You’ve been eating healthy and hitting the gym regularly. You’ve been doing all you can to sustain your healthy lifestyle and avoid sugar. But occasionally you want to splurge on a treat like a muffin or a smoothie. Just something to let you know that you’re doing good.
We all need a break sometimes, right?
There are lots of ways to feed your craving in, yes, a healthy way. Since you’ve committed to eating healthy, why not carry that over into the guilty pleasure department, so it’s not so guilty anymore?
I know, I know, being bad feels good, but eating good feels better. Trust us.
One way we like to pump up the nutritional value of treats while adding a healthy source of fat is by substituting almond butter out for other not so healthy options.
Before discussing what you can substitute out with almond butter in baking and other yummy instances, let’s discuss the health benefits of the stuff.
Health Benefits of Almond Butter
The health benefits of adding a couple servings of nuts a week to your diet include helping in the regulation of blood sugar and lowering the risk of heart attack. Below are some of the benefits that come from adding almond butter specifically.
1. Copper and Calcium –
These minerals have give us some serious brain power. They help with keeping our nervous system functional and with brain communication. Calcium has the well-known ability of aiding support a strong skeletal system and assisting with muscle function. Copper helps with melanin production, a pigment that helps protect your skin from sun damage.
2. Magnesium and Vitamin E –
Magnesium helps give you an energy boost, while helping you synthesize fatty acids. Vitamin E helps with cellular communication and helps prevent blood lipid oxidation, which contributes to cardiovascular disease. Consuming just one serving, or two tablespoons, of almond butter gives you over half of your daily vitamin E needs.
3. Fiber and Healthy Fats –
Almond butter is made of mostly unsaturated fats. These fats help improve blood cholesterol levels to combat cardiovascular disease. It also provides energy. Fiber also benefits blood cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by up to one-third. That’s good news for the heart.
3 Things to Substitute Almond Butter
Now you know some of the lovely benefits of having this nutty spread to your life. Here’s a list of stuff you can swap out for this healthier alternative.
1. Butter –
The high-fat content of almond butter makes it a good substitute for butter. The high-protein levels help to give structure to baked goods, making it an excellent substitute in vegan baking.
Almond butter lowers the fat content in most recipes and is very versatile. You can use it on your toast as a morning or late-night snack. You can even use it on your popcorn. We do.
2. Milk or Yogurt in Smoothies –
Smoothies and shakes call for milk and yogurt which can have sugar, high-levels of fat in exchange for low levels of protein, and stomach blotting. Maybe you’re a vegan or on a paleo diet and just don’t want dairy products anywhere near you.
All of the above are fair reasons to avoid dairy. Almond butter offers the perfect substitute for dairy in smoothies and yogurt. It is high-protein and has a slew of healthy fats that help improve blood cholesterol levels. And let’s not forget the wonderful nutty flavor it adds!
3. Peanut Butter –
Almond butter can easily be swapped out for peanut butter. You may not know this, but peanuts are actually considered a legume, more closely related to a bean then a walnut. There are also many who are allergic to peanuts and anything made with peanuts.
Almond butter is slightly healthier than peanut butter because it has a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals. In most other aspects, peanut butter and almond butter have similar nutritional value.
So, go ahead and make an almond butter and jelly sandwich. Slap some almond butter on top of a banana or eat it straight out of the jar, like some peanut butter enthusiasts do. Hey, we’re not judging.
Almond butter has become the new peanut butter and is a vegan bakers best friend. With high nutritional value, high-protein content, and distinct nutty flavor, almond butter is a great addition to your diet.
As a final note about almond butter, though it usually helps in weight loss and contributes to feeling fuller for longer, it is still possible to over consume almond butter.
The high-fat content can contribute to weight gain. Because of this make sure to only have a few tablespoons worth of the almond butter in any one week. Other then that, enjoy the buttery, nutty goodness.