Has your child recently been diagnosed with a sensitivity to peanuts? If so, you’re probably wondering how you can make peanut butter cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and other ‘family favorites’ without causing a dangerous allergic reaction.
Even if your child doesn’t have allergies, you might be looking into peanut free products because your kids are attending a ‘peanut-free’ school. You may also be looking for peanut-free products in consideration of a classmate or family member who is allergic to peanut products. Fortunately, finding peanut free ‘peanut butter’ substitutes has become much easier in recent years.
One of the most common substitutes is sunflower butter. This butter is made from sunflower seeds. Most versions of this seed butter are also free from gluten, dairy, egg, wheat, fish/shellfish, and other common allergies. This is the most popular peanut butter alternative for those with peanut allergies.
Another option for those with peanut allergies is soynut butter. While it’s not safe for those who suffer from both peanut and soy allergies, it is one possible alternative to peanut butter. Another benefit of butter made with soy nuts, besides the fact that it doesn’t contain peanuts, is that it is a healthier spread than peanut butter.
There are also other butters made from tree nuts. Nut butters – made with cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, and other tree nuts – will be the nearest taste and texture to peanut butter that you can get. However, while these don’t contain peanuts, they may be risky, as those who are allergic to peanuts are often allergic to other nuts. In addition, these products may have been processed in a facility that also makes peanut butter, leaving open the possibility for cross-contamination. If you are considering serving this alternative, talk to your dietitian or allergist to make sure it’s safe to do so.