June 20, 2011

Barney Butter vs. Kettle almond butter

I mentioned a few days ago that I bought some Barney Butter in order to get free shipping from Amazon. I've tried it out the past couple of days, so I thought I'd post an opinion on it.

I love almond butter. I've tried a few different brands, but my current favorite is Kettle brand. I love that the only ingredients are almonds and salt. I don't think it's necessary to add oils, sugar (refined or natural), or any kind of preservatives. I like the consistency of the Kettle almond butter because it's thin and very easily spreadable right out of the refrigerator. If you like to "drizzle" nut butter over things, then the Kettle brand almond butter is great. And above all else, it tastes GREAT--like almonds :)

I've read on other blogs about Barney Butter and how great it is, so I was excited to give it a try. I didn't know much about it, except that it was supposed to be incredibly smooth and creamy. As soon as the package from Amazon was open, I was unscrewing the cap of the Barney Butter. Right away, I could see why people like it--the texture is the same as "regular" peanut butter, like JIF (the kind we grew up eating).

There was no oil to stir in, like there is with Kettle, which is nice (somehow I always wind up getting oil all over my hands while stirring it).  I took a taste and the texture was as creamy as it looked. However, it didn't taste as "almondy" as I was used to.

I looked at the ingredients and discovered why: Almonds, evaporated cane juice, palm fruit oil, sea salt. I was so bummed to see that they added sugar AND oil to it. I've found the BEST flavor in nut butters is when there is no added oil.

The oil kind of dilutes the flavor of the nut itself, if that makes sense.  The taste was good, but not as good as the Kettle. I liked the texture--it was something different, and I could definitely picture my kids enjoying that too. But there is something about the gritty texture of natural nut butters that I've grown to love.

The nutritionals (when comparing the nutritionals, keep in mind the serving size also--28 grams vs. 32 grams):
Kettle brand

Barney Butter
The texture:

Kettle brand

Barney Butter

If you factor in my free shipping on the Barney Butter (I can't get it in stores here), the cost was about the same--roughly $6/jar.


I like both of these, but I still like the Kettle brand best. I like that the ingredients are minimal and I like the grittier texture. I also like that it tastes more like pure almonds. However, I think the Barney Butter is great for someone who is new to almond butter, because the texture really is just like the good old fashioned JIF peanut butter. Another factor (which doesn't effect me, but may effect someone else) is that Barney Butter is processed in a peanut-free facility, while the Kettle "may contain peanuts and other tree nuts".

I've tried something else recently that I immediately FELL IN LOVE WITH and I'm dying to mention:
BUFFALO WING flavored Pretzel Crisps!!
I really like plain version of these pretzel chips (the texture is SO crunchy and I love the smooth exterior), so I was thrilled to find the Buffalo Wing flavor. And it definitely lived up to my expectations--spicy but not TOO spicy, tangy, and just like a buffalo wing (blue cheese and all!)

Have you discovered any good food-finds lately? I want to hear about them!


  1. AnonymousJune 20, 2011

    Pita pockets that are only 60 calories a peice. I am in love with them. They have a ton of protein as well. When I split it in half to stuff it I feel like I am having two sandwiches. Simply amazing... vanillamama

  2. I'm not sure if I've tried almond butter before (I don't think so) but back when my family lived in Wisconsin, they had natural peanut butter with the oil already stirred in that didn't have any added sugars/chemicals/etc. It was sold in the refrigerated section. Sadly, we can't find it anywhere here in Texas. We finally found some natural peanut butter without added sugar, but we still have to go through the whole oil-everywhere-bottom-of-the-jar-is-way-too-stiff process...

  3. Mmm, I love the Kettle brand stuff, too! I've heard Barney mentioned on quite a few blogs but haven't looked into it yet. Thanks for saving me the trouble. I most def will stick with Kettle and Maranatha. Have you tried Maranatha yet? So good. I actually need to get to the store and buy some more almond butter! I'm with you: The texture of Kettle and a few other brands is so much better.

  4. Finally I found a place to share my tip about dealing with natural nut butters! I LOVE natural 'just peanuts' type peanut butter. (haven't tried almond butter but I'm going to now!)
    I can't stand trying to mix in the oil and it spills all over the sides of the jar and gets on my hands- yuck. So this is what I do:
    Pour all of the new jar of peanut butter into a large mixing bowl- scrape out the jar to get it all out.
    Mix it together using an electric mixer (the kind used for mixing cake batter) until it's smooth and all the oil is incorporated well.
    Pour it back into the jar- Wa-La, nice and mixed right to the bottom of the jar and no big mess:-)

    Lately I've been getting the BIG jars at Costco, so after I mix it, I put a smaller amount into a glass canning jar for daily use and we fill it up from the larger jar as needed- I keep the larger jar in the back of the fridge just to make it easier.

  5. I forgot to add: this way of mixing seems to prevent the stuff in the bottom of the jar from getting all dry and stiff too- bonus!

  6. AnonymousJune 21, 2011

    Katie, I am with you on nut butters. Only the nuts, please!

  7. I've never tried Barney butter but it looks delish. I am currently obsessed with Kettle Cashew butter. I LOVE it!

  8. AnonymousJune 26, 2011

    The pretzels... I LOVE the cinammon toast ones!!!

  9. Trader Joe's Nonfat Frozen Plain Yogurt. Sweet, but not too sweet. A little tangy. Amazing when mixed with the same amount of frozen mixed berries that have been mostly thawed. 100 calories/half cup for the yogurt itself. My latest non-so-bad-for-me indulgence.

  10. just tried the Barney Butter for the first time as well...ended up here trying to see what others think, and yes, have to agree completely with author...probably will go back to plain nuts after I finish it...plain nuts, ha

  11. will have to try the pretzel chips..saw them at the local health food store I believe


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