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SPREADS:

I have always loved peanut butter, jam, honey and pretty much anything else you can put on toast (or eat out of the jar with a spoon). However, I'll admit I wasn't always a huge fan of peanut butter that's made from just peanuts. And depending how the peanuts are processed, you can't even be sure you're avoiding free glutamate by sticking to peanut butter that has peanuts as the only ingredient.  So here's a list of my favorite peanut butter and other nut butters, as well as other spreads.  If you're looking for dairy spreads, click here.

As for jam, I haven't found any commercially available jam that does not have refined sugar, artificial sweeteners or additives such as pectin or citric acid.  It's possible to make perfect jam with just fruit and honey (I will post a recipe eventually!) but unfortunately I don't know of any commercially available varieties.  Apple butter can be a great substitute for jam and honey is almost always a safe bet when it comes to avoiding additives and free glutamate.

Earth Balance Peanut Butter

Ingredients: PEANUTS, FLAXSEED, PEANUT OIL, AGAVE SYRUP, PALM FRUIT OIL, AND SALT.

This peanut butter is delicious, sweetened with a low glycemic index sweetener (agave) and contains flaxseed to make it that much healthier.  It has no additives and is not processed to produce free glutamate.  It tastes like the peanut butter I grew up with, without all the added junk.

Nuts to You Almond Hazelnut Butter

Ingredients: DRY ROASTED ALMONDS AND HAZELNUTS

This pure nut butter is awesome - delicious and with only 2 whole food ingredients.  They have lots of other varieties of nut butter that are also Before Natural and delicious!

Wellesley Apple Butter

Ingredients: PURE APPLE JUICE, PURE APPLE SAUCE, BICARBONATE OF SODA (TO CONTROL ACIDITY), CINNAMON

This apple butter is an amazing alternative to jam, with no added sugar, processed ingredients or "flavor" added.  It will make you want to lick the jar out when it's done!

Honey

Pure honey is almost always additive-free and unprocessed, so it's usually a safe bet when it comes to eating "before natural". I'm not listing any particular brands here because pretty much any honey you find should be fine, as long as it doesn't have other added ingredients.  With a relatively low glycemic index and lots of other health benefits, it can be a great choice when you're looking for something sweet!

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