5 healthy nut butters for runners

Go nuts for our five delicious twists on the ever-favourite runner's snack: nut butter.

Smokey sriracha peanut butter

High in fibre, protein and fat, peanuts are especially good at filling you up; and studies show people who eat them often have a lower BMI. The hot peppers in sriracha (£2.39 for 285g, Tesco) boost calorie burning and add some spice.

Perfect pairing: celery; chicken; bacon sandwich

150g unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts


1⁄2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp sriracha sauce

1⁄4 tsp smoked paprika


Salt

1. Blend peanuts in a food processor for three to five minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

2. Add oil and process for
one minute.

3. Add sriracha, paprika and a pinch of salt. Process for one to two minutes or until smooth.

Sweet and salty pistachio butter

This little green nut is high in copper, a trace mineral that keeps your immune system in tip-top shape. It’s also a good source of thiamine, a B vitamin that helps your
body convert carbohydrates into running fuel.

Perfect pairing: goat’s cheese; pretzels; multigrain crackers

140g shelled, roasted and salted pistachios

2 tbsp canola oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)

1 tbsp honey

1. Blend pistachios and oil in a food processor for about four minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

2. Remove from processor and place in a bowl.

3. Add honey and stir to combine.

Maple cinnamon walnut butter

Walnuts are one of the few vegetarian sources of omega-3s, fats that help calm post-exercise inflammation, while cinnamon may help regulate blood sugar.

Perfect pairing: wholegrain raisin bread; porridge

100g roasted walnuts


1 tsp maple syrup

1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon


Salt

1. Blend walnuts in a food processor for three to five minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

2. Add syrup, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, and process for about two minutes or until smooth.

Almond coconut butter

Almonds are packed with vitamin E, which helps with the formation of red blood cells and widens blood vessels to improve heart health. Coconut oil will cause this butter to harden in the fridge. When ready to use, microwave two tablespoons for 20 seconds.

Perfect pairing: wholegrain crackers; pumpkin bread; mango

140g roasted, unsalted almonds

100g shredded, unsweetened coconut


1⁄2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp honey


1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract


1⁄4 tsp cinnamon

1. Blend almonds in a food processor until smooth.


2. Place this almond mixture in a container. (Don’t wash out the processor.)

3. Add coconut
 to the processor and blend for 
five minutes.


4. Add oil and process until you get a near-liquid consistency (about a minute).

5. Add the almond mixture, along with honey, vanilla and cinnamon, and blend until combined.

Chocolate hazelnut butter

Hazelnuts are a rich source of the mineral manganese, an antioxidant. Dark chocolate contains heart-healthy flavonols. Removing the hazelnut skins takes time, but improves flavour and texture.

Perfect pairing: strawberries; bananas

140g hazelnuts

20g dark chocolate 
(60% cocoa)

Salt


1⁄2 tsp honey

1. Heat oven to 175°C. Lay hazelnuts on a roasting tray
 and roast for 10-15 minutes.


2. While hot, place nuts on a kitchen towel. Fold towel over and rub to remove skins. Cool completely.

3. Transfer nuts to a food processor and blend five minutes.

4. While hazelnuts are blending, melt chocolate in a microwave in spurts of 10-15 seconds.

5. Add melted chocolate and a pinch of salt to processor and process for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

6. Add honey and another pinch of salt (if desired) and blend until smooth.