1) Go Beyond the Peanut
Almond butter, cashew butter, and even macadamia butter are now available at most health food stores and are a great way to add variety to your afternoon apple snack. What's the best nut butter? It's hard to pick a favorite when they all taste so good, but almond butter has a lot of benefits like 3 grams more of heart healthy monounsaturated fat per serving than peanut butter. Always be sure to check the sugar content before you check out, as sometimes the sugar can outweigh the benefits of the butter.
Feelin' crafty? Making your own nut butter is a great way to ensure you know exactly what you're putting in your mouth. You can simply grind up raw or roasted nuts in a food processor (2-4 cups of nuts) and then add 1-2 tablespoons of oil such as coconut oil and voila! Feel free to throw in some salt, natural sweetener, or even chili powder or other spices if you're feeling daring. And a fun twist: mix up the nuts for a mixed nut butter that you can't get in stores!
A simple way to mix up the recipe? Pick (or pick up) a different type of apple! Did you know there are over 7,000 types of apples grown around the world?? Surely they aren't all available at your local Whole Foods or apple farm, but check out a farmer's market. They are usually happy to offer samples of their produce including a variety of apples during autumn. Otherwise, here's our guide to our favorite apples for nut butter pairings:
4) Layer up
Why end at just apple + nut butter? Try adding granola on the nut butter for an extra crunch, or even some chocolate chips or shredded coconut for a sweet treat. Alternatively, for a dash of flavor, sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg on top
5) Pack & Go
Sure, you can always pack a whole apple and a side of nut butter, but sometimes you prefer something more bite-sized. So here's the best trick to keep your pre-cut apples from turning brown and mushy: lemon juice! Simple squeeze lemon on the apple to keep it fresh, and to add a citrusy flavor to the mix!