I’ve eaten my fair share of peanut butter and jelly in my life. However, after 20-something years of eating the same thing, it gets a little boring. Thankfully, there are tons of options available for anyone who wants to add a little variety to their diet.
In addition to being delicious, all of these options can be made at home in a blender or food processor and taste great with many fruits, veggies and other treats.
1. Almond Butter
I absolutely love almond butter, and it’s incredibly easy to make. Almonds aren’t especially sweet on their own, so my favorite recipe includes a teaspoon of honey, a dash of cinnamon and a drop of vanilla extract for a delicious and healthy almond spread. It pairs well with jams – strawberry jam or cherry preserves go especially well with it. Almonds are also a great superfood, containing many nutrients including potassium, calcium and iron.
2. Hazelnut Butter
While I could always eat Nutella, a regular hazelnut spread still tastes pretty good – and it’s a good source of protein and fiber. Because they have plenty of natural oils, you can make the spread using only the nuts. If you are feeling indulgent, you can spread some on a brownie, but for healthier options, hazelnut butter goes well with tart fruits, such as pears, apples and plums.
3. Sunflower Seed Butter
Sunflower seeds may be the perfect summertime snack, but sunflower seed butter can be enjoyed without dealing with the shells. In addition to being a great source of antioxidants, they’re also a completely nut-free option. Pair with bananas and honey to help balance the earthy flavor.
4. Cashew Butter
It’s a little heavier than peanuts, but cashews have tons of nutrients that make every decadent bite worth it. Pair with a fig jam for a tasty sandwich or, after making the butter, combine with coconut shavings, tart cherries and raisins for some added texture and flavor.
5. Pumpkin Seed Butter
Pumpkin seeds as a spread? I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s actually delicious – especially with a little dash of cinnamon. You can boost your immune system and get plenty of protein while slathering it on your breakfast toast or with your veggies for an extra nutrient boost.
6. Soy Butter
Soy nuts are one of my favorite snacking foods, so of course I’m a huge fan of them in spreadable form. Because they have a similar taste to peanuts, it’s a good option for anyone who’s allergic to the legume. I like to pair them with apples, but they also go well with strawberries.
7. Pistachio Butter
As long as you don’t have an aversion to green foods, pistachio butter is a great alternative to peanut butter. It has a unique taste that has large amounts of protein and can help lower your cholesterol. It tastes great on its own, but you can also spread it on some pancakes or slather it on bananas for an amazing combination.
If a typical PB&J sandwich bores you to tears or if you can’t eat peanuts, you can expand your nut and seed butters to basically anything. You can buy organic spreads in the store or you can save some money and make them at home. Mix and match with different foods and you might find something you really enjoy.
Photo: Meal Makeover Moms