First used by the Aztecs and originally patented in the late 19th century, peanut butter is a staple of many American pantries. Despite its high nutritional content and versatility, peanut allergies have nearly doubled in recent years and have been shown to affect nearly 4% of the U.S. population. To compensate for the changing American diet, many companies now offer nut and seed butters from a variety nut sources that present similar nutritional content to peanut butter without the allergens. Whether they’re baked into cookies, spread on sandwiches, or eaten straight from the jar (we won’t tell!), nut butters bring healthy plant-based fats, protein and essential vitamins and minerals to your diet.

Sunflower Seed Butter

An excellent source of unsaturated fat and essential trace minerals, sunflower seed butter is also high in zinc and vitamin E, two powerful antioxidants. Made from the small seeds of the sunflower, this seed butter provides 12% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium, which has been shown to relieve migraine headaches and aid in relaxation. Magnesium also works together with calcium to keep bones healthy and strong.

Cashew Nut Butter

High in fiber and unsaturated fats, cashew nut butter is also rich in copper, phosphorous and magnesium. Copper has been shown to contribute to healthy skin and hair and helps in the production of collagen and hemoglobin. Cashew butter makes an excellent addition to any weight management program as the high fiber and protein content help stave off hunger, leaving you feeling full for a longer period of time. We love cashew nut butter as a substitute for peanut butter in sandwiches or mixed into smoothies.

Almond Butter

Almond butter is similar to peanut butter in nutritional content, with high levels of iron and magnesium. Also high in vitamin E, one tablespoon of almond butter offers 27% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E, and magnesium has been shown to strengthen bones and contribute to a healthy metabolism.

For those with peanut sensitivities, cashew, sunflower seed, and almond butters offer a similar nutritional profile, without the allergens common in peanut butter. We recommend choosing organic varieties without added ingredients like palm oil or sugar.