Almond butter has expanded in popularity over the past several years, with no small thanks to the more recent realization that dietary fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. Almonds, in particular, are rich in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — superlative for heart health.
Of course, a healthy serving of fat isn't the only beneficial aspect of this popular nut spread. Almond butter is also loaded with nutrients, including magnesium, vitamin E, potassium and calcium — as well as plenty of fiber and protein to boot. With no doubt, almonds and almond butter can be considered a valuable asset to a high-quality diet that promotes a lean and healthy body for life.
Wondering about the best way to add this delicious and versatile nut butter to your grocery list? Check out SuperFat's purchasing tips and insights below:
Spreading the Goods: Retail vs. Online
While cost isn't the only factor that you should consider when purchasing almond butter, it's no doubt an important one! And ounce for ounce, almonds (and its butter) are one of the more affordable sources of plant protein around.
In many cases, buying almond butter and other natural health products online can be cheaper than purchasing in store. However, these days it's entirely possible to find affordable almond butter products in your local grocery stores, as well. Fortunately, it's no longer necessary to rely exclusively on expensive natural food markets such as Whole Foods or small local chains in order to get your product — although these do often have a great selection, even if it tends to be a bit pricier.
Many stores, such as Walmart and Costco, offer almond butter in store and online. Other companies such as Thrive Market, a subscription-based online natural products retailer, make it easy to get almond butter delivered right to your door — even on a scheduled basis if you know you're going to go through your nut butter regularly!
Ultimately, it's possible to find good deals on high-quality almond butter online and in person, although depending on your location, going online may prove more fruitful in the end, especially if you can procure free shipping (Amazon Prime customers, we're talkin' to you).
Things to Consider When Purchasing Almond Butter
Whether you click and order or shop in store, you still have several things to consider before making your purchase and deciding which type of almond butter will be the one you fall in love with. Consider the following:
- Bulk vs. non-bulk: Do you have a big family? Do you go through nut butters quickly in your household? If so, purchasing in bulk is often the most cost-effective and convenient strategy. On the other hand, if you eat almond butter more sparingly, it may not be necessary to come home with a 64-ounce tub of it.
- Cost vs. ounce ratio: Trying to make almond butter fit on your budget? Whip out those elementary school math skills and take a look at the cost per ounce of your available choices. You don't need to spend a bushel in order to get a good quality almond butter, although splurging on a more expensive option may be well worth it if the quality (including health and flavor) is considerably better.
- Health-focused vs. flavor-focused: Like its popular cousin peanut butter, almond butter is often loaded with other ingredients in an attempt to bump up the flavor and, at least for some people, make it more palatable...and not all of these ingredients were created equal (such as sugar). But it's not difficult to find natural almond butter that contains just the nuts (and maybe some salt, as well). Deciding which way to go comes down to assessing your own health goals and personal preferences. Of course, if you're interested in experimenting with different flavors without sacrificing (indeed even maximizing) health, SuperFat nut butters are an excellent choice.
- Jars vs. packets (including single, 3 pack, 10 pack, and variety): Both options have their own pros and cons. Jars of almond butter are generally more cost-effective and easier to have on hand if you use almond butter a lot in meals and recipes. But unlike single serving packets, they aren't as portable and may be more prone to going rancid if left opened for too long. Single serving packets — which you can get one or multiple at a time — are ideal for healthy fat on the go (we're thinking traveling especially), and are a fun option for kids, as well. While usually a bit pricer per ounce than jarred almond butter, almond butter packets are often the preferred choice out of pure convenience.
Types of Almond Butter — Time to Pick Your Fave!
With so many choices around, it can be hard to pick your favorite nut butter. Your best bet is to try different brands and varieties (notching another tick in the pro column for single serve and variety packs, by the way). Pay attention to your options including:
- Creamy, crunchy, or smooth
- Toasted and roasted vs. raw
- Organic, natural, and non-GMO
- Gluten-free, dairy-free and/or vegan (while almond butter is naturally ALL of these things, certain brands may use additional ingredients that aren't, so if this is important to you then be sure to look for it on the label)
For what it's worth, you may also find using different types of almond butter for different things (e.g., one for snacking vs. one for baking) to be a useful approach.
Popular Consumer Questions About Almond Butter
Almond butter is so much easier to buy these days, and we find this as a reason to celebrate! To wrap up our buyer's guide, we'll finish by answering a few popular questions from our SuperFat fans:
- Where is almond butter found in the grocery store? Check the bulk food aisle if your market has one. Otherwise, it's generally found near the peanut butter or in the natural food aisle. Sometimes you can find them lurking near the produce, as well, though this isn't as common. And keep your eyes peeled by the checkout line, as they often have single serving packets here.
- Is it cheaper to make your own almond butter? The DIY almond butter is typically cheaper than a store-bought variety. However, you have to also factor in the relative effort involved in making your own, as well as the initial purchase of a high-quality food processor or blender. Professionally-made almond butters often taste better too (no offense!). Ultimately, while making your own almond butter can be a fun project, it may be worth the increased cost to simply purchase some online or in a store.
- Which almond butter is the best? It's tough to say! Your taste buds and wallet ultimately will have the final say...but if you haven't checked out SuperFat almond butters yet, be sure to find out why we're one of the fastest-growing and most popular nut butter companies around.
This article was written by: Sara McEvoy
Sara McEvoy, PT, DPT is a licensed and board-certified doctor of physical therapy. She earned her degree in 2011 from Boston University. Sara is also a professional freelance writer and copywriter. She researches and writes almost exclusively within the health and wellness field.