While it’s one of the favored spreads when it comes to sandwiches, cupcakes, etc., the sad fact is that peanut butter can’t be consumed by people who are allergic to peanuts. Some have also decided to avoid peanut butter due to changes in their lifestyle, and to maintain or lose weight.
Fact: peanuts are not nuts. They’re legumes and are in the list of foods that people who are into the Paleo diet should avoid.
If you’re missing the taste of peanut butter but are not allowed to eat it because of the above-mentioned reasons, then you’re in luck because we made a list of alternative seed and nut butters which are just as tasty, and quite easy to prepare. The nut butters vary in taste and purpose so be sure to read the brief description first.
Top Ten Alternatives to Peanut Butter:
The coconut nut is a giant nut that doesn’t trigger peanut allergies. The Food and Drug Administration classified the coconut as a tree nut that’s why it’s part of the nut butter list. If you’re an avid consumer of coconut oil then there’s a high chance that you will also enjoy coconut butter. It sounds weird, we also thought it was impossible, but it’s true that the coconut butter exists. Coconut meat is pureed and processed to make coconut butter. Each serving contains nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, amino acids, potassium, and two grams of fiber. Just like the coconut oil, coconut butter can boost your body’s metabolism. Fair warning: it has a different taste compared to other seed and nut butters so it takes some getting used to. Once you get the hang of it however, you’ll notice that it tastes good too. You can make a tasty dessert by spreading coconut butter on pastries, or using it as a dip for fresh fruits. You can also use it in baking or cooking.
Almond butter is a common alternative to peanut butter. Its consistency is similar to that of the peanut butter, but it’s more known for its health benefits. Almond butter is comprised of one ingredient and that’s roasted almonds. Peanut butters on the other hand, have ingredients such as hydrogenated oil and sugar that, when taken in excessive amounts, will make you blow up like a balloon. Almond butter is great for the heart because its monounsaturated fat is three grams more than that of peanut butter. You can use almond butter when baking pastries or making sandwiches. Add a twist to the famous PB&J (peanut butter and jelly) and turn it into AB&J (almond butter and jelly).
In the list of peanut butter substitutes, cashew butter comes close to almond butter. Compared to other nut butters, cashew butter contains the least amount of fat and is popular among the health and weight conscious. You can eat it without feeling guilty! Who wouldn’t want that, right? The cashew butter is loaded with nutrients and proteins that are beneficial to the body such as folate, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium that can boost your immunity and strengthen your heart. It hails from Portugal and has been used in Portuguese cuisine since the 1600s. These days, it’s used in baking, and in making curry dishes and sauces. Its sweet taste makes it an excellent dip for vegetables such as celery.
Hazelnut butter is a sodium free peanut butter substitute that’s ideal for people who have an active lifestyle. It’s a tasty treat that boosts energy, protects the skin, and is a good source of healthy fat, fiber, and protein. Hazelnut butter is loaded with nutrients such as folate, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Its vitamin E is also twice more than that of the peanut butter. Hazelnut butter adds more flavor to dessert and pastry recipes. It’s also an ideal addition to breakfast staples such as oatmeal, cereals, and toast.
Brazil Nut Butter
Brazil nuts hail from Amazon and are excellent sources of riboflavin, vitamin A, selenium, copper, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients are essential in improving digestion and are highly recommended to those who are having problems with their metabolism and bowel movement. Each serving of Brazil nut butter contains two grams of fiber. Although it’s classified as a fatty nut, fret not because 75% of that fat is actually polyunsaturated and monounsaturated meaning, that fat is actually good for your body. Brazil nut butter is an ideal ice cream topping, spread for toasts, filling for crepes. You can also make Brazil nut butter milk by mixing it with water.
Not a lot of people are fans of walnut butter because it’s a stiff and crumbly paste that’s quite difficult to spread. Of course once you get over the struggle of spreading it on your toast, you get to indulge in its delightful taste afterwards. It’s best to keep walnut butters refrigerated because it has high levels of polyunsaturated fat. Although walnut butters are high in fat and low in protein compared to other butters, it’s still favored by vegetarians because it’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Stiff and crumbly texture aside, walnut butter is an excellent peanut butter substitute. It’s particularly useful for recipes that require texture and binding. You can also enhance the flavor of walnut butter by adding cinnamon powder.
Pecans are high in fat but most of it is healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Pecan butter is an excellent source of fiber. It also has anti-aging properties, protects the skin, boosts the immune system, takes care of the digestive system, and helps you lost weight. It’s a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and over nineteen minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A and E. You can use it as a bread spread, fudge for brownies, and additional ingredient to dressing and dessert recipes. Although the above-mentioned peanut butter substitutes are mouth-watering, you still cannot eat them if even the smallest amount of nuts can trigger your nut allergies. Not all hope is lost though because below, we listed seed butters aka your nut free peanut butter substitutes:
Sunflower Seed Butter
When the sales of sunflower seeds declined back in the 80’s, they were made into sunflower seed butters and were sold as a replacement for peanut butter. It contains magnesium, fiber, vitamin E, and niacin. Although its flavor and consistency is slightly different compared to other seed butters, a lot of people still enjoy its earthy flavor. It’s easy to spread on your morning toast, makes a great peanut butter or tahini replacement, and is perfect for sauces, pastries, and salad dressings.
Pumpkin Seed Butter
Keep those seeds after you carve those scary pumpkin faces! These can be used to make lattes and nut butter substitutes! Pumpkin seeds contain nutrients such as phosphorous, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and zinc that can solve sleeping problems, improve overall wellness, strengthen your heart, and boost your immunity. If you are allergic to nuts, you can use pumpkin seed butter as an alternative. Its flavor compliments the taste of celery and carrots. It’s also a good addition to stews, soups, and recipes that require peanut butter.
Sesame Seed Butter
Sesame seed butter or tahini hails from the Middle East and has been used in various recipes for centuries. Each serving of sesame seed butter contains four grams of fiber, six grams of protein, and nutrients like vitamin E, thiamin, vitamin B, magnesium, omega-3, phosphorous, omega-6 fatty acids, and potassium which can improve your immune health, brain health, and heart health. It is also ideal for raw food enthusiasts and diabetics because it has no sugar. Sesame seed butter can be used in dressings, sauces, spreads and hummus recipes.
Here are some basic tips on how you can prepare your own nut or seed butter:
It’s best if you have a blender or food processor so you don’t have to manually grind or crush the seeds or nuts. You have the option to soak the seeds or nuts before putting them in the processor or blender and wait until you get the texture that you want. Once you get your desired texture, you can add honey, salt, or your favorite oil.