The Natural Nut Butter Showdown

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A good nut butter is a staple in any kitchen cupboard.  That pleasurable enjoyment as we bite into the crisp exterior of a slice of toast that’s glistening with a generous slick of warm nutty spread.

We’ve all got our favourites, protected by an unwavering loyalty and often the belief that no other will come close.  I certainly did… until one day that all changed.  Here’s what happened (click here to skip straight to the top 3).

The HB is a good lad.  He’s got a terrible memory but is always well intentioned.  One such occurrence involved a nut butter trip to our local supermarket.  

I can’t exactly remember why he was going (probably cookies…) but he asked if I needed anything and my jar of Pic’s Peanut Butter was almost out so I asked him to bring back a jar of what can only be described as the King of Nut Butter.

A jar of Pic's peanut butter with a red lid

Around 30 minutes later the HB bursts through the front door proudly presenting me with a jar of Whole Earth Almond Butter.  My disgust was evident.  

If you’ve every tried Pic’s, you’ll understand.  There is no comparison.  It’s like Mr Pic hired the Nigella Lawson of monkeys to hand select only the best peanuts, grown and harvested in the grounds of Buckingham Palace with Monty Don tending to them as their personal gardener.  I don’t actually know what they do to make it taste so good.  There’s something suspicious going on there… but I digress.

He explained that he’d read through all of the ingredients on all of the nut butters to find the most natural and vegan-friendly one.  Seeing his little face drop when he realised my horror at his choice, I suddenly felt guilty and told him, with a forced smile, that he ‘did good’. 

Various jars of nut butter from a top down angle

A few days later, after finishing the remnants of my drawn out Pic’s jar and suffering nut-butterless for at least 24 hours, I decided that I might as well try the almond butter. 

GUYS… I think it’s my new favourite nut butter.

I know.  Shocker in nutbuttersville.  

It was just blinking fabulous – so much flavour, a satisfyingly thick texture (but not too thick), a perfect harmony of rich nuttiness and a hint of sweet.  Like-spoon-it-all-into-my-mouth-now kind of delicious.

So, I’ve decided that it’s time to broaden my (and possibly your) nut butter horizon.  I’ve rounded up ten of the natural nut and seed butters at my local stores and I’m taste testing them for you.  I know, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.  

Rank order, rating out of 10, description of their epic or not-so-epic ness, LET’S DO THIS.

(P.s. sorry for doubting you HB, you are the best.  I love you always)

10.  Meridian – Sunflower Seed Butter

It’s a great stir-able texture, perfect really.  Not too thick, not too runny; perfect toast spreading texture.

With the lid off, it kind of smells like paint and looks like a clay mask before you apply it, not exactly appetising.

Yikes what a strong flavour.  So bitter!  It’s not wholly unpleasant but I really don’t know what I’d use this with.  It’s overpowering and kind of floral… I’m not a fan. 

Added ingredients: None, it was 100% sunflower seeds

Rating: 2/10

A jar of Meridian sunflower seed butter and a spoonful showing the consistency


9. Whole Earth – Peanut Butter with Sunflower, Pumpkin and Flax Seeds

It’s great to get a variation of healthy fats in the mix and extra nutrients from the seeds. 

The aroma is predominately pumpkin seed, with a ‘veggie’ scent and a hint of nuttiness.  It’s the winner of Great Taste 2017 award and has attractive packaging.  

The colour is little off-putting; it’s pale with a green tinge from the pumpkin seeds.  It’s also the perfect spreadable consistency.

The first flavour is salt.  It’s just sooo salty!  I don’t mind salt but this is overwhelmingly so.  If I try and get past the saltiness I can taste the seeds, they add a different flavour but honestly it’s not for me.  Too salty and very savoury.  I’m not sure I’d want this on toast and I definitely wouldn’t want it on porridge.

Added ingredients: Sustainable palm oil and sea salt.

Rating: 2.5/10

A jar of Whole Earth seed butter and a spoonful showing the consistency

8. Raw Health – Almond Butter

This nut butter is so hard I couldn’t get it out of the jar!  In theory I guess you should be able to stir in the oil that’s settled on top but you’d need guns of steel and a large bowl to achieve that.

This butter has no scent and the flavour is completely different to other almond butters – it tastes like marzipan with a natural sweetness.  It’s not spreadable in any capacity and I probably wouldn’t buy it again but it’s certainly OK.  It’d go well with apple slices… if you could spread it on them!

Added ingredients: None, it was 100% almonds.

Rating: 5/10

A jar of Raw Health Almond Butter and a spoonful showing the consistency

7. Carley’s – Organic Raw Macadamia Nut Butter

This nut butter has got a pale colour and a bit of a strange aroma; kind of like a sweet, buttery cake.

The consistency is good; not super smooth but perfect for spreading on toast.  It feels like quite an indulgent treat in terms of texture.

It’s got a little bit of bite and isn’t tongue smackingly smooth.  The flavour is very mild so it’d be good with a sweet crunchy apple, or drizzled on banana slices as a snack but don’t expect it to set the world alight.

Added ingredients: None, it was 100% macadamias

Rating: 5.5/10

A jar of Carley's Macadamia Butter and a spoonful showing the consistency

6.  Carley’s – Organic Cashew Roasted Nut Butter

I was totes excited for this one.  I love a cashew.

The texture was hard with oil settled on top; too hard to stir in.  Due to the settled sunflower oil, this was the predominant aroma which wasn’t very appetising.

Once you’ve dug down past the oil to the good stuff it’s quite a smooth consistency but with a bit of bite to it.

The flavour is rich, with a fudgy taste that is fairly indistinguishable to start with but then develops into a recognisable rich cashew creaminess.

Enjoyable but can be a little sickly, so best enjoyed in small quantities.

Added ingredients: Sunflower oil.

Rating: 6/10

A jar of Carley's Cashew Butter and a spoonful showing the consistency

5. Pip and Nut – Crunchy Maple Peanut Butter

Well this sounds like the stuff of dreams.

The aroma is pleasant – a sweet nuttiness that’s kind of like popcorn.  It’s a great spreadable consistency with a texture that is a like a mishmash of smooth and crunchy.

When you sample this nut butter you are instantly hit with a sweetness.  It’s got an interesting taste to it, almost floral.  There is no hint of saltiness but the flavours do pop.  I get less peanut and more floral, which at a guess might be from the maple syrup.

Added ingredients: Maple syrup, coconut oil and sea salt.

Rating: 6.5/10

A jar of Pip and Nut Maple Peanut Butter and a spoonful showing the consistency

4.  Tesco – Crunchy Peanut Butter

The aroma of this peanut butter is relatively mild and the texture is fantastically chunky.  It’s full to the brim with peanuts and is the perfect spreadable consistency.

The flavour is very good indeed but not as rich and ‘roasted’ as some other peanut butters so it seems slightly lacking.  I think perhaps it might just need a pinch of salt or a better roast to bring the flavour out.

The price and texture are both fantastic and I’d definitely buy it again.

Added ingredients: None, it was 100% peanuts.

Rating: 7/10

A jar of Tesco Peanut Butter and a spoonful showing the consistency

3. Pip and Nut – Smooth Almond Butter

The consistency of this almond butter is quite runny – it’d be perfect for drizzling over pancakes but toast spreading might be a bit of a messy, finger licking scenario.

The aroma is rich and roasted, hitting the back of your throat like a freshly brewed coffee.  The texture is smooth with a little bit of graininess. 

The flavour is solid; a very slight bitter undertone and not too sweet.

Added ingredients: Sea salt.

Rating: 7.5/10

A jar of Pip and Nut Almond Butter and a spoonful showing the consistency

2.  Pic’s – Smooth Peanut Butter

This nut butter benefits from a good stir otherwise it can get a bit thick as you make your way down the jar.

It is a nice creamy golden colour and the aroma is intensely nutty with the scent of roasted peanuts coming through strong.

The flavour is smooth, consistent and perfectly balanced  – the roasted flavour is clear and it is rich with just a hint of saltiness.  As far as peanut butter goes I don’t think you can get much better than this on flavour.  It’s spot on.

Added ingredients: Salt.

Rating: 9/10

A jar of Pics Peanut Butter and a spoonful showing the consistency

1. Whole Earth – Smooth Almond Butter

The consistency of this almond butter is great. It can get a little on the stiff side when you get towards the bottom but it’s still spreadable.

It’s a rich golden colour and is smooth with a slight graininess but this isn’t unpleasant.  The aroma of the roasted almonds is intense and rich.

The first flavour is complex, it bounces around your mouth with it’s rich nuttiness and then finishes smooth and moreish.  It’s completely delicious and goes with everything – porridge, muesli, toast, apple slices.

The Whole Earth Smooth Almond Butter is the most delicious nut butter and is completely addictive.  If you haven’t tried it, you simply must!

Added ingredients: Sustainable palm oil.

Rating: 9.5/10

A jar of Whole Earth Almond Butter and a spoonful showing the consistency

I’m not sure at what point of my life I thought taste testing 10 nut butters in one hit was a good idea but here we are.  I hope you have found this helpful and you have some delicious new nut butters to try… and know which to avoid.  I’m now going to curl up into a ball and sleep off the nut butter coma.

This is an honest review and not a sponsored post – all opinions are a result of me personally taste testing each nut or seed butter.  Always check the ingredients on the jar before you buy or taste any of the above butters as they may vary over time or in your location and accuracy cannot be guaranteed.


Hi, I’m Tara! I’m taking you on a trip around the world in vegan cuisine and bringing the world’s most delicious dishes to your kitchen.