Almond butter added to fruit smoothies boosts your drink’s nutritional value and adds healthy unsaturated fats. If you are trying to gain weight, you might add almond butter to increase the calorie content of your smoothie. Almonds blend well with fruit flavors as well as with chocolate and vanilla.
A 1-tbsp. serving of almond butter contains 9 g of fat, 89 percent of which is mono- and polyunsaturated fats. When you replace saturated fats with these healthy types of fats, you may be able to reduce your blood cholesterol levels. One tbsp. of the butter also provides 26 percent of your daily value for vitamin E, based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Vitamin E supports immunity and acts as an antioxidant. Almond butter also increases your smoothie’s protein content by 2 g and fiber content by 1 g for each tablespoon added. Almond butter is also a source of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, calcium, zinc and manganese.
Almond butter does contain 101 calories per tbsp. – raising the overall calorie content of your smoothie. Add the butter in moderation if you are watching your weight. When you stick to modest servings of almonds, you are unlikely to gain weight suggests a study in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” published in June 2002. In this study, participants who added 320 calories worth of almonds daily for six months experienced almost no change in weight because they automatically ate fewer calories at other sittings. If you are seeking to gain weight, adding 2 to 3 tbsp. of almond butter is a healthy way to boost calorie intake.
You can add almond butter to any fruit-based smoothie. Try blending almond butter with frozen mango, banana, honey and coconut water. You could also blend together frozen strawberries, plain nonfat yogurt, almond milk, bananas and almond butter. Add protein powder, such as whey or hemp, to any smoothie to boost the protein content.
Almond, Vanilla or Chocolate
If you like the flavor of almonds, add extra flavoring to your almond butter smoothie. Blend together a frozen banana, almond milk, a drizzle of honey, almond butter and a 1/8 tsp. of almond extract to create a rich almond smoothie that resembles almond ice cream. You could also substitute vanilla extract for the almond extract if you prefer a milder almond flavor. In lieu of either extract, add cocoa powder or carob powder to create a chocolate-flavored almond smoothie without the extra sugar of chocolate syrup.
- “Journal of the American College of Nutrition”; Effect on Body Weight of a Free 76 Kilojoule (320 calorie) Daily Supplement of Almonds for Six Months; G.E. Fraser, et al.; June 2002
- "Raw Food, Real World;" Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis; 2005
- Office of Dietary Supplements; National Institutes of Health; Vitamin E
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nuts, Almond Butter, Plain, Without Salt Added
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats