Vegans and vegetarians simply love their nut butter, and they have been debating long and hard about which nut butter is the healthiest and most nutritious. The central debate usually revolves around cashew butter vs peanut butter—though almond butter sometimes pops up in the debate as well.
It might be disappointing to realize that there is no actual winner of the cashew butter vs peanut butter battle. Each tasty spread comes with its fair share of unique benefits and nutritional properties. The choice ultimately boils down to your own personal preference.
For most Americans—vegan and non-vegan—peanut butter is much more than just a tasty spread to put on their sandwich. Since Dr. Kellogg introduced the first batch more than a century ago, peanut butter has risen to the status of a cultural food icon. On top of that, the National Peanut Board helps ensure that there is plenty of healthy, allergy-free peanut butter for future generations.
Peanut Butter Nutrition
Unfortunately, the popularity of peanut butter has little to do with its nutritional benefits. Still, it is worth stressing that peanut butter can be very beneficial for your plant-based eating habits.
Peanut butter mostly consists of healthy unsaturated fats that you need for a balanced vegan or vegetarian diet. Besides the fats, peanut butter is also a great source of protein, potassium, and minerals. It contains a lot of vitamin B6 and iron as well. Overall, these nutritional properties make peanut butter a very desirable food for all health-minded people.
One thing you should consider as a vegan or vegetarian is the type of peanut butter you get. In general, you should steer clear of any variant that consists of a lot of artificial additives, emulsifiers, and sweeteners. These compounds take away from the natural health benefits and may even impede nutrition.
How Much Peanut Butter Can You Eat?
Peanut butter is a healthy treat, but it isn’t advisable to binge on it. Admittedly, once you start eating, it can be hard to resist the temptation and stop after a spoonful or two. There is no generally prescribed “maximum dose,” but it is advisable to make peanut butter an occasional treat and to stop after a couple of spoonfuls.
Best Brands of Peanut Butter
These are favorite peanut butter brands, which I use in my own home and when cooking for the food blog:
- Skippy Natural - This is the one we eat in our house. Yummy and kid friendly!
- Eliot's Peanut Butters - I love these flavored peanut butters like Espresso Nib or Spicy Thai. So much fun to experiment with!
Cashew butter is the new kid on the block. It might not have the fame and popularity of peanut butter, but this doesn’t mean that it’s inferior in any way. When it comes to certain nutritional aspects, it could even come out as the winner of the cashew vs peanut butter battle.
Cashew butter has an interesting history. During the Cold War, cashew butter cans were rationed out in the US as part of civil defense survival kits.
What Does Cashew Butter Taste Like?
Cashew butter has a slightly sweet, nutty, mild flavor with a texture that is a bit more creamy than peanut butter. It's very tasty!
Is Cashew Butter Healthy?
People choose cashew butter mostly for its nutritional benefits. Similar to peanut butter, cashew butter contains a lot of healthy fats. What’s more, it has a bit higher concentration of monounsaturated fat compared to peanut butter.
Cashew and peanut butter are about equal in terms of the overall fat and calorie content. On the other hand, there is less protein in cashew butter. But it contains more carbohydrates than peanut butter. Cashew butter isn't lacking in vitamins and minerals either. It contains high concentrations of iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, and calcium.
The butter is usually made from raw or baked cashews, and it has a rich creamy flavor. Raw cashew butter seems to be better at retaining all the nutritional properties of the cashews after processing, so it is advisable to opt for a raw variety. Either way, it is a tasty spread that can give you the same amount of healthy (and tasty!) nutrition as peanut butter.
How Much Cashew Butter Can You Eat?
The one thing you should consider when consuming cashew - or any other nut butter - is the amount of fat you take in. Just 100g of nut butter may be enough to meet your recommended daily intake of fat, which is usually between 44 and 77g.
Best Brands of Cashew Butter
I personally enjoy cooking with the following brands:
- Artisana Organics - For a raw vegan cashew butter, this is my favorite brand!
- Whole Foods 365 - This is my top choice for a grocery store brand cashew butter.
- Julie's REAL Cashew Butter - For a flavored option, check out the Coconut Vanilla Bean. A spoonful is good enough to eat for dessert!
Cashew Butter vs Peanut Butter - Which One Is Easier to Make?
The recipes for cashew and peanut butter are exactly the same, and you only need just a few items. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare either of the butters, and the process is surprisingly simple. Consequently, there is no clear winner in terms of preparation.
The items you need are—of course—cashews or peanuts, a baking pan, and a food processor. For an extra touch of sweetness, you can add some honey or vegan sugar to the butter. Place either of the nuts on the baking pan and toast them for about 10 minutes at 325°F. The nuts are done when they turn light golden brown.
Once you are done toasting, let the nuts cool for a few minutes before you put them in the food processor. Place the toasted nuts in the food processor and grind away until you get the buttery consistency and texture we all know and love. If you want your butter to be really creamy, you can add some coconut oil.
You should note that time in the food processor might vary depending on the quantity of nuts and the type of processor you have.
The Matter of Allergies
Nut allergies seem to be more present now than ever before. Unfortunately, if you suffer from a peanut allergy, there is a good chance that you will be allergic to cashews as well. Dealing with nut allergies is not as simple as choosing cashews over peanuts or vice versa.
In most cases, people actually react to the protein in these nuts, so you shouldn’t try to substitute one for the other. If you are prone to allergic reactions from peanuts, it would be best to consult with your physician before you get a taste of cashews.
The Last Spread
The fact that there is no winner in the cashew butter vs peanut butter battle might come as a bit of a disappointment to you. However, it shouldn’t deter you from enjoying either of the butters. Aside from the health benefits, these nut butters are tasty treats that add a spread of heaven to your morning toast.
On top of that, both cashew and peanut butter are simple to prepare, even if you are not a chef extraordinaire. So simply choose the one you enjoy the most!