According to Food Allergy Research and Education, up to 15 million people in the US suffer from food allergies, with peanuts and tree nuts being a top culprit. Symptoms do not always include full-on anaphylaxis- there can be much more subtle signs like breakouts and indigestion. You could be sensitive and not even know it.
I was devastated to recently find out I’m allergic to nuts- peanut butter is my weakness. Luckily, there are a lot of allergy-friendly alternatives out there to try! Check them out, whether you have food sensitivities or just want to incorporate a new treat into your diet.
If you don’t have issues with soy, try this lovely alternative. It is one of the closest things to peanut butter I have found. Plus, it comes in a variety of flavors including unsweetened, chunky and chocolate.
2. Black Sesame Tahini
I’m sure many of you reading this have tried good ol’ tahini (or at least heard of it). But what about black sesame tahini? This spread is made from unhulled seeds- making it higher in calcium and fiber than its counterpart. Don’t just limit it to savory dishes- it’s also great in sweets.
Coconut butter (which is different than coconut oil) does not actually contain nuts at all. It is simply blended coconut meat that tastes like a creamy, slightly sweet version of dairy butter. It is delicious spread on toast or used in baking. Plus, it’s full of healthy fats that are great for your hormones.
This is another one of my favorite alternative spreads. I highly recommend the crunchy version if you prefer some added texture. Just like soynut butter, there are a range of options to suit your needs. The site even sells a 5 pound tub for anyone who becomes hooked on the stuff!
There is no denying that hemp has a multitude of health benefits. When consuming the seeds in butter-form, the nutrients are easily accessible to the body. That means reduced inflammation, shiny hair, supple skin and more. The taste is earthy, nutty and delectable.
Pumpkin seeds aren’t just a yummy fall treat. They have loads of vitamins, fiber and protein to keep your energy humming through the day. When sprouted (like Blue Mountain Better Than Roasted brand pictured above), the seeds have maximum digestibility. That means you can slather it on just about anything without the stomach upset that may come with other nut/seed butters.
7. Pea butter
Of all the spreads listed here, I think pea butter is the most unique. I never would have guessed such an ingredient could be used to make a marketable spread. I have yet to try it, but I hear it is also similar to peanut butter in taste and texture. There is slightly less protein and fiber than PB, but eliminating allergens is definitely worth it.
I realize that many of these spreads are not too budget-friendly. In the case that you want to save a few bucks, try making some yourself! If you have a food processor or high-speed blender, you should be good to go.
Simply whip up the base, scraping down the sides as needed. You can add a little oil to get things moving, but in most cases the oils in the products your using will release naturally over time, easing the process. Just be patient!
Have you tried any of these “butters” and spreads? Have you made your own?
Related: Raw Gluten Free Flour Alternatives
Photo: Will Folsom via Flickr