October 24, 2011
'Going nuts' is a tasty experience at Natural Foods Co-op

IMG_0455.JPGEvery time we drop by the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and cruise the aisles, we find something that grabs our attention. This time out, it was the array of nut butters.

"They go so well with other fall products like apples and pears," pointed out assistant marketing manager Stacie Traylor. "You can spread them on crackers and use them to make cookies, too."

A lunch pal and I sampled an array of organic nut butters, which were surprisingly mild-tasting. Some were more blended than others. In a few cases, it was difficult for us to blend the dense pulverized-nut mass at the bottom of the jars with the thick layers of nut oil floating on top.

Here's the harvest of our favorites, with tasting notes.

The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op is at 1900 Alhambra Blvd., (916) 455-2667,

Nuttzo Multi-Nut, a blend of Valencia peanuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and sunflower and flax seeds; $9.99 for 16 ounces;
"Creamy, with delightful crunches in between; a bit wet; so much flavor."

Justin's honey peanut butter squeeze; 49 cents for a 1.15-ounce squeeze pack;
"The squeeze pack is an ideal snack during outdoors activities; sweet, but not too sweet; true roasted-nut taste."

Living Tree macadamia; $15.99 for 8 ounces;
"Great color; mild-tasting, but very rich; the mouthfeel is grainy in a pleasant way."

Artisana pecan (with cashews); $10.99 for 8 ounces;
"Well-blended; pecan pie taste; a pecan puree; great texture."

Once Again crunchy peanut; $6.39 for 16 ounces;
"Love the crunch; a bit dry; salty; the most flavorful of them all."

Maranatha sunflower seed; $4.59 for 12 ounces;
"Good replacement for those people with nut allergies; true sunflower taste; very "sunny"; just the right touch of salt."

We also tasted Kettle Foods' hazelnut, cashew and almond butters (, and raw wild peanut butter made from wild nuts harvested in the Ecuadorian rainforest (

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