By: Kristin M. MacDonald, MS, RD, LDN
Owner, Healthy Appetites Nutrition Counseling, L.L.C.
SunButter is a brand of sunflower seed butter, sold as a peanut butter alternative. For those who cannot eat peanut or other nut butters due to allergies, SunButter is a great option. In fact, SunButter is free from the top eight food allergens - peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, dairy, egg, fish and shellfish. Without these allergens, SunButter is a very safe food for most to enjoy. You may also wish to try SunButter simply for variety.
Nutritionally, SunButter and peanut butter are quite similar - for a 2 tablespoon serving each contains about 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 to 7 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 to 8 grams of protein. Peanut butter and sunflower seed butter are both low in saturated fat, a type of fat that raises blood cholesterol and negatively impacts heart health, and they are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Both peanut butter and SunButter provide about 10 to 15% of the daily recommended amount of fiber per serving.
SunButter is high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that balances cholesterol and impacts immunity. It is also high in magnesium, an important mineral that plays many roles in the body.
SunButter can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It works as a substitute in a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and it makes a delicious dip for fruits and vegetables. SunButter is also tasty in savory chicken dishes. Check out this month’s recipe Flourless SunButter Chocolate Chip Cookies for a tasty, sweet take on this feature food!
SunButter can be purchased in a large, 16 ounce jar or in individual “on-the-go” packets - easy to bring to school or work! Try the natural, creamy or crunchy variety. As with peanut butter, beware of added sugars - look for the “no sugar added” variety to reduce overall sugar intake in your diet.