Almond Butter: History, Flavor, Benefits, Uses

Almond butter is made from roasted and ground almonds, which are tree nuts that originated in Iran and the region around it. The best quality and simplest versions will consist entirely of almonds, but lesser products may have other ingredients. Its true origin appears to be unknown beyond its association with peanut butter around the start of the 20th century. There are instances of it being mentioned in print in the late 19th century.

The Journal of the American Medical Association mentions Kellogg’s almond butter in 1913. Presumably, it was a product of John Harvey Kellogg, the same man who may have had a hand in early versions of peanut butter. Kellogg was a nutritionist who had numerous products on the market in the early 20th century.

Almond butter has become a trendy product in recent years as people with peanut allergies seek out alternative nut butters. Almond butter is viewed by many as one of the most viable peanut butter alternatives due to its flavor, consistency and nutritional profile.

Almond butter flavor profile

Almond butter may be made with blanched, roasted or raw almonds. Roasted almond butter has a stronger almond aroma and flavor compared to the raw kind. The type of almond will affect the flavor profile. Unlike peanut butter (which can be bland without additional ingredients), roasted almonds have a naturally earthy and distinctively chocolatey flavor that you will get from the butter.

Health benefits of almond butter

The fact that it has a stellar nutritional profile is one of the most important reasons to add almond butter to your diet. It is a concentrated source of nutrients like:

  • Vitamins: A serving of almond butter will provide much of your recommended daily allowance for several B vitamins like thiamin and riboflavin. It also has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin E of all the nut butters.
  • Minerals: Almonds are particularly high in magnesium and potassium, so almond butter is good for adding them to your diet.
  • Healthy fats: Almond butter contains monounsaturated fats that are important for heart health.

With almond butter’s nutrients in your diet, you may be enabling your body to combat problems like:

  • High blood pressure: Almond butter may help with blood pressure control because of its high potassium content.
  • Poor bone health: The magnesium and calcium in almond butter are important for building strong, healthy bones.
  • High cholesterol: The fats in almond butter are known to improve levels of good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol.
  • Heart disease: The high concentration of vitamin E in almond butter may help to reduce the plaque in arteries. Omega-3 fatty acids may also be beneficial for protecting the heart.

Health concerns

Almond butter is high-fat food, even if the fats themselves are good for you. The fact that it will add many calories to your diet should be considered if you are trying to lose weight. While it is more nutritionally dense than many other high-fat foods, it can still contribute to weight gain. Some varieties of almond butter may have sugar or salt added. In the case of sugar, this can add significantly to its caloric load; salt can cause or exacerbate high blood pressure.

Common uses

One popular way to use almond butter is as a spread for bread, similar to peanut butter. It can also be used for baking cookies and other desserts, as well as for adding protein to smoothies. Use almond butter in salad dressings and as a dip for fruit like bananas and apples.