Aren’t nut butters wonderful?
Not only do they make great snack components (apple slices and nut butter, anyone?), but they also make a great addition to sauces and other recipes.
As we outlined in our Whole30 Nuts Guide, not all nuts are created equal. Of all the nuts out there, the top three most ideal to consume are macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and cashews.
Not only is cashew butter Whole30 compliant, but it is also one of the best nut butters out there for consumption on Whole30!
Be aware, however, that many cashew butters may contain non-compliant ingredients, so you have to be vigilant about reading your labels.
Moderation is Key
As with all nuts and nut products, moderation is super important when eating cashew butter.
Not only are cashew butters pretty high in calories, but their blended, creamy form makes them pretty easy to overeat without realizing it!
Many people find that nut butters can be a “Food With No Brakes” to them, meaning they are difficult to stop eating once you start.
Since all nuts are fairly high in Omega-6s, overeating them can easily throw off the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio we want to keep more or less balanced to reduce inflammation.
Although cashews are one of the better nut choices out there, it’s still definitely worth not overdoing it—a 1/4 cup serving of dry nuts (or up to about 2 tablespoons of nut butter) per day is plenty!
Beware Of These Sneaky Ingredients
Cashew butters are becoming more and more commercially available—awesome news for Whole30-ers who are missing their peanut butter!
When you’re shopping, however, you have to be on the lookout for ingredients that might derail your Whole30.
Ideally, you’d look for cashew butters that are made of only cashews and salt. Sometimes, companies will add oil for consistency. As long as it’s an approved oil, you’re good to go! If it’s a “limited use” oil, it would be best to choose a different brand. The oils on this list, such as sunflower oil, safflower, oil, canola oil, etc. are okay to eat when dining out (as they are used in restaurants all the time), but that doesn’t mean they are okay to buy when you have a choice.
The most common additive in store-bought cashew butter that makes it noncompliant is sugar! Sugar has a variety of sneaky names to try to disguise it from the untrained eye, but as well-informed Whole30-ers, we know better!
Keep an eye out for:
- evaporated cane juice
- maple syrup
Don’t forget, even natural sugars are a no-go.
As with most things you buy at the grocery store when you’re on a Whole30, a good rule to go by is the fewer ingredients, the more likely it will be compliant.
All you really need to make cashew butter is cashews. Salt is a nice addition, but beyond that and maybe a little added oil, you don’t really need much else. Simplicity is best here!
Whole30 Compliant Cashew Butter Brands
Need a head start on your shopping? We have a couple of our top cashew butter picks listed below.
- Wilderness Poets Cashew Butter – This cashew butter is a little bit on the pricier side…at $15 for an eight-ounce jar, it’s definitely a splurge. If you’re looking for a raw, organic option, however, it’s not going to get any better than this!
- Georgia Grinders Creamy Cashew Butter – A little bit more reasonably priced, this cashew butter only contains the essentials: roasted cashews and sea salt! Delicious.
- Artisana Organics Raw Cashew Butter – Another organic, raw option, this cashew butter is also on the pricier side but worth any penny.
Another Option: DIY Cashew Butter!
Prefer to make your own? By doing it this way, not only can you control every single ingredient that goes in your cashew butter, but you can add fun mix-ins to customize it to your liking!
Prefer raw cashews over roasted? Feel like adding a bit of cinnamon or other spice? Maybe you even want to mix in some other nuts…go crazy!
Some of our favorite DIY recipes include:
- Start with this classic recipe for a smooth and creamy cashew butter from Amy’s Healthy Baking–all you need is a high powered blender/food processor, cashews and salt and you’re good to go!
- Add freeze-dried strawberries like Bakerita did in this recipe for a peanut-butter-and-jelly-style spoonful.
- Make this Men’s Health recipe for a savory, spicy cashew butter with lime, coconut oil and some heat! As most sriracha sauce has added sugar, make sure to sub a compliant hot sauce.
All you need is a food processor or high-powered blender, a pound of your favorite style of cashews and your favorite mix-ins.
Don’t forget to scrape down the sides throughout the process so that everything blends evenly.
What do you think? Have a favorite cashew butter recipe you’re dying to share? Did we miss your favorite brand? Leave us a comment below and let us know!