In the quest to find the best nut and seed butters out there, you may have stumbled across pine nut butter and the nut-free alternative sunbutter. Both are trying to grab your attention, throwing their nutritional benefits and delicious tastes in your face, wanting you to pick just one of them.
Well, you’re left with a tough decision: do you go with the rich and buttery pine nut butter, or do you go with sunbutter, the nut-free spread that mimics the texture of nut butters so well?
With unique qualities, they both present their pros and cons, which is exactly what we’ll compare today, helping you decide on which one of these spreads is going to fulfill your quest!
Comparing pine nut butter vs sunbutter
Sunbutter doesn’t have nuts in it, while pine nut butter does. This gives pine nut butter an allergen – sunbutter is completely free of allergens! They’re also both good for vegan and paleo diets if the sunbutter is unsweetened, and they’re in the low category of the glycemic index. Pine nut butter and sunbutter also share a smooth and creamy texture.
|Pine nut butter||Sunbutter|
|Taste||Rich, buttery, slightly sweet||Intense, earthy, roasted|
|Texture||Smooth & creamy (or crunchy)||Smooth, creamy|
|Paleo?||Yes||Yes (if unsweetened)|
|Glycemic index (GI)||Pine nuts=15||Sunflower seed=35|
What is pine nut butter?
Pine nut butter is made by grinding roasted pine nuts (the small and edible seeds from the cones of certain pine tree species) into a creamy and delicious spread.
This spread has a smooth and creamy texture similar to both peanut butter and sunbutter, but has its own unique taste (which we’ll explore in just a bit) and can come in different crunchiness levels just like peanut butter!
What is sunbutter?
Sunbutter is made by grinding roasted sunflower seeds into a creamy and smooth spread. Also known as sunflower butter, this tasty spread is made just from sunflower seeds and a pinch of salt – it’s quite simple, and you can easily make sunbutter at home!
It has become one of the most popular alternatives to peanut butter, which is one of the most common nut butters around. However, it has no nuts or other common food allergens added, making sunbutter an allergy-free spread!
Differences between pine nut butter and sunbutter
The biggest difference between pine nut butter and sunbutter are their flavors.
Pine nut butter has a unique taste to it, with a rich, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor that is undoubtedly its own. Sunbutter has a more earthy taste to it, with a combination of roasted nut flavor.
Both spreads have a smooth and creamy texture to them, but pine nut butter can come in different levels of crunchiness similar to peanut butter.
As mentioned, pine nut butter also has tree nuts as an allergen, so be cautious when deciding between these two if you have a nut allergy – sunbutter has no allergens at all, so you’ll be fine using that!
Sunbutter also often has added sugar in it to enhance its taste, while pine nut butter tends to have very little sugar in it.
There are a couple more nutritional differences between the two, which we’ll dive into in just a bit!
How to use pine nut butter vs sunbutter
Both pine nut butter and sunbutter are very versatile and can be used in pretty much all the same ways!
They go great simply spread on your toast or bakes, or used as an ingredient in your baking to add their unique tastes to your creation! They can also be used as a base for dips and sauces, or mixed into dishes like pasta for a nutty twist.
My personal favorite way to use butters like this is to add them into my smoothies and oatmeal – it really gives them more character and nice taste!
Nutrition: Pine nut butter vs sunbutter
Pine nut butter has one of the lowest carb contents of all nut/seed butters, and has a high iron source – one serving gives you 10% of your daily value!
But, it’s also high in oxalate, which is a contributor to kidney stones in some people.
Sunbutter, on the other hand, has more fiber and protein, and is a source of vitamin E, magnesium, and healthy fats! But, like I mentioned, a lot of brands will add extra sugar to enhance its flavor, so be sure to check the label before you buy!
|Serving size: 2 tbsp||Pine nut butter||Sunbutter|
|Total fat (saturated)||19 g (1.5 g)||17 g (2 g)|
|Total carbs||4 g||6 g|
|Net carbs (fiber)||4 g (<1 g)||4 g (2 g)|
|Total sugars (incl. added)||<1 g (0 g)||3 g (3 g)|
|Protein||4 g||7 g|
How to store pine nut butter and sunbutter
Both of these should ideally be stored in a cool, dry place to prolong shelf-life, but pine nut butter and sunbutter are generally fine at room temperature. However, putting them both in the fridge won’t hurt, and it will thicken them up a little if you want that!
Most nut butters last around 2-3 months after opening, but always be sure to check their labels for the best-before date and any specific storage instructions.
Pine nut butter vs sunbutter: The ultimate verdict
Both pine nut butter and sunbutter have their pros and cons, and it really comes down to your preferences.
Pine nut butter has a unique taste that can really go great with many dishes, while sunbutter’s flavor also adds value as a spread. That being said, if you have a nut allergy, sunbutter is the way to go here.
Try both of them out as spreads and ingredients to see which one fulfills your taste buds more! Personally, I recommend sunbutter for its earthy flavor and higher protein content.
Almond butter is one of the healthiest nut butters out there, with a strong blend of essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that are good for overall health.
That depends on your preferences and allergies. Seed butters are usually better for people who have nut allergies, but it’s hard to beat the creaminess and versatility of nut butters – sunbutter has shown itself to be quite capable though!
Yes, sunbutter has no nuts in it so you can enjoy it – pine nut butter does have tree nuts as an allergen, so steer clear if you have a nut allergy!