Peanut Butter Substitutes and Alternatives

Peanut allergy is the second most common allergy and it occurs in approximately 1 in 50 children. Some highly sensitive children can have a severe anaphylactic reaction to as little as 1/2000th of a single peanut. Reactions can include itchy skin or hives, tightening and itching of the throat, nausea, swelling and in the worst case scenario, anaphylaxis. Many people think that ingestion is the only way to trigger an allergic reaction. However, a reaction can be spread by skin contact, eye contact and inhalation of food particles containing peanuts. A large portion of schools have a strict “nut-free” policy that prohibits peanuts on school grounds. This is because of the life-threatening reaction many children can have.

I share a few recipes that contain peanut butter and I am asked frequently what could be substituted in place of peanuts or peanut butter. So, I did some research and it turns out that there are a few alternatives and they can typically be found at your local supermarket. I have listed below some alternatives to Peanut Butter and recipes to use as a guide for those with nut allergies or have a nut-free school policy.

Sunflower Seed Butter

This alternative is the closest mimic to peanut butter. For those in need of an entirely nut-free option, this is perfect. It is smooth and spreadable and still has that nutty flavour. It can pretty much be used the same way you would use peanut butter.

THREE-INGREDIENT SUN-BUTTER COOKIES – These are typically made with peanut butter, but just by replacing the PB with Sun Butter, they are suitable for those with a peanut allergy. Find the recipe via coffee & quinoa.Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.

CRUNCHY APPLE AND SUN BUTTER SANDWICHES –  A good snack for morning tea, these apple sandwiches are a yummy, crisp and sweet snack. Find the recipe via vivian and me.

Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.

SUN BUTTER, BANANA & CHIA SEED TOAST – A breakfast alternative to PB on toast. This is easy, healthy and delicious. Find the recipe via the skinny fork.

Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.
Coconut Butter

Coconut butter is completely nut free. It is a thick paste made from shredded coconut. The benefit of this butter is that it is naturally very sweet but surprisingly not bad for you. Companies are now making flavoured versions of coconut butter so that your kids will love having it in their sandwiches.

HOMEMADE COCONUT BUTTER – I couldn’t easily find coconut butter at the major supermarkets, however it is very easy to make:

  • Simply add a packet of shredded coconut to your food processor. You will need the whole packet this process will not work with small volumes.
  • Process on high until smooth and runny. It will start to look runny after 8 minutes, however, continue to process for 10-15 minutes until it’s completely smooth.
  • Pour into a clean jar and cool. As it cools it will harden.

COCONUT TRUFFLES – These only take minutes to make! I wouldn’t put these in the lunchbox everyday, but they are definitely a special treat for the kids. Find the recipe my whole food life.Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.

Soybean Butter

Soybean butter is extremely similar to peanut butter in regards to texture and flavour, but has significantly less fat. It is made out of soybeans and is safe for nut-free schools.

SOY BUTTER AND JAM SANDWICH – Replace Peanut Butter in a PB & Jam Sandwich and you have a yummy sandwich for your little ones.

Tahini

TAHINI & WHOLEGRAIN MUSTARD CRACKERS -These tahini and wholegrain mustard crackers are paleo friendly and contain no tree nuts. They do contain sesame seeds so make sure to check with your school that these are okay! Find the recipe here.

Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.

Hummus

Hummus is great paired with veggies and salad. It is generally made from chickpeas, tahini (from sesame seeds), lemon juice, salt, & garlic. However, always check the label as some may contain traces of nuts.

CARROT STICKS WITH HUMMUS – I often make up batches of homemade hummus to keep in the fridge. I like mine with a little extra garlic, the beauty of this recipe is you can adjust it to suit your taste ie if your hummus is thicker than you’d like then add more lemon juice or oil to thin it out and make it creamier. Here is my hummus recipe.

Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.

Carrot and hummus is the perfect healthy combination. Add some celery sticks as well. Tahini is also a great dip if you don’t like the taste of hummus.

Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.

GREEK CHICKEN AND SALAD WRAP – These wraps are full of flavour and colour. The kids love them! Find the recipe cooking ways. 

Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.

SOME OF MY RECIPES THAT CONTAIN PEANUT BUTTER

I would suggest replacing the 1/2 cup peanut butter with sunflower seed butter.

EASY & YUMMY ENERGY BALLS – One recipe I see that many readers are printing over this back to school seasons is my no-bake energy balls. View recipe here.

Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.

HOME-MADE LCM BARS: PEANUT BUTTER RICE BUBBLE SLICE – A great home-made alternative to the store purchased LCM bars.  View recipe here.

Needing some alternatives to Peanut Butter as your school has a nut-free policy? I've put together some alternatives which you can substitute in your recipes to meet policy and prevent an anaphylactic reaction.

What do you use as an alternative to Peanut Butter?

 

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5 comments

Anne-Marie March 3, 2017 - 6:27 AM

Thank you so much Katrina for this post.

As a mum with a child who has a severe peanut allergy I would cringe when seeing lunchbox recipe ideas that contained peanuts or peanut butter, as I am sure many peanut items unintentionally make their way to nut free schools.

I myself LOVE peanuts and peanut butter and before we discovered that our Son (at only 1 years of age) was anaphylactic to them I used to peanuts or peanut butter in many of my recipes. Now (8 years on) we don’t have any peanut products in the house.

Also, having worked in the food industry for many years I have seen food manufactures go through many changes with this allergic epademic. I used to think it was ‘over the top’ untill it became a problem for us and I am so grateful for the diligence and care that food manufacturers undertake in processing their products to avoid cross contamination.

We don’t know why this generation of children is so effected by allergies, hopefully soon we will have an answer.

In the mean time, thank you to all the parents who understand and appreciate this as being a real life threatening problem, and thank you Katrina for posting school safe alternatives.

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Lindy March 3, 2017 - 4:48 PM

Thank you for this post!! So useful. My kids don’t have allergies, but our school is nut free and most articles about lunch box ideas have nut recipes in them. I am going to try all these suggestions – amazing!!

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Hannah March 3, 2017 - 10:00 PM

Thanks for posting this Kat. My daughter has allergies to both nuts and eggs.
I came across “Notnuts” when it was being marketed outside a health food shop. It’s a butter made of mung (green) beans and it is free from nuts, gluten, dairy and soy. They make a few different versions just like other nut butters: smooth, crunchy and chocolate.

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Janet c. May 9, 2018 - 7:35 AM

Re: making coconut butter
Directions say to use a whole packet of shredded coconut. How big a packet? Sweetened or unsweetened?
Directions say to process and pour, then let cool. Does it turn into liquid or something like thick batter while processing? Is there an ingredient missing? I’m thinking this could work if some coconut oil is added. And maybe need to heat it a little bit if it’s not already naturally melted.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 29, 2018 - 10:40 AM

Hi Janet
You can use any size packet of shredded coconut, it just depends how much you want to make.
This was made with a 250g bag of Woolies home brand shredded coconut which isn’t classified as sweetened or unsweetened so it just depends on your taste preference.
Also yes, the coconut turns into a thick liquid and heats from processing it for 10-15 mins 🙂
Hope this helps!

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