Kitchen Essentials: Peanut or Almond Butter? - Culinary Therapy

Kitchen Essentials: Peanut or Almond Butter?

I have to admit, I love peanut butter. My favorite way to eat it is with a spoon, directly out of the jar.

I grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And earlier this year, during a long-anticipated trip to Italy, our relatives there wanted only two things: American jeans and you guessed it, peanut butter.

So, what’s not to love about this American staple?

Unfortunately, while I hate having to admit it, there are some real health concerns that are worth knowing about before you go out and buy your next jar:

1. Peanuts are sprayed heavily with pesticides and herbicides.

2. Peanuts contain large amounts of oxalates. In excess, oxalates will interfere with your body’s ability to absorb calcium. And anyone with kidney stones should avoid them.

3. Peanuts are highly allergenic, often causing serious anaphylaxis. Currently 1.5% of the population experiences an allergic response, and this number is rising.

4. Peanuts should be avoided by anyone with yeast, candida or mold concerns.

5. Finally, peanuts are grown in humid climates and highly susceptible to a fungus that produces aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a known carcinogen that is twenty times more noxious than DDT. It causes intellectual disabilities, and can lead to many other serious health concerns.

For all of the other peanut butter lovers out there, there are better options. Choose organic. And upgrade to Valencia peanuts. Valencia peanuts are grown in arid climates which reduces the growth of mold and aflatoxin.

There are also many nut and seed butter alternatives. Try almond or cashew nut butter; seed butters like tahini or sunflower butter are delicious. Adding in other alternatives is a great way to reduce your household’s overall peanut butter consumption.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to ignore the issue of aflatoxin. In my home, we enjoy an occasional jar of Valencia peanut butter and have found a new love of almond butter. And yes, it’s richly satisfying eaten with a spoon directly out of the jar.

BTW, did you know that peanuts are actually legumes not nuts?!

Your Simple Action Plan:
This is the perfect time of year to clean out your pantry and upgrade your kitchen essentials. With well-stocked essentials, you should be able to survive an empty fridge for one to two days or more! And, shopping becomes a breeze!

This week, choose a better nut butter or nut butter alternative.

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