Don’t get us wrong: we love peanut butter. Every merienda-loving household has their own go-to brand. But the sad truth is, many of the name brands we reach for are way too processed and high in sugar, with some of them going up to 11 grams per serving. (The more you know, huh?)

So, we started browsing for alternatives. Thankfully, nut butters have such a special place in people’s diets that it’s not hard to find ones that are actually healthy. This week, we tried three flavors of Made by Maxi’s all-natural almond butters to see if they’d measure up to our beloved peanut.

TASTE

The plain roasted flavor is really just that: almonds ground to simple, ultra-buttery goodness. The dark cacao flavor is infused with organic cacao nibs for a richer, more chocolate-y mouthful. A bit more exciting is the cinnamon vanilla option—it’s flavored with coconut sugar, vanilla bean, and ground cinnamon. We love it for the touch of holiday warmth it brings even with Christmas long gone.

TEXTURE

All three have a slight bite to them layered over their addictive creaminess. While we wouldn’t exactly call these “chunky,” they’re not totally smooth, either. We’ll put it this way: if you’ve ever munched on a raw almond before, you’ll know exactly what to expect.

NUTRITION FACTS

Each serving comes out to 96 to 130 calories, depending on which one you opt for. Take note: these almond butters are as pure as can be, with zero added oils or unnatural flavors muddying them. Where the plain roasted flavor is concerned, nearly all its calories are from healthy fats, fiber, and protein. All three also contain less than 5 grams of sugar. Just saying.

BENEFITS

Almond butter edges out its peanut counterpart when it comes to three things: healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and fiber. On average, it contains 25% more monounsaturated fats. These help with maintaining heart-health and blood sugar levels. It also contains three times as much Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Lastly, almond butter has twice as much fiber, which helps with the maintenance of weight and cholesterol.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Almond butter is an up-and-coming pantry staple for a reason—it can jazz everything up. Have it smeared over plain toast. Stir it into your oatmeal or granola for a nutty breakfast. Blend it into your smoothies for extra flavor and thickness. If you’re craving sweets but don’t want to go overboard, have it with fruit (apples and bananas are classic). You can even have it in savory dishes! Coconut curry, anyone?

VERDICT

Alright, alright: we would never give peanut butter up. That’s crazy talk. But who said we had to choose? This taste test proved to us that the two nut butters are distinct enough to co-exist in our fridge. Almond butter is more nutritionally-dense, though—and for that, we have to give it extra love. To paraphrase Janet Jackson, we’re nutty-nutty-nutty for it!

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