If you’ve been on the hunt for a nut-free alternative to the many nut butters out there, you may have stumbled across pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter…but which one should you choose?
Let’s check out the pros and cons of each, and figure out whether you should replace your peanut butter with pumpkin seed butter or sunbutter!
Comparing pumpkin seed butter vs sunbutter
Both pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter are nut-free – as a matter of fact, neither have any allergens! They’re also both ideal for vegan and paleo diets, as long as there isn’t any added sweetener in your sunbutter.
Pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter both sit in the low range of the glycemic index, making them good choices for anyone watching their blood sugar spikes.
|Pumpkin seed butter
|Nutty, earthy, slightly sweet
|Intense, earthy, roasted
|Thick or thin, slightly grainy
|Yes (if unsweetened)
|Glycemic index (GI)
What is pumpkin seed butter?
Perfect for all seasons of the year and not just Halloween, pumpkin seed butter is made from either raw or roasted pumpkin seeds. These seeds are ground down into a paste, which has a rich and nutty flavor profile.
It’s pretty easy to make pumpkin seed butter in your own home! All you need is some raw pumpkin seeds, some sea salt, and your choice of natural oil (both pumpkin seed oil and avocado oil are popular choices).
Another great thing is that pumpkin seed butter has no allergens!
What is sunbutter?
Sunbutter (or sunflower butter), has made a name for itself as one of the best alternatives to peanut butter, one of the most popular nut butters around!
It’s simply made by grinding roasted sunflower seeds into a tasty paste that only requires a small amount of salt to be added to it – which you can easily do at home!
There are no nuts, sesame seeds, peanuts, or other common food allergens added in sunbutter, making this another allergy-friendly spread like pumpkin seed butter!
Differences between pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter
The biggest difference between pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter is the texture.
Sunbutter has a smooth and creamy texture to it that’s very similar to traditional peanut butter, while pumpkin seed butter can have either a thick or thin consistency depending on how it’s processed. It also tends to be a bit grittier than sunbutter.
Looking at their tastes, pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter both boast unique, nutty, earthy flavor profiles, with pumpkin seed butter having a slightly sweet twist to it.
How to use pumpkin seed butter vs sunbutter
These two are super versatile and are sure to level your butter game up!
You can use both pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter as spreads for your toast or pancakes, enjoying the delicious flavors by themselves or by combining them with honey, jam, or whatever you want to get creative with!
In my opinion, these do best in smoothies – the creamy addition they give is awesome! Plus, they’ll both add a deliciously nutty twist to your smoothie.
You can also use pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter as a dip for sliced fruits on their own, or use them as a base in your salad dressings, marinades, and more!
Their versatility means that you can easily switch out pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter for one another!
Nutrition: Pumpkin seed butter vs sunbutter
One of the standout nutritional features of pumpkin seed butter is its awesome iron source – just one serving provides around 15% of your entire daily iron value!
On top of that, pumpkin seed butter has a bunch of protein in it with minimal carbs, making it great for your post-workout smoothie or your keto diet!
All that said, sunbutter is also a solid option. It has a high amount of healthy fats, with a good protein content! Plus, it’s a good source of vitamin E and magnesium!
Just be sure to eat them both in moderation – they’re calorie-dense just like all nut/seed butters.
|Serving size: 2 tbsp
|Pumpkin seed butter
|Total fat (saturated)
|14 g (4 g)
|17 g (2 g)
|Net carbs (fiber)
|1 g (3 g)
|4 g (2 g)
|Total sugars (incl. added)
|3 g (3 g)
How to store pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter
These both do pretty good in cool, dry places – although sunbutter tends to do just fine at room temperature as well. I’d recommend storing them in your fridge to thicken them up a little and stretch out their shelf-life a bit – especially if they’re the natural store-bought or homemade versions!
Either way, be sure to check their labels for the best-before date and any specific storage instructions, and try to finish them within 2-3 months for the best flavors and nutritional value!
Pumpkin seed butter vs sunbutter: The ultimate verdict
Pumpkin seed butter is the way to go if you’re looking for an iron-packed, keto-friendly nut butter alternative, but sunbutter is the choice if you want that smooth, creamy texture that resembles traditional peanut butter so closely.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either, and I’d recommend trying both out to see which one you prefer – or keep both in your culinary tool-belt and enjoy either when the mood strikes!
You sure can! Sunbutter and pumpkin seed butter have absolutely no nuts in them, making them a great substitute to nut butters.
This depends on several things, as nut butters vary in their characteristics. Almond butter is often said to be one of the healthiest options because it has a high vitamin E and monounsaturated fat content, which is great for overall health!
That depends a lot on your preferences and allergies – seed butters tend to do better for people who have nut allergies, but it’s hard to beat the creaminess and versatility of nut butters…although, pumpkin seed butter and sunbutter have shown themselves to be strong contenders!