For individuals with peanut allergies, can finding a peanut alternative be as satisfying as a real creamy or crunchy peanut butter sandwich?
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Peanut Butter Sandwich Alternatives
For individuals who are unable to have a peanut butter sandwich due to an allergy, there are healthy satisfying alternatives. Tree nut butter, seed butter, and deli meats can all satisfy sandwich cravings and provide nutrition. Here are a few healthy, nutritious alternatives to try out:
Sunflower Seed Butter and Jam, Jelly, or Preserves
- This butter is made from sunflower seeds.
- It is considered a safe alternative for individuals with peanut and tree nut allergies. (Elana Lavine, Moshe Ben-Shoshan. 2015)
- Sunflower seed butter is a healthy source of vitamin E, iron, and fiber. (U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central.)
- It can be substituted for a PBJ with jam, jelly, and preserves.
Ham and Cheese, Grainy Mustard on Rye Bread
- Getting ham and cheese from the deli can potentially have cross-contamination with allergens during slicing and packaging.
- Prepackaged and sliced ham and cheese is a safer bet in terms of allergens.
- It is recommended to read the ingredient label for potential allergens, as processing in facilities can have cross-contamination issues. (William J. Sheehan, et al., 2018)
Turkey, Tomato, Lettuce, and Hummus on Whole Grain Bread
- The same is true for turkey and is recommended to buy prepackaged and sliced.
- Check the ingredients for possible allergens.
- Hummus is made from chickpeas/garbanzo beans and tahini/ground sesame seeds.
- Hummus comes in a variety of flavors that can be used as a dip or spread.
- Although chick peas’ are a member of the legume family, hummus can be tolerated with peanut allergies. (Mathias Cousin, et al., 2017)
- Check with a healthcare provider if unsure.
Pita Pocket with Salad and Hummus
- Pita pockets are great with hummus stuffed with vegetables.
- This is a delicious crunchy pocket sandwich loaded with protein, fiber vitamins, and minerals.
Soy Butter and Banana Slices on Whole Wheat Bread
- Soy butter is a popular alternative to peanut butter. (Kalyani Gorrepati, et al., 2014)
- Made from soybeans, the butter is full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
- The butter can be spread on whole wheat bread and topped with banana slices for breakfast or lunch.
Tahini Sesame Seed Butter On A Roll with Shredded Broccoli and Carrots
- Tahini is made from sesame seeds.
- It can be spread on a roll with shredded broccoli and carrots for a healthy crunchy, fiber-rich, protein-filled sandwich.
Almond Butter and Sliced Apples
- Try a non-sandwich option for lunch or as a snack.
- This butter is made from almonds, which are tree nuts.
- Almond butter is rich in fiber, vitamin E, and healthy fats.
- Almonds contain the most nutrients per calorie of tree nuts. (Almond Board of California. 2015)
Cashew Butter on an English Muffin with Raisins
- This butter is made from cashews, a tree nut, so it is safe for individuals with peanut allergies but not for individuals with nut allergies. (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. 2020)
- Cashew butter on a hot English muffin with raisins on top for a boost of iron is reminiscent of a cinnamon roll.
Pumpkin Seed Butter and Honey Sandwich
- Pumpkin butter is made from the orange flesh of the pumpkin.
- Pumpkin seed butter is made by roasting pumpkin seeds and grinding them to a butter consistency.
- The seed butter can be spread on bread and drizzled with some honey on top for a nutritious and delicious snack.
There are tasty healthy peanut butter alternatives that can be mixed, matched, and reinvented into various satisfying sandwiches. Individuals are recommended to consult their healthcare provider or a dietician or nutritionist to find what works for them.
Smart Choices, Better Health
Lavine, E., & Ben-Shoshan, M. (2015). Allergy to sunflower seed and sunflower butter as a proposed vehicle for sensitization. Allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology: Official Journal of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 11(1), 2. doi.org/10.1186/s13223-014-0065-6
U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Seeds, sunflower seed butter, with salt added (Includes foods for USDA’s Food Distribution Program).
Sheehan, W. J., Taylor, S. L., Phipatanakul, W., & Brough, H. A. (2018). Environmental Food Exposure: What Is the Risk of Clinical Reactivity From Cross-Contact and What Is the Risk of Sensitization. The journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice, 6(6), 1825–1832. doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2018.08.001
Gorrepati, K., Balasubramanian, S., & Chandra, P. (2015). Plant-based butters. Journal of food science and technology, 52(7), 3965–3976. doi.org/10.1007/s13197-014-1572-7
Cousin, M., Verdun, S., Seynave, M., Vilain, A. C., Lansiaux, A., Decoster, A., & Sauvage, C. (2017). Phenotypical characterization of peanut-allergic children with differences in cross-allergy to tree nuts and other legumes. Pediatric allergy and immunology: Official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 28(3), 245–250. doi.org/10.1111/pai.12698
Almond Board of California. Nutrient comparison chart for tree nuts.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Everything you need to know about a tree nut allergy.
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