Sunbutter is becoming a popular alternative to peanut butter because it’s safe for those with allergies, but does it actually taste and feel like peanut butter?
Let’s compare sunbutter to peanut butter, looking at taste, texture, nutrition, and other factors to help you decide which one is right for you!
Comparing sunbutter butter vs peanut butter
|Sunflower butter (SunButter)||Peanut butter||Reduced-fat peanut butter (Jif brand)|
|Taste||Intense, earthy, roasted||Nutty, slightly sweet||Mild peanut flavor, slightly sweet|
|Texture||Smooth, creamy||Thick, smooth & creamy (or crunchy)||Thick, smooth & creamy (or crunchy)|
|Paleo?||Yes (if unsweetened)||No||No|
|Keto?||No||Maybe (4 g net carbs)||No|
|Glycemic index||Sunflower seeds=35||Peanuts=14||Unknown; likely low like regular peanut butter|
What is sunbutter?
Sunbutter or sunflower butter is one of the most popular allergy-friendly nut butter alternatives.
Sunbutter typically contains roasted sunflower seeds and sometimes a small amount of salt, producing a spread similar to peanut butter. It’s entirely free from peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, and other common allergens.
What is peanut butter?
Peanut butter is a creamy or crunchy spread made from roasted peanuts that are ground into a paste, often with added salt, sugar, or other ingredients for flavor and texture. However, natural, unsalted/unsweetened/unflavored varieties without added oil or preservatives are best.
Now, here’s the interesting part: peanuts are not actually nuts! They’re legumes, distant cousins of peas and lentils. This makes peanut butter a no-go for strict paleo diets. However, it’s important to note that while peanut butter isn’t suitable for peanut allergies, it’s generally considered safe for those with tree nut allergies.
Differences between sunbutter butter and peanut butter
Sunbutter is a good alternative to peanut butter, but it’s not exactly the same in terms of taste and texture.
Made from sunflower seeds, sunbutter offers a subtly nutty and slightly earthy flavor, milder than peanut butter. Its texture tends to be smoother and creamier, resembling traditional smooth peanut butter.
On the other hand, peanut butter, boasts a richer, nuttier taste with a hint of sweetness. Its texture can range from creamy to crunchy.
How to use sunbutter butter vs peanut butter
For sunbutter lovers, try blending it into a creamy smoothie with frozen bananas and a drizzle of honey, or whip up some energy bites with oats and dark chocolate chips for a quick and nutritious snack.
Feeling savory? Make a zesty dipping sauce by mixing sunbutter with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic – perfect for spring rolls!
For peanut butter enthusiasts, the classic PB&J sandwich is always a winner. But don’t stop there! Dive into the world of overnight oats with peanut butter, yogurt, and almond milk for a satisfying breakfast.
Craving a stir-fry? Combine peanut butter with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for a mouthwatering sauce to toss with veggies and protein.
Can you substitute sunbutter for peanut butter?
The answer is yes, but it may not always be a perfect swap. As I mentioned earlier, the taste and texture of Sunbutter differ from peanut butter, so you’ll notice a change in the overall flavor profile of your recipes. So, don’t expect it to taste and feel exactly like peanut butter, but it’s close enough to use as a substitute in most recipes!
Nutrition: Sunbutter butter vs peanut butter
Nutritionally, Sunbutter and peanut butter are very comparable.
Sunbutter is an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, and protein. On the other hand, peanut butter is packed with monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy and can help reduce bad cholesterol levels. Natural peanut butter options are your best bet for the lowest sugar content.
Both nut/seed butters are high in calories, so moderation and portion-control is key.
|Serving size: 2 tbsp.||Calories||Total fat (saturated)||Total carbs||Net carbs (fiber)||Total sugars (incl. added)||Protein|
|Sunflower seed butter (SunButter)||200||17 g (2 g)||6 g||4 g (2 g)||3 g (3 g)||7 g|
|Peanut butter (Adams natural)||200||16 g (3 g)||7 g||4 g (3 g)||2 g (0 g)||8 g|
|Reduced-fat peanut butter (Jif)||190||12 g (2.5 g)||15 g||13 g (2 g)||4 g (3 g)||7 g|
How to store sunbutter butter and peanut butter
Natural peanut butters, which usually contain just peanuts and maybe some salt, tend to separate over time. Storing them in the fridge will help thicken them up and help with the separation. However, regular peanut butters, which often contain added stabilizers, can be stored in the pantry.
Sunbutter, on the other hand, typically does well at room temperature. Just give it a good stir if any oil separation occurs. But if you prefer a thicker consistency, you can refrigerate it too.
Refrigeration can also help extend their shelf lives, which is typically around a few months, but can vary based on type.
Sunbutter butter vs peanut butter: The ultimate verdict
In summary, if you can’t have nuts, sunbutter is the better option. But if you can, peanut butter is just as good and healthy. Peanut butter has a stronger nutty taste and can be used in many ways. Both spreads are good, so choose what works best for you!
SunButter has its own distinct nutty flavor, which is different from peanut butter. While it is delicious in its own right, it may not exactly replicate the taste of peanut butter.
Both SunButter and peanut butter have their unique nutritional benefits. SunButter is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, while peanut butter provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Ultimately, the healthiest option depends on your individual dietary needs and preferences.
Absolutely! SunButter is a safe alternative for those with peanut allergies since it is entirely free from peanuts and tree nuts.