A nut butter is a spreadable foodstuff made by grinding nuts into a paste. The result has a high fat content and can be spread like true butter, but is otherwise unrelated. Nut butters include:

Nut butter
Peanut butter
Main ingredientsNuts

The almond, cashew, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pistachio and walnut are not true nuts in a botanical sense. However, because they are considered nuts in a culinary sense, their crushed spreads are called nut butters. Similar spreads can also be made from seeds not considered nuts in a culinary sense:

Nut and seed butters have a high content of protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids, and can be used to replace butter or margarine on bread or toast.

The grinding of nuts into a paste has a long history. Almond paste or marzipan was highly prized by the caliphs of Baghdad. "The Kitab al-Tabikh or Book of Recipes was a collection of recipes from the court of ninth-century Baghdad. The most esteemed sweet was lauziinaq, an almond paste much like marzipan."[2] Hazelnut butter was mixed with chocolate to overcome shortages during the Napoleonic wars and WWII, which led to the invention of Gianduja (chocolate) (e.g. Nutella). [3]

Nutritional propertiesEdit

The following table gives some approximate nutritional properties of some nut and seed butters. Many of these contain additional oils or other ingredients that may alter the nut butter's nutritional content.[4]

Butter Calories
(1 tbsp.)
Almond butter 101 2.4 9.5 43 0.5
Cashew butter 93 2.8 8 7 0.8
Hazelnut butter 94 2 9.5 N/A N/A
Peanut butter – natural 94 3.8 8 7 0.4
Peanut butter – reduced fat 95 4 6 N/A 0.4
Sunflower butter 80 3 7 N/A N/A
Soy butter (sweetened) 85 4 5.5 50 N/A
Soy butter (unsweetened) 80 4 6.5 30 N/A
Soy-peanut butter (added sweetener) 50 2 1.2 40 N/A
Tahini 89 2.6 8 64 0.7

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Shurtleff, W.; Aoyagi, A.. 2012. "History of Soynuts and Soynut Butter... (1068–2012)." Lafayette, California: Soyinfo Center. 590 pp. (1,336 references, 114 photos and illustrations. Free online).
  2. ^ https://archive.aramcoworld.com/issue/200604/cooking.with.the.caliphs.htm
  3. ^ https://hazelnuthill.com/history-of-gianduja-chocolate-hazelnut-spread/
  4. ^ Reed Mangels (November–December 2001). "Guide to Nuts and Nut Butters". Vegetarian Journal. Retrieved 2006-08-07.