Cooking And Baking With Peanut Butter Substitutes

So many wonderful recipes call for peanut butter. These recipes can still be enjoyed by experimenting with peanut butter replacements.

Peanut Butter Substitutes

Almond butter is an excellent stand-in for peanut butter because the thickness and texture are similar. Plus, almonds are a bit sweet, and this may help peanut-allergic kids or adults transition away from peanut butter.

Almond butter provides a bit of texture and moisture to baked goods and can thicken soups and smoothies. Of all the nut butters, almond may be the most affordable.

Coconut butter may be too sweet for some recipes, but frequently makes an ideal peanut or nut butter substitute in no-bake cookie recipes.

Sunflower seed butter is a good choice if you want a replacement that is barely sweet. The roasted versions of sunflower seed butter have a slightly stronger flavor – good for nut butter cookies and other treats.

Beside baked goods, sunflower seed butter works well in granola bars, salad dressings, and vegetable sauces.

Macadamia nut butter’s rich, floral flavor is the best option for those who miss eating peanut butter by the spoonful. You can make quick treats with it by stirring in a little cocoa powder and rolling the creamy goodness into bite-size balls.

This buttery substitute works well as a bread spread, compliments preserves or cheeses, and is a tempting topping for ice cream or other desserts.

Roasted pine nut butter may appeal to the gourmet in you. It is more pricey than other substitutes but is a delicious choice. Incidentally, pine nuts are actually seeds. Pine nut butter and raspberry preserves make a great sandwich combination.

Walnut butter is dense, creamy and typically less expensive than macadamia or pine nut butters. Walnut butter has an astringent flavor quality. It generally makes a good peanut butter substitute in cookie recipes if mixed into a batter.

Cashew butter is becoming more available commercially because of its sweet, light and rich flavor. It works well in sauces and as a peanut butter substitute in baked goods.

Soy butter is not as nutty-tasting as most other substitutes. Some nutritionists recommend only consuming fermented soy products such as natto, but soy butters substitute well in recipes calling for peanut butter.

Preparing Your Own Nut or Seed Butters

Making nut or seed butter at home is easier than you might imagine. You need the nut or seed, oil, salt and a food processor.

  1. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil to 1 pound of seeds or nuts, and blend until smooth.
  2. Salt to taste.
  3. If the butter is too dry, add a bit more oil. Voila.

You can create variations by first roasting the nuts and seeds, adding spices or sweeteners, or blending a variety of nuts and/or seeds together. Though pine nuts tend to be expensive, they are quite soft and easy to turn into butter.

Sources: Cup Cake Project, Serious Eats
Photo: Pixabay

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