Welcome ladies and gentleman to the main event of the week! In the category of Culinary Boxing here at Chef’s Mandala, we have weighing in at 8 ounces from the California, please welcome almond butter! Her opponent, weighing in at 12 ounces from the Georgia, please welcome peanut butter!
LET’S GET READY TO RRRRR…….HAVE A SPIRITED DEBATE ON FOOD!!!
In the Red Corner – ALMOND BUTTER
Our challenger is in tip top shape, having the same amount of protein and fiber but less fat and sugar! However this nut is a glutton for water, consuming up to a gallon per nut in the very parched state of California. Historically almond butter was considered a poor substitute for people allergic to peanuts (almonds are not legumes). However the recent surge in the popularity of Spanish marcona almonds has helped to change the almond’s reputation.
In the Blue Corner – PEANUT BUTTER
It takes some serious guts for any American food to be willing to blow off the Food and Drug Administration. But our reigning champ peanut butter has done just that. The F.D.A. has strict definitions of what a food must be made up of, and in the case of butter it is a product made from animal milk or cream (neither of which are in peanut butter). Furthermore this peanut spread has gone on to become a staple in many households. Unfortunately some leading industrial manufacturers to use a hot fill system (reducing the nutritional value inherent in the nuts) and add salt and sugar to improve the shelf life. This heat treatment is not the same as dry roasting these ground nuts, which to the champ just brings out his best qualities.
- The Play-By-Play
Blow after blow is thrown by almond and peanut butter, with no quarter asked for and none given! These two fighters are slugging it out toe to toe. Yet neither one is giving any ground. Rarely have two contestants been so evenly matched ladies and gentleman. I think it was Joseph Conrad who said it best when he wrote “the horror, the horror.”
AND THE WINNER IS….
Almond butter by technical knock-out! Almonds are a tiny bit healthier then peanuts having slightly more fiber, minerals and vitamins though peanuts are higher in protein. However both are rich in mono saturated fats and when made with high quality ingredients taste great!