Unique alternatives to peanut butter

Peanut butter is a staple food that does not seem to be going anywhere. But, the standard spread can be swapped for tasty alternatives. Here is what you can do with a few unusual butters that have been gaining popularity, as well as where to find them in New York.

Almond Butter

Almond butter has already become a staple in many people’s diets, especially for those with peanut allergies. While it is not as sweet and creamy as peanut butter, this substitute spread has a rich taste and contains a relatively high concentration of nutrients that will keep you satisfied until your next meal. For an almond butter with a unique flavor, try Barney Butter Almond Butter with Cocoa and Coconut ($9.99) from Whole Foods Market. You can easily incorporate this spread into your daily routine by adding one tablespoon to a breakfast smoothie.

Cashew Butter

Although cashew butter does not contain as much protein or fiber as almond butter, it is still an ideal alternative to peanut butter because of its extra creamy texture and complex flavor. Stir one tablespoon of cashew butter into oatmeal or include the spread in a homemade granola bar recipe. Try 365 Everyday Value Creamy Cashew Butter ($7.99) from Whole Foods Market for its lightly roasted cashew flavor.

Speculoos Cookie Butter

Speculoos cookies have long been a traditional holiday treat in European countries, but crushing them to create a sweet and spicy spread is a recent development that has taken American food culture by storm. While cookie butter is more comparable to Nutella than peanut butter, the spread can still be used in sandwiches or as a dip for fruit and pretzels. Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter ($3.69) is reminiscent of gingerbread cookies, and drizzling it on waffles or pancakes makes for a gingery twist.

Sunflower Seed Butter

Sunflower seed butter might be an unexpected substitute for peanut butter, but it is particularly appealing for those who require a completely nut-free option. While its flavor is surprisingly similar to that of peanut butter, sunflower seed butter has a very strong earthy taste. If you are looking for a sweeter variety to satisfy your taste buds, try Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter ($4.99).

For a unique take on a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, try this recipe for a grilled sunflower seed butter and jelly sandwich. If you want another option, the sunflower seed butter can easily be swapped out for any of the butters mentioned above.


2 slices whole wheat bread

2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter

2 tbsp. fruit jelly

1/4 cup cinnamon granola


1. Spread sunflower seed butter on one slice of bread and jelly on the other.

2. Sprinkle granola over the slice coated with sunflower seed butter.

3. Flip the slice coated with jelly onto the other to close the sandwich. Gently press to flatten.

4. Heat on a nonstick pan over medium heat.

5. Place the sandwich in the pan and grill until the bread is toasted, about two minutes.

6. Using a flat spatula, carefully flip the sandwich and grill for another two minutes.

7. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Nov. 18th print edition. Email Cicek at [email protected].