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On toast, in cookies or straight from a spoon, nut butters are delicious must-have pantry staples. But when it comes to peanut butter vs almond butter, which is the healthier option? Almond butter might have a slight nutritional edge over peanut butter, but both can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Read on for everything you need to know about two of our favorite spreads of all time, plus how to cook with each one (you're not going to want to miss the world's biggest peanut butter cup—trust us).

RELATED: The 10 Best Healthy Peanut Butter Brands, According to a Nutritionist

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sofia Kraushaar

Almond Butter Nutrition (per 1 tablespoon, plain)

Calories: 98
Protein: 3.4 grams
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Fiber: 1.6 grams
Total fat: 9 grams
Sugar: 0.7 grams

Peanut Butter Nutrition (per 1 tablespoon, plain)

Calories: 96
Protein: 3.6 grams
Carbohydrates: 3.6 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Total fat: 8.2 grams
Sugar: 1.7 grams

Which Is Healthier?

1. Calories

As you can see above, the calorie count of almond butter and peanut butter is essentially the same. We will note, though, that relative to other foods, pretty much all nuts and nut butters are considered higher-calorie, so make sure not to drown your toast—just a thin layer should suffice.

Winner: Tie

2. Fats

Nuts and nut butters also contain a substantial amount of fat. But before you shun them from your diet, know that the type of fat they contain is largely good for you. Both almond butter and peanut butter are high in monounsaturated fat, which has been linked to a reduction in heart disease and better blood sugar control. However, a serving of almond butter does contain a touch more monounsaturated fat than peanut butter.

Winner: Almond Butter

3. Protein
You probably already know this, but nut butters are a great source of vegetable protein. What you might not know is that peanut butter has a small lead over almond butter when it comes to this important nutrient. There are 6.7 grams of protein in a serving of almond butter, and 7.1 grams of protein in a serving of peanut butter. In comparison, one large egg has just over 6 grams of protein.

Winner: Peanut Butter

4. Sugar

As long as you’re buying natural peanut and almond butters that are free of preservatives and added flavors, neither is considered a significant source of sugar, though almond butter does contain a touch less per serving.

Winner: Almond Butter

5. Fiber

Per a chart from a 2005 study from the University of Minnesota, fiber leads to greater satiety, less insulin secretion, and more short-chain fatty acids. Basically, all things that lead to less body weight. Again, almond butter slightly outweighs peanut butter in the fiber category, with 1.6 grams per one tablespoon.

Winner: Almond Butter

What’s the ultimate winner?

Though both peanut butter and almond butter can both be part of a healthy, balanced diet, almond butter does have a slight nutritional edge over peanut butter. Keep in mind, though, that all of the nutritional facts above are based on nut butters without added sugars, oils or additives. When you’re out shopping for nut butter, look for nutritional labels that list just one ingredient: Peanuts or almonds (and maybe a pinch of salt). Also, as mentioned earlier, moderation is key, but that’s with every type of food, right?

Are there any risks associated with almond or peanut butter?

Delicious and nutritious as they both may be, nuts are extremely common allergens. (Peanuts are technically legumes, not nuts, but they're still common allergens.) When it comes to peanuts, almonds or any other type of nut or nut butter, folks should use caution when trying new ones and avoid any known allergens.

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How to Make Almond Butter

If you’ve ever bought almond butter, you don’t need us to tell you that this stuff is expensive. So, here’s how to make your own at home.

What you’ll need:

  • Approximately 3 cups of almonds
  • A food processor or high-speed blender
  • Salt
  • Optional extra flavorings like cinnamon, maple syrup, honey or vanilla extract

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit

Toast the almonds on a large rimmed baking sheet for about ten minutes, stirring the nuts halfway. (Note: This step is optional, but it does add a certain je ne sais quoi to the finished product. It also helps them blend easier.) Remove the nuts from the oven and allow them to cool slightly

Step 2: Transfer the Almonds to a High-Speed Blender or Food Processor

Blend until the almonds start to change texture.

Step 3: Keep Blending

Making homemade almond butter can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your device. The almonds will first break down into powdery clumps and then collect around the edge (pause the machine every few minutes and use a spatula to scrape down the side when this happens). Next, the mixture will transform into a sort of grainy almond paste, and finally, it will turn into that creamy consistency you know and love. Don’t be alarmed if your mixture gets hot—simply stop and let it cool down for a few minutes before continuing.

Step 4: Store the Almond Butter

Let the mixture cool to room temperature before transferring the almond butter to a sealed container (we like using a mason jar). Homemade almond butter will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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How to Make Peanut Butter

Though not quite as expensive as almond butter, it’s certainly more cost-effective to make your own. Here’s how.

What you’ll need:

  • Approximately 3 cups of peanuts
  • A food processor or high-speed blender
  • Salt
  • Optional extra flavorings like cinnamon, maple syrup, honey or vanilla extract

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit

Toast the peanuts on a large rimmed baking sheet for about ten minutes, stirring the nuts halfway. (Note: This step is optional, but as mentioned above, it helps with flavor and the blending process.) Remove the nuts from the oven and allow them to cool slightly

Step 2: Transfer the Peanuts to a High-Speed Blender or Food Processor

Blend for about five minutes. The peanuts should go from crumbs to a dry ball to a smooth and creamy butter.

Step 3: Store the Peanut Butter

Let the mixture cool to room temperature before transferring the peanut butter to a sealed container (again, we like using a mason jar). Homemade peanut butter will keep in the fridge for up to three months.

RELATED: Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

4 almond butter recipes to try

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

1. Almond Butter Blender Muffins

If you aren’t familiar with blender muffins, let us explain. Much like a fruit smoothie, you toss all your ingredients into a blender and puree away. And unlike ordinary muffin recipes, there’s no flour or whisking required. Nothin’ but blueberry goodness here, folks.

Get the recipe

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

2. Almond Butter Stuffed Soft Pretzel Bites

Dare we say these paleo-friendly soft pretzel bites filled with almond butter actually outrank their un-stuffed counterpart?

Get the recipe

LINDA PUGLIESE/JUST MARRIED

3. Charred Broccoli with Sriracha Almond Butter Sauce

Our new favorite simple side? Charred broccoli with sriracha almond butter sauce from Caroline Chambers’s Just Married: A Cookbook for Newlyweds. “Roasting broccoli until charred and crispy before dousing it in a spicy almond butter sauce is one sure way to convert any veggie hater into a lifelong broccoli advocate,” Chambers explains in her book.

Get the recipe

THE CLEAN PLATE

4. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

We’d be willing to try practically anything to achieve glowing, clear skin like Gwyneth Paltrow’s. Luckily, she spills her secrets in her new cookbook, The Clean Plate: Eat, Reset, Heal. One of our favorite recipes? The blueberry cauliflower smoothie. (Yep, you heard us.) The mighty cruciferous vegetable makes the smoothie filling and creamy, like adding a banana—but with less sugar and fewer carbs.

Get the recipe

4 peanut butter recipes to try

PHOTO/STYLING: KATHERINE GILLEN

1. Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Is there a lunch more pleasing to a kid (or an adult, to be honest) than a good old PB&J? We thought not…until we met the grilled peanut butter and jelly. It’s ooey and gooey in all the right ways and just the upgrade to make you parent of the year.

Get the recipe

PHOTO: MARK WEINBERG/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

2. Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies

Be still our grade-school heart. Pastry chef Erin McDowell’s peanut butter and jelly blondies are making all of our snack-time dreams come true. “The key to getting a good swirl on top is to pipe on the jam,” McDowell, author of The Fearless Baker, tells us. “But if you don’t have a piping bag, you can put the jam in a zip-top plastic bag, cut off one corner and then make big, swirly swoops all over with the jam.”

Get the recipe

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

3. Rainbow Collard Wraps with Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce

Healthy and easy to assemble, these rainbow collard wraps are pretty much the perfect portable lunch—or party app. Bonus: You can make them ahead of time (up to two days in advance) and they won’t get soggy in the fridge. Pass the peanut butter dipping sauce, please.

Get the recipe

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

4. The World’s Biggest Peanut Butter Cup

Let’s be honest: Peanut butter cups > everything. They’re pretty much the best invention since, well, chocolate. So to pay homage to our favorite treat of all time, we’ve created the world’s biggest peanut butter cup. We give you permission to whip one up any time a chocolate and peanut butter craving strikes.

Get the recipe

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