What can I use instead of nut butter? The best substitute for nut butter is seed butter, with a similar taste and texture: sunflower seed, flaxseed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, or mixed seed butter. Granola butter contains seeds and oats, while soynut, chickpea, and coconut butter are tasty substitutes. Enjoy savory hummus or sweet cookie butter as unusual options.
With the massive rise in nut allergies, many schools have become nut-free zones, so it’s important to find safe alternatives that are also tasty and nutritious. We’ve rounded up the 12 best substitutes for nut butter.
Sunflower Seed Butter
Sunflower seed butter is the closest in taste and texture to peanut butter of all the nut butter alternatives.
Made from roasted, ground sunflower seeds, this butter is free of tree nuts and peanuts.
In addition, sunflower seed butter is highly nutritious, with more iron, vitamin E, and manganese than peanut butter. It is also rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which help reduce heart problems and diabetes.
Furthermore, sunflower seed butter is readily available at most grocery chains and straightforward to make at home.
Sunflower seed butter has a tasty, nutty flavor and spreads well on bread, making good PB-J sandwiches. Substitute sunflower seed butter for nut butter in dressings, sauces, and dips, especially with fruit.
Note that people with a mugwort pollen allergy should not eat sunflower seeds.
Mixed Seed Butter
Another excellent nut butter substitute is made from a mixture of seeds.
Five-seed nut butter contains roasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds. Some commercial varieties also include sugar, salt, and flavorings.
Mixed seed butter is a valuable source of fiber and heart-healthy fats – the more seeds it contains, the better for you.
A delicious butter, this mixture is great as a nut butter substitute. Use it as a sandwich filler, a topping for desserts and ice cream, a dip for fruit and vegetables, and a cookie ingredient.
Flaxseed butter is also a good nut butter alternative.
Made from flaxseeds, this highly nutritious butter contains iron, potassium, and a large portion of your daily RDA of fiber.
Eating flaxseed butter is a great way to enjoy the benefits of flaxseeds in your diet, including weight-loss, and reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.
Avoid the commercial versions which are sweetened and contain artificial additives.
Use flaxseed butter as a nut butter alternative with yogurt, on sandwiches, or in smoothies, muffins, and cookies.
Pumpkin Seed Butter
Seed butter from pumpkin seeds is an unusual nut butter alternative.
This butter can be made from raw sprouted pumpkin seeds, so it is vividly green and earthy, which can put children off.
Versions that use roasted pumpkin seeds have a more nutty, mellow flavor and less unusual color.
Pumpkin seeds are high in manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron, and vitamin E, so it is also a healthy choice to eat pumpkin seed butter.
The flavor of pumpkin seed butter is much less sweet than other seed butter, appropriate for adults who want to cut down on sugar.
Use pumpkin seed butter as a nut substitute in savory sandwiches, dressing for coleslaw, or smoothies.
Sesame Seed Butter
Sesame seeds are popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, but a spreadable sesame seed butter makes a surprisingly tasty nut butter substitute.
Not freely available, commercially produced sesame butter includes white or black sesame seeds, date powder, and other natural additives.
Sesame seeds are full of iron, protein, and fiber, but other ingredients can be high in sugar.
The spread is sweet and delicious, making a good nut butter substitute on sandwiches and crackers. Use sesame seed butter as an ingredient in cookies and banana bread.
Tahini is a second nut butter substitute made from sesame seeds.
A staple Middle Eastern condiment, tahini is made from roasted sesame seeds and has a nutty, toasted flavor and slightly sticky, pasty texture. Tahini is never sweetened.
Nutritionally, tahini is high in antioxidants, protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Eating tahini helps with cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure management.
Use tahini as a nut butter substitute in dips (especially hummus), sauces, and dressings. It is perfect for spreading on fruit and vegetables.
You can use tahini as a sandwich filling, but it is very savory and will need a very sweet jelly to balance the flavor.
Granola and butter seem to be two separate food concepts, but granola butter or spreadable granola is a tasty substitute for nut butter.
Like granola cereal, this butter contains oats, flaxseeds, olive oil, and coconut oil. But unlike most granola, it is both nut-free and gluten-free.
Some varieties also include maple syrup and vanilla extract, while flavored versions contain sugar and additives like dried fruit and chocolate chips.
Granola butter has the same health benefits as the cereal, including improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Oats are full of fiber, so they have a satiating effect and are lower in fat than nut and seed butter.
Eat granola butter as a nut butter substitute in sauces, dressings, over pancakes, with fruit and yogurt, or in a smoothie.
It makes a delicious spread for breakfast toast. Or do oats on oats and drizzle it over your oatmeal.
Soynut butter is another nut butter alternative with a similarly creamy consistency and nutty flavor.
This butter is made from roasted soybeans and so is very high in protein and isoflavones, which positively influence hormones, heart health, and cholesterol levels.
You can buy soynut butter in flavors, including chocolate and cinnamon. These varieties are sweetened.
As a nut butter substitute, use soynut butter as an ingredient in baked goods, smoothies, and sauces. It’s also good drizzled over oatmeal and on toast.
The chocolate variety is the ultimate substitute for hazelnut chocolate spread, so enjoy it on pancakes, as a dip for fruit, or with ice cream.
Note that people with soy allergies cannot eat soynut butter.
An unexpected substitute for nut butter is butter made from chickpeas.
Chickpea butter is made from roasted chickpeas and contains sunflower seeds, sugar, and olive oil.
This butter is very healthy, high in protein, fiber, iron, and manganese.
Chickpea butter has a surprisingly sweet-salty, nutty flavor and creamy texture, making it a perfect sandwich filling with jelly – you’ll think you’re eating peanut butter.
Like chickpea butter, hummus is made from the humble chickpea.
This Middle Eastern dip contains cooked chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and spices. It is profoundly savory and will keep you coming back for more.
Being made from chickpeas, this spread packs a protein punch while being very low in fats and carbs. It won’t spike your blood sugar, either, being low GI.
Hummus is not a nut butter substitute as an ingredient in a jelly sandwich. Still, it is a delicious alternative if you’re looking for a dip for vegetables or chips or a savory spread for crackers.
Although it has the word “nut” in it, coconut is not part of the tree nut or peanut family, so it is a substitute for nut butter.
Coconut butter is a rich paste made from shredded coconut, so it has an intense coconut flavor and natural sweetness.
Some brands are flavored, so you can find chocolate coconut butter containing cocoa and sugar.
This butter is higher in fat than seed and nut butter, and lower in protein, so eat it in moderation.
However, coconut butter has health benefits, like improved brain function and weight loss.
The downside of coconut butter is that it hardens in the fridge and at room temperature, like dairy butter, and sometimes separates. Heat in a few seconds in the microwave to make it spreadable.
Use coconut butter as a nut substitute on sandwiches, oatmeal or yogurt, or in a smoothie. Coconut butter also goes well with fruit.
Many people with nut allergies are also allergic to coconut, so consult a doctor before using this substitute.
This nut butter substitute is last on the list because cookie butter is not a very healthy alternative.
Being made from crushed spice cookies, cookie butter is high in sugar, with no health benefits.
But this luscious spread is a treat on a sandwich or cake – or eat it straight out of the jar.