Sunflower butter is arguably the most popular seed butter and is widely considered one of the best nut butter substitutes for people with allergies. If there is none in your pantry or your local brick and mortar stores don’t carry it, you do have options. Here are some of the best sunflower butter substitutes.
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Your best bet: Make your own sunflower butter
It is possible to make sunflower butter at home, providing you have access to some hulled sunflower seeds and a food processor. You will want to start by toasting the sunflower seeds in an oven until they are golden and then letting them cool. Place them in a food processor and process them to a fine meal and then to a paste before they turn into sunflower butter.
Unlike some other nut butters, it will not be necessary to add oil to help sunflower seeds get to a spreadable consistency, but you can add some anyway to make it lighter. Sunflower butter can be slightly bitter, so you may want to add a little sugar to help counter that and a little salt to make it a little less bland.
A decent second choice: Peanut butter
If you’re not dealing with a peanut allergy, peanut butter is easily one of the best sunflower butter substitutes. Not only is its nutty flavor richer and more intense than that of sunflower butter, but it also has a few nutritional advantages. Peanut butter has more protein, fewer calories, and fewer omega-6 fatty acids. The omega-6 fatty acids can worsen inflammation if your diet contains too much of them.
Peanut butter is also the most widely available nut butter, especially in the US, where it is also very affordable. Peanut butter’s flavor and consistency make it a perfect alternative for any recipe that requires sunflower butter.
In a pinch: Tahini
Like sunflower butter, tahini is a seed butter rather than a nut butter, so it won’t cause an allergic reaction for nut allergy sufferers. Other names for it include sesame butter and sesame seed butter. Tahini is best known as one of the ingredients in hummus, where it brings a nutty flavor as well as a creamy consistency.
Nutritionally speaking, tahini outdoes sunflower butter in some areas; it has more B vitamins and higher levels of important minerals like calcium and iron. Tahini also has the benefit of being relatively easy to find though it might be more expensive than some other sunflower butter substitutes.
Cashew butter consists of roasted and ground cashews. Its flavor is mild like that of sunflower butter, and it has a similar richness and creamy consistency. Cashew butter is a popular alternative nut butter and is relatively easy to find. Unlike sunflower butter, cashew butter can trigger nut allergies. Other downsides include the fact that it can be relatively expensive.
Soy nut butter is a nut-free sunflower butter substitute that is perfect for anyone with a nut allergy. Made from soybeans, soy nut butter is a good source of protein and has a similar consistency to sunflower butter.
Almond butter is more flavorful than other sunflower seed substitutes, but it can work if you have no other options. It has a similar texture to that of sunflower butter, and the strong almond flavor might be seen as a positive in some recipes.