(Pea)nut butter has been my favorite food for as long as I can remember. The healthy fats and plant based protein make it a dietary staple for health-conscious, vegetarian yuppies such as myself. Over the years, I have sampled many a (pea)nut butter. While I love the taste and creamy, smooth texture of Skippy products, I now gravitate toward organic, non-GMO (pea)nut butters. Recently, I have been reading about the benefits of consuming primarily raw foods. While most nut butters contain roasted nuts, there are a few raw brands (including, Artisana). Check out my tips for spreading the schmear.
Below is a handy-dandy chart of my favorite (pea)nut butters with details to help you figure out which one(s) are best for you:
Without going into too much detail, roasting makes nuts more easily digestible for some people, but it also (slightly to moderately) depletes some of the nutritional elements (minerals, healthy fats, etc.), eliminates the digestive enzymes, and increases the speed of oxidation and thus rancidity. By contrast, raw nuts contain both healthy digestive enzymes and toxic enzyme inhibitors (natural protections from predators). In order to maintain the healthy enzymes and eliminate the unhealthy enzyme inhibitors, it is best to soak raw nuts prior to consumption. However, Artisana does not soak the nuts used in its nut butters.
In an ideal world, everyone would make their own homemade nut butter, with soaked raw nuts, in a food processor. I haven’t tried going homemade yet, but I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’m going to alternate between (pea)nut butters with roasted (pea)nuts and raw nut butters with unsoaked nuts. As long as you don't down an 8oz jar of raw nut butter every day for weeks on end, you should be fine. If you start feeling icky, stop eating the raw nut butter and see a doctor.