I have never met a nut I didn’t like. Truly. Nutty people, yes, but more so those protein-rich, hard-shelled fruits that act as an important source of nutrients for all. Most of the time they are eaten by the handful, or when I want to be more versatile, as a nut butter. Peanut butter and more recently almond butter have graced us with their delicious presence and are popular with the masses. Fairly similar in stature and body, these haven’t changed much over the years and while enjoyed by many, could run the risk of getting boring if eaten in a PB&J every day.
Laurel Bickford has spent the last few years trying to change that. Laurel’s Butter is a locally-born small business whose mission is to revolutionize nut butter products to make them fun, flavorful and something to crave.
Her personal commitment to health and wellness led her to develop her own line of nut butters. Bickford began simply creating from her own desire to develop something that would feed her body in a pure and natural way. She built upon her prior obsession and self-professed love for peanut butter and began experimenting in her own home. Her goal was to create her very own peanut butter in its pure form without the added sugars, oils and preservatives. At the time, Bickford was an IFBB professional bodybuilder and therefore needed to feed herself with the appropriate food to fuel her body throughout her workouts. She began sharing her concoctions with friends at the gym who in turn began to share them with their friends, all of whom asked for more. The demand and love for her delicious nut butters grew until Bickford decided to quit her day job as an adjunct professor at Dowling and a full-time personal trainer to pursue her passion for nuts.
Her motto—“no crap, just nuts”—came literally from the conversation she had with her family upon the realization that her path in life was to offer a healthy and natural nut butter product to others. She wanted to create something that didn’t have additives or preservatives or, more informally, the “crap”.
Bickford sells not only to those who are interested in working out, but to the masses of people who want a delicious, fun and natural product for fuel as everyday energy. She provides tempting and tasty recipes on her website to give customers ideas on how to use her butters creatively.
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Laurel’s Butter possesses a wide range of flavors to suite any palette. Some flavors include Dark Chocolate, Coconut Cashew, Banana Bread, Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter, and so much more. Seasonal varieties are also offered such as “I’m Coco-Nutty For You” for Valentine’s Day, “Apply Pie,” “Gingerbread Crunch,” and something so decadent sounding as “White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie,” amongst others. Bickford works tirelessly in creating new and exciting flavors that will tempt even the pickiest of palettes.
My personal favorite is her “Selfie” nut butter. This seemingly simple concoction is comprised of ground almonds, whey protein and cinnamon—and, frankly, is darn outrageous. I find myself passing by the fridge door where it comfortably sits and stealing a spoonful a few times daily since I’ve purchased it. My only regret is that I may run out sooner than I am able to buy more.
The gourmet nut butters can be found across the island in health food stores, specialty supermarkets and in various gym settings sold by the jar. They may also be found as an ingredient in the popular acai bowls found at Super Bowls, and as a topping for the delectable burgers found at Local Burger in Bay Shore. You may also find them at a few indoor and outdoor farmers markets across the island. Laurel’s Butter has been recently featured on Channel 12 News for National Peanut Butter Day, as well as in the Good Eats section of Newsday.
Bickford’s intent to make people happy and excited has led to an outward expression of love for her product. She has most recently wrapped her newest delivery truck in a gorgeous hot pink hue complete with a muscle-bearing peanut man who serves as her company mascot. Her enthusiasm for her products is infectious and her fun and cheerful view of them are evident in her delightful nature. Bickford is passionate about her desire to bring her natural product to the masses and especially to her fellow Long Island residents. She believes in the purity of her nut butters and the long lasting energy they lend the body. They also just so happen to be delicious.