You’ll find a spread for every occasion in the Healthy Food Guide office. Whether it’s a smooth and silky peanut butter for porridge, the best tahini for drizzling over salads or a healthy-but-indulgent topping for pancakes, we’ve tried, tested and probably eaten too much of it.
You’ll find some newbies nestled in here, plus lots of old favourites, and we hold every single one in the highest regard. We wouldn’t add them to the list if we didn’t!
Whole Earth Crunchy Dark Roasted Nut Butter, £3.49/340g
We’ve seen nut butter brands playing with the roast of their nuts for a while now, so we were pleased when one of our favourite brands, Whole Earth, released this dark roast creation. We’re big fans of its rich, caramel colour and often turn to the jar when when we fancy a seriously thick and crunchy nut butter.
Serving suggestion: spread thickly on a robust-flavoured bread, such as rye or spelt.
Manilife Deep Roast Smooth Peanut Butter, £3.79/295g
Just another dark roast peanut butter, you say? This same-but-different option by Manilife is much silkier and saltier than Whole Earth’s (make sure to give it a good mix if it separates) and comes in a just-as-tempting deep bronze colour. It’s also made with high-oleic peanuts which contain 80% monounsaturated fat (proven to lower cholesterol) compared with standard peanuts, which have around 50%.
Serving suggestion: spooned generously over porridge.
Pip & Nut Coconut Almond Butter, £3.95/ 225g
An oldie but a goodie, Pip & Nut’s utterly indulgent coconut almond butter was a revelation when they released it – and still is now. Silky smooth, ultra buttery and sweetened with agave syrup, it’s really rich so a little goes a long way with this one – or not.
Serving suggestion: drizzled over pancakes with fresh fruit and yoghurt.
Belazu Tahini, £6.96/500g
Tahini tends to vary drastically from brand to brand and often has a dull, bitter flavour depending on the quality and roast of the sesame seeds. It’s for this reason that many dislike the paste, but that all changes now. Belazu’s offering is probably the biggest game-changing spread we’ve ever tried really. It’s super drizzly (you don’t need to mix it with water to create a dressing) and has a rich, sweet-salty flavour despite it being made from 100% sesame seeds. It’s so good, in fact, that it’s won a Great Taste Award.
Serving suggestion: drizzle over Middle Eastern-inspired dishes such as roasted aubergine or grain salads for a rich and glossy dishes. It works well with sweet dishes too – try drizzling over brownies for a wonderful sweet and savoury combo.
Sead Caramel Sesame Butter, £7.99 for 2-pack
Sead’s caramel sesame offering is the new butter on the block. They’ve elevated tahini from savoury paste to sweet sensation with the addition of coconut blossom nectar and cane sugar, creating a gorgeously decadent, caramel-like flavour. It’s also made predominately from sesame seeds (no palm oil) making it especially good for calcium and phosphorus intake, both vital for strong bones.
Proper Nutty Smunchy Peanut Butter, £9.99/kg
We love Proper Nutty’s nut butter for two reasons. Firstly, they’ve stuck with simplicity by using 100% peanuts (no added oils or sugars here). And secondly, they’ve coined the term Smunchy to describe the texture of their nut butter, which we think is sheer genius. It’s also high in fibre and protein making it a great hunger-busting option.
Marmite XO Yeast Extract, £3.99/250g (Tesco)
We’re loyal lovers of this age-old spread – and when we say age-old, we mean it. Marmite XO (Extra Old) has been matured four times longer than standard Marmite to create a fuller-bodied, stronger flavoured spread. Some would say that means you need less of the stuff, but we’d have to disagree. It’s packed with B vitamins too, including B12, making it a good addition to a vegan diet.
Serving suggestion: on toast, with butter. There’s no other way.
Biona Dark Chocolate Spread, £3.59/350g
Nut-free, vegan and slightly lower in sugar than regular chocolate spreads, Biona’s dark chocolate offering serves as a healthier alternative to Nutella or for those with food allergies.
Serving suggestion: great in vegan baking or as an alternative to icing.