OK, I’ve been allergic to peanuts and tree nuts my entire life, so I have never tasted peanut butter (or almond butter or cashew butter for that matter).
But recently I discovered soy nut butter, and then sunflower seed butter. Both are vaguely nutty in flavor, and I think they have a similar texture to peanut butter. I like them ok, and they make a satisfying snack.
But I still wonder what I am missing. Hence, these questions:
If you have eaten peanut butter, and you have eaten either soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter, please compare them for me. What am I missing (“nothing” is an acceptable answer, if you think it’s true).
Are there other non-nut “butters” of this type that I haven’t tried? Are they available here in California?
A friend of mine is allergic to most nuts as well, and a few months ago we made some Reese Cup type things with sunflower seed butter. The sunflower seed butter tasted a bit different from peanut butter in the cups, but if I didn’t know we’d made the substitution, I’m fairly certain I would’ve just thought it was a different brand of peanut butter than I’m used to. It’s a bit stronger-flavoured and has a bit of an odd aftertaste (or at least the brand we used does) but it’s similar enough to peanut butter.
I can’t comment on the soy nut butter, as I haven’t tried that, but I think you’re getting a reasonably similar peanut butter-type experience with the sunflower seed butter.
I’ve had sunflower seed butter. The texture is very similar to the “natural” peanut butters but more oily and grainier than the supermarket stuff like Jiff and Skippy. If you never had peanuts I can’t really describe the flavor. Peanut butter is to peanuts what sunflower seed butter is to sunflower seeds.
I actually think sunflower seed butter tastes better than peanut butter but I never much cared for peanut butter (though I can tolerate the “natural” stuff, won’t eat the other kind unless I am desperate).
Not sure what else is available but if it’s available anywhere you would think it would be available in California. I would check health food stores and places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
I prefer Professor Chaos myself.
Both apple butter and maple butter are pretty good.
Tahini, which is made from ground roasted sesame seeds, tastes almost exactly like peanut butter to me. It’s rather more thin than peanut butter (I think because quite a lot of oil is added in the traditional recipe), but I imagine if you could get a product with the right texture, it would be a fair substitute.
I’m not a huge fan of peanut/nut butters anyway, so I wouldn’t say you’re missing much. I only like peanut butter when its really, really sweet. In a PB&J, I tend to add jam 'till it kills the peanut butter taste.
My best friend’s son is allergic to peanuts and tree nut sensitive. She has tried almost everything out there. They love sunflower seed butter the best. I am pretty much addicted to peanut butter (the natural kind). I have to remind myself not to expect it to taste like peanut butter. If I remember that, then I really enjoy the sunflower seed butter for what it is. If I forget and think I’m having peanut butter, then I am disappointed when I bite into it.
We like Trader Joe’s sunflower seed butter.
It tastes like sunflower seeds, rather than peanuts but that doesn’t bother us.
My son just started preschool in a nut-free facility, so I bought a jar of soynut butter. I bought a variety that has honey mixed in, and it tastes surprisingly like peanut butter. We use the natural peanut butter at home, and it doesn’t taste like that, but it tastes a LOT like Jif or Skippy. I probably wouldn’t know the difference.
I’ve never had soynut or sunflower seed butter. But I’ve had the sesame seed butter and that’s good. Is that something you can eat?
NoNuts Pea Butter is very tasty; it tastes quite a bit like the all natural peanut butter IMHO. Unfortunately, it’s rather expensive for just a little jar.
ETA: It’s a Canadian product; US Dopers can by some via Peanut Free Planet.
Nothing comes close to peanut butter for me. I have had all sorts of nut butters. They’re good in their own way, but not as good as peanut butter. Part of it is just that I’ve been exposed to peanut butter most of my life so you get used to things.
Cashew butter is my least favourite, which is odd as I love Cashews, it just doesn’t make good butter, at least the ones I’ve tasted. I like Nutella which is hazel nuts and chocolate, but the chocolate overpowers the nut taste in that mixture.
Sunflower seed butter is OK but I prefer the plain old nuts
I grew up eating peanut butter, but my son is severely allergic to them. Recently, I’ve started eating soynut butter. I find it to be very similar to peanut butter in terms of consistency. The taste is similar, but the taste of peanut butter is more sharp than the soynut butter. The soynut butter is a little blander – I’d kind of describe it as watered-down peanut butter.
Chickpea is a legume like lentils of peas, so it is non-fatty and can’t be ground into something like butter. However, boiled and mashed chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus, a delightful savoury and very healthy spread on bread.
Here’s a weird chocolaty (actually, carob) hummus recipe.