Well guys, it’s a review you’ve all been expecting- since I signed for a parcel from Meridian containing one almond and coconut butter, and one peanut and coconut butter, back in December. Probably the best early Christmas present I’ve ever received. Since then you’ve seen these nut butters popping up on my porridge, in my baked oatmeal, my yoghurt-and-nut-butter mixes, and in my homemade (better than) Snickers Balls (recipe right here: http://ecstaticallyem.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/snickers-balls.html). And now I’ve had them just over a month, I feel I know these little jars of goodness well enough to introduce you to them too…
I have to hand it to Meridian, both of these butters taste amazing; they’re subtle on the coconut, but its definitely there. The almond butter has more of the coconut flavour in it, probably because almond is a more delicate flavour to begin with. Meridian describes the butters as having a ‘delicious indulgent taste’; I can back them up on this. They taste richer than the regular butters, but the real upside to these speciality versions is the texture…
I feel as if the main benefit of these butters containing coconut is the stunning texture. The butters are thicker and more “set” than the usual nut butters, where the texture is more goopey (and a wonderful goopey-ness it is). You have to mix them up once, but after that you’re good to go.
If you’ve ever seen coconut oil then I can liken the texture to this; when coconut oil is cool it is solid, with a spreadable texture. Once it warms up, the coconut oil becomes a liquid, and goes runny. This is something I noticed with the butters: when both were stored in a cool place they had a more solid texture than Meridian’s usual butters, and when warm (say, added to porridge) they melted into silky coconut-y goodness. This also meant that the butters work really well in energy balls: when you whack them into the fridge they set beautifully, to give a truffle-like consistency.
To compare with the regular butters more clearly: imagine you take a massive spoonful of almond/peanut butter, and pop it into your mouth (yep, straight for the jar goodness)- when you look again that spoon-sized gap in your beloved nut butter has closed up, due to the aforementioned goopy-ness. With these butters, the coconut thickens them up, and so instead of that spoon sized hole disappearing, you still have a smooth hollowed out gap. That’s another thing about these butters while we’re on it: they are incredibly smooth. Amazing on toast with banana and cinnamon.
The peanut butter doesn’t have much of a coconut aroma, whereas the almond butter, as with the flavour, has more of a coconut undertone. But although I do spend a lot of my life sniffing things before I buy them (candles, perfumes, nut butters, food products, other people’s food …), I prefer eating my nut butters. And so this is all I have to say on the aroma front.
Both of these butters contain the said nut (peanut/almond), and then coconut (making up 28/29% in each butter), and honey (just a dash). That’s it. No GMOs, trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial colourings, preservative, flavourings, dairy, or yeast. Which is one of the reasons I choose Meridian over the other nut butters out there; I know exactly what I’m getting.
COCONUT & ALMOND (per 100g)
|of which saturates||19.9g|
|of which sugars||7.6g|
COCONUT & PEANUT (per 100g)
|of which saturates||22.0g|
|of which sugars||8.2g|
These nut butters are very similar in their nutritional values, the most obvious differences being that the almond and coconut is higher in kcal and total fat than the peanut butter, although lower in saturates. The peanut and coconut wins on the protein front- but do bare in mind that all of these differences are pretty negligible. Working out the values for a tbsp. (this being 16g ish), you get 103kcal and 3g protein per tbsp. of coconut and almond, and about 98kcal and 3.5g per tbsp. coconut and peanut (although this is the last thing I think of when I pile it onto my porridge).
COCONUT & PEANUT (280g) – £2.49 (on Meridian’s online shop)
Regular Smooth/Crunchy Peanut (280g)- £1.99 (ditto)
COCONUT & ALMOND (170g) – £3.99 (same as before)
Regular Smooth/Crunchy Almond (170g)- £3.99 (you get the idea by now)
Both of these butters are classed as “Speciality Nut Butters”, and so I expected them to be a little more expensive. This proves true for the peanut version, but the almond version is actually the same price. Which is all the justification I need to buy it. Definitely a bargain if you’re wanting to buy something a little more special for your favourite nut butter addict.
So, do you absolutely definitely need these nut butters in your life? Well, if you’re a bit of a nut butter fan like me, then by all means give them a go. I can recommend them, my personal favourite being the almond. The peanut version was amazing in my snickers balls, but other than that I have tended to dig my spoon into its almond brother. And with it being the same price as the regular almond, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t. However, I do have to say that day to day nothing can ever replace Meridian’s straight up smooth almond with a pinch of sea salt, or a good old dollop of their chunky peanut butter…