Peanut Butter Alternatives: 5 Healthy Peanut-Free Nut Butters

By Ashleigh VanHouten

Tired of the same old PB & J? Want to break out of your morning peanut-butter-on- toast ritual? Try these delicious, healthy nut butters and add a little, well…spice to your sandwich! They’re full of protein, deliciously filling and make almost any meal tastier—and you can buy them without any added preservatives, artificial flavours or sweeteners. Find any of these tasty peanut-butter alternatives at your local health food store.

5 Healthy Peanut-Free Nut Butters

Sunflower Seed Butter is a great tasting alternative to peanut butter because it’s completely tree-nut free (and gluten free, which doesn’t hurt). Still very nutty tasting and with a smooth, creamy texture, this stuff is great slathered on anything from bread to crackers to fruit—on anything, really. Compared to the nutrition breakdown of peanut butter, sunflower seed butter has one-third less saturated fat and 27 percent of a day’s recommended allowance of vitamin E in one serving, plus a much higher iron and fiber content. It’s a great source of protein, too.

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Hazelnut Butter is one of those “too good to be true” health foods. With a sweet and rich taste it’s hard to believe natural hazelnut butter has no additives or sugar. It’s a great addition to baked goods and makes an excellent binder for dried fruit when combining dates, coconut and other ingredients if you’re into making your own energy  bars. Hazelnut butter is easily spreadable on sandwiches and a wonderful complement to jams, chocolate and crackers. The icing on the cake: this butter is full of protein and dietary fiber, so it’ll nourish you and keep you feeling full longer too.

Almond Butter is one of our personal favourites. It’s incredibly rich and indulgent, pairs well with hazelnut butter (think a better, healthier version of Nutella!) and is delicious on toast, crackers or as a topping on an apple or banana. Plus, almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant that is essential to overall health and well-being.

Another way we’re using almonds: almond & banana smoothies!

Macadamia Nut Butter has a sweet and buttery taste and texture, which is why it is great to pair with chocolate or other desserts. Use it to top your ice cream, add it as a complement to your favorite jam or mix it into baked goods for a naturally decadent treat. Macadamia nut butter is high in protein and healthy fats and is known for providing thiamin, flavenoids (which may help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease) and omega 3 fatty acids (thought to reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure).

Pumpkin Seed Butter is another great alternative for those with nut allergies. Not too sweet, with a natural, roasted flavor, pumpkin seed butter is high in protein, nutrients and unsaturated fats as well as low in saturated fats and free of cholesterol or trans fatty acids. Pumpkin seed butter is known for its impressive levels of iron, zinc, potassium and protein. What all of this means: it’s healthy, yummy and might even aid in the fight against heart disease. Put some on your toast or mix it into your granola.

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