fat peanut butter||190||12 g (2.5 g)||15 g||13 g (2 g)||4 g (3 g)||7 g|
|Cashew butter||190||16 g (3 g)||10 g||9 g (1 g)||3 g (1 g)||4 g|
|Flavored nut butters||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies|
Soy nut butter is often compared to peanut butter because they’re both made from legumes. The taste isn’t identical, but it might be considered similar by some people.
Nutella is the highest-sugar nut butter (though it’s not technically a nut butter because it doesn’t contain a high enough percentage of nuts by weight), which gives it a sweet flavor.
Cashew butter is among one of the higher natural sugar nut butters, which means that the sugars aren’t added but occur naturally in the nut butter.