Nuts play a major part in most vegan diets, and one of the most flexible ways to get your nuts is through nut butters like almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter and sesame seed tahini. I love to make them into creamy sauces, add them to smoothies or whip up sweet treats.

In France there are two major brands that you’ll often find in natural food stores, Jean Hervé and Perl’Amande. Jean tends to dominate the shelves a little, but there is a special place in my heart for Perl’Amande. I attended the Salon Marjolaine, the country’s biggest natural foods convention, and had the chance to speak to reps from both companies. At Jean Hervé they were emphatic that nuts HAD to be roasted before you could make nut butter, and as a raw foodie I begged to differ. I was then pleased to hear from the people at the Perl’Amande stand that they totally understood the importance of maintaining the enzymes, tocopherols and good fats in the nuts, so much so that not only do they not roast the nuts, they carefully and slowly stone grind them to make sure the nuts don’t get heated up during the grinding process.

I do find it hard to track down their tahini in the stores I usually go to, but have found that you can order it from Perl’Amande’s site.