As a Brit living in Canada, my peanut and nut butter game has a little bit of catching up to do. But with that civic responsibility comes a ton of options. Once you get past that initial sensory overload to crack the back label code, it's a whole different story–and one that's filled with processed nonsense and refined sugars.
That's where a new generation of conscious small-batch snack-food wizards come in. These local makers are grinding everything from peanuts, pistachios and macadamias to sunflower and pumpkin seeds in search of a delicious final product that tastes like those exact ingredients.
Here are four all-natural nut and seed butter producers from British Columbia and Quebec that are creating unique spreads that Skippy could only dream of.
Munch (Port Coquitlam, BC)
“At least eighty percent of the time, we eat nut butter just by the spoonful, and that includes our four and one-year-old kids,” says Munch owner, Scott Kreiser.
Originally from Alberta, Courtney Kieboom and Scott Kreiser moved to Abbotsford two years ago to make all things nut and seed butter before moving production to their new Port Coquitlam-based facility. Ethically sourced ingredients, freshly roasted, then stone ground in small batches with delicate seasoning, Munch is on a mission to take things beyond the peanut kind (which is why they do not currently offer one). With eight varieties up for grabs, do you pick macadamia, pistachio, tropical nut butter (a mix of Brazil, cashew and macadamia nuts), chocolate almond or chocolate hazelnut, or the pumpkin seed-based butter?
The team at Munch is also a little different because "We also work with other great Canadian businesses offering over 20 different bulk nut and seed butter varieties, as well as co-packing and private label services.”
Purchase all 8 products in 240 g servings online (starting from $13.99 each).
Mumgry (Vancouver, BC)
The idea behind Lilian Umurungi-Jung’s plant-based snack food business was born out of necessity as she began eating for two. Keeping expectant mothers well-fuelled from pre-pregnancy to postpartum and beyond (even if you’re not pregnant), their naturally nutritious snacks have only the good stuff in them.
Whether you’re into smooth peanut butter, the chocolate kind, or pistachio chocolate almond with a sprinkling of sea salt when you need everything, each variety is low in sugar, high in protein, iron and calcium, and extremely delicious too.
All three kinds come in 375 g jars and can be purchased from the Mumgry website (starting from $9).
Seed Almighty (Vancouver, BC)
We all have bad date stories. But when one ends with an emergency room visit after a little touchy-feely cross-contamination nut situation, that is very, very bad. Thankfully, Grace Ocampo lived to tell the tale, and her relationship with Nick Appleton continued to flourish, too. The nurse/teacher duo has since co-founded Seed Almighty–a natural and organically sourced seed butter produced in a 100% nut-free facility.
For Grace and Nick, snacking without the worry is everything, so think of it as a peanut/nut butter without the peanuts/nuts made in an allergy-friendly and school-safe way. Seed Almighty's Seed Butter is stone-ground at low temperatures to tap into the plant-based powers of seeds–releasing natural oils slowly, keeping more of the good stuff in, and creating a lush creamy texture.
Seed Butter Original comes in 250 mL reusable glass jars ($13) and can be ordered online with free Kitsilano pick-up or Canada-wide via Vegan Supply Store.
Manba (Montreal, QC)
Peanut butter with a spicy pow? Yes, please.
Manba is inspired by Haiti and made in Montreal by Stanley Dumornay and Jason Delis. Named after the peanut butter staple (called mamba) from Stanley’s Haitian background, the combination of nut butter meets hot sauce is something different and enticing.
After meeting while studying in Montreal, the pair headed to Haiti for a spot of humanitarian work. During that trip, Stanley introduced Jason to manba–you can say the rest is history. Premium dry-roasted peanuts from Georgia (USA) are whizzed together with a smidge of organic cane sugar and hot pepper to take things from mild (so without chilli) to extra hot if you want to sweat it out.
According to Jason, "The thick texture of ground roasted peanuts coats the palate and soothes it after the hot pepper kicks in, creating an addictive experience any peanut lover or chili-head would die for!"
Nine varieties of Manba and Amanba (with almonds instead of peanuts) in 500 g containers can be bought directly via their website (from $9.96).