Even though neither Jif nor Skippy, the two largest peanut butter brands in the US, have been included in the recent peanut butter recall (neither sources products from the Peanut Corporation of America), peanut butter is still not at the top of most people’s shopping lists at the moment because of the salmonella scare. One of the upsides to this is that more people are experimenting with alternative nut and seed butters. Peanut butter will retain its number one spot in the long run, but it never hurts to have options. All of these alternative nut butters are very similar in consistency to peanut butter and will work in peanut butter recipes:
- Sunflower Seed Butter – made from sunflower seeds, this nut butter has a very subtle flavor to it, like a mild peanut butter. It has approximately the same nutritional stats as peanut butter, with 200 cal and 16g fat per2 tbsp serving, although peanut butter is much higher in protein. It is safe for people with peanut or tree nut allergies
- Soy Nut Butter – made from roasted soy nuts, has a nutty flavor and a consistency that is similar to regular peanut butter. It is comparable to peanut butter in terms of both calories and protein, but it is lower in fat. It is safe for people with peanut or tree nut allergies.
- Cashew Butter – made from cashews, this nut butter has a very buttery and rich taste to it, although it lacks some of the nuttiness of peanut butter. It comes in with basically the same nutritional stats as peanut butter, but can be quite a bit more expensive.
- Almond Butter - made from almonds, this is probably the most widely available peanut butter alternative. It has a lighter overall flavor than peanut butter, but still a pleasantly nutty taste. It is slightly higher in fat than peanut butter, but otherwise very similar nutritionally.
You can find these nut and seed butters at many regular grocery stores, and at most specialty grocers (e.g. Whole Foods). Some stores may carry an even wider array of options, including macadamia nut butter. If you can’t find them or can get a better price on the whole nuts, keep in mind that you can make nut butters yourself quite easily at home.