Friday, September 14, 2012

Peanut Butter Substitutes

As I've talked about before {here, here, and here}, my Laynie has a severe peanut allergy.  We suspected it when we tried to give her peanut butter and jelly when she was 18 months old.  She refused to eat it, but she still broke out in a rash.  The doctors brushed us off since she didn't eat any of it.  Since my niece had a peanut allergy, we suspected that Layne did.  Over the next year or so, we tried to give her small doses of peanuts or peanut butter to test it {which looking back is the most idiotic thing ever!}.  When she was 2 1/2, we took all of her Easter candy containing peanuts away, but didn't pick out things that were made around peanuts. That night she had a severe reaction.  The next week, the allergist confirmed that our baby had a peanut allergy.  The rest is history.

We immediately got rid of peanut butter and we scrutinize every food product that comes into our house.  We made our own Almond butter once, but it wasn't our favorite.  When a friend found a peanut butter substitute for us, we tried it and were hooked.  Since then we found another.

For what it's worth, here are my thoughts and opinions on both!


Pros
  • Sunbutter is a peanut-free, tree-nut free, and gluten-free butter made from sunflower seeds.  
  • We love the flavor.  It has a very salty, roasted peanut butter flavor.  When trying it alone, you can tell it's made from sunflower seeds, but on a sandwich or used another way, it tastes just like peanut butter.  Hubby & Gray prefer Sunbutter flavor.
  • You can use as a peanut butter substitute in any recipe, although I'll admit that we haven't tried using it to bake yet.
  • It's also a healthy alternative.  Chock full of protein, but has 1/3 less saturated fat than peanut butter.  It also is rich in vitamin E and has more iron and fiber than peanut butter.
Cons
  • I would definitely recommend the Natural No-Stir version pictured above.  They have other varieties, like Creamy, but it separates horribly and you get super oily sunbutter on top and super thick dry sunbutter at the bottom of the jar.  The No-Stir version is perfect.
  • It's pretty difficult to find around here, but there is a store locator on their website and it's available on Amazon - SunButter Natural No-Stir Creamy, 16-Ounce (Pack of 3).
  • It's pretty expensive, but so is peanut butter.  You can generally find it for $5-6 for a 16 oz jar.
  • Sunflower seeds are also a common allergen, so it doesn't help someone with a sunflower seed allergy too.

Pros
  • WOWbutter is a peanut-free, tree-nut free, dairy-free and gluten-free butter made from soy.
  • We love the flavor.  It has a more sweet, peanut butter flavor.  When trying it alone, you can tell it's not exactly peanut butter, but on a sandwich or used another way, it tastes great.  Layne prefers WOWbutter.
  • You can use as a peanut butter substitute in any recipe and we've tried successfully in a peanut butter cookie recipe.
  • It's also a healthy alternative.  WOWbutter is considered a complete protein food since it has all 9 of the essential amino acids (peanut butter has 6). It also is rich in vitamin E, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cons

Note: I was not compensated by either company to write this post!  I just want to share safe peanut butter substitutes.  This post does contain affiliate links.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this post Sarah. Of course, I was already aware of Layne's peanut allergy and you know about Bailey's. Since Bailey's allergy is not the same kind we do use peanut butter in our house, we just don't give it to him. And I feel really guilty about that since he loves it. Up until he was 8 he ate it often since we didn't know what was making him sick and had no idea it was an allergy. I have another friend whose son has a peanut allergy similar to Layne's and she posted on Facebook a few alternatives she had found. Once was a store bought soy butter, like WowButter. And the other was a homemade chick pea butter. Apparently when roasted the chick peas develope a nutty flavor. Well, Bailey is allergic to both soy and chick peas so that won't work. But as far as we know, he's not allergic to sunflower seeds so I'm going to order some of the Sunbutter. Thanks so much for the info!

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