Sunbutter Review: Nut Free Sunflower Butter

I confess that historically I have not been a big fan of substitutes for nut products. Why would I want something that is designed to taste like nuts? The whole idea just generally freaked me out. I’m someone who used to avoid all spicy food because the mouth sensation was too similar to an allergic reaction and I’d melt down into a panic attack, even if I made the food myself.

I still don’t like to be surprised by spiciness, but I’m turning a corner a bit when it comes to considering alternatives to nuts. Most recently I’ve adopted sunflower seeds, which can lend a pleasant crunch and saltiness to lots of epicurean scenarios. If I confess to my new love of sunflower seeds, I really have to give credit to Sunbutter for opening my mind a bit when it comes to nut subs.

Nut Free Sunbutter

I’ve seen Sunbutter in lots of Paleo blogs over the last few years, and I generally turned a cold shoulder. I didn’t eat peanut butter anyway, so I didn’t have the PB craving that seems to cripple even the most devoted Paleo newbie. From what I hear, almond butter just isn’t the same. So Sunbutter with it’s peanut-free platform became this Paleo phenom – a saving grace for all those Crossfitters dying for a peanut butter-tasting treat.

I hemmed and hawed about trying it for a long while. Now that I’ve decided it’s on the “yes!” list, I recognize that this is both awesome and not awesome. Sunbutter is awesome because I can now make the recipes that call for it, like Paleo Pad Thai and Dark Chocolate Sunbutter Cups. And I admit I eat it regularly right out of the jar. Sunbutter is not awesome because it is freakishly addicting and not cheap. I buy the organic version because it doesn’t have any added sugar, which is an even bigger investment. So far I’ve gone ahead and accepted the financial commitment of funding my Sunbutter habit. Because it’s delicious.

And this is where I tell you how amazing it is. Seriously, amazing. If this is like peanut butter, I understand people’s mental and emotional collapse when they go Paleo and realize they just gave it up. I’m not ready to give up Sunbutter any time soon. The organic version is creamy, thick and salty, and it has this great way of getting stuck to the roof of your mouth. They also have a non-organic version (with some cane sugar added) and a crunchy offering with some whole seeds in the mix. All good.

Nut Free Sunbutter Allergy Statement

I love Sunbutter’s allergy statement too. Although they warn you that  it is “roasted on equipment which also roasts soy” (sorry soy allergy sufferers), it also says it is “processed in a peanut free and tree nut free facility.” Hallelujah! The ingredients on the organic version couldn’t be any more simple: roasted organic sunflower seed. Period. That’s it.

Fun fact: the Sungold operation is just down the road a few hours from me up in Fargo, North Dakota. Not that I know them. I don’t. They didn’t give me anything for free (but I wish they would!). I just think it’s cool that they’re up there making awesome Sunbutter.

I buy my Sunbutter all over: Amazon, Vitacost, Target (non-organic is all I’ve found there), the local co-op, and some grocery stores carry it. So it’s pretty easy to find if you look for it. It’s usually right by the peanut butter.

Check it out and let me know what you think. Any other sans-nut butters that are worth a go? And don’t say that weird soy crap, because that’s just gross.

8 Responses to Sunbutter Review: Nut Free Sunflower Butter

  1. chris June 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Love sun butter. I think I might have a problem though. It’s like the frank’s red hot sauce, I put that s%#! on everything!

    • Amelia E June 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      Because it’s freakishly delicious!!

  2. cat July 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Been using Sunbutter for a while now and I AGREE!! Wow! My favorite thing is my snack of 1/2 a banana in one hand, spoon of sunbutter in another. Every bite is an excuse for another plastering of the stuff in preparation for the next mouthful! 😉

    • Amelia E July 28, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

      I do the banana thing too! So dangerous though…next thing I know I’ve dominated half a jar of Sunbutter. But it’s just. so. good.

    • Kathy J October 25, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      Girls, you haven’t lived until you’ve enjoyed FROZEN banana smothered with Sunbutter. O.M.G.!! Gooey, like caramel!

  3. Emily September 13, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Thank you for this post…a few years ago I attempted Paleo and the like but failed and loved the heck out of Sunbutter…however, NOW I have a reason to not only eat extremely clean but know I will be successful at it. I, like you, have nut allergies. They just developed (although for the past few years my list of death-foods has grown…started with bananas and watermelon, and has grown to canteloupe, honey dew, mango, guava, papaya, cucumber, grapes, kiwi, etc.) with a sudden reaction to a crunchy peanut butter clif bar. With about 12 anaphylactic reactions in the span of 14 days we finally found the common ingredients to the foods I was reacting to…soy/peanuts and tree nuts…I am very very sad, though, as I am deployed and ordered peanut butter alternatives because up until a few weeks ago, I could eat peanut butter as I pleased…and one version was Wowbutter (soy butter…) and the other was this…Sunbutter…and was shocked that it is roasted on the same machinery as soy nuts…alas, I spoke with my medical folks on board that have grown accustomed to saving my life lately and they are going to let me do a controlled taste test to see if I react to the Sunbutter…feeling defeated but I know once I get back to the States I will be able to indulge in some awesome recipes I have found! Thank you!!

    • Amelia E September 14, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      Holy cow Emily – that’s scary stuff. While I don’t eat soy, being that allergic to it is a whole other story. I believe the Trader Joe’s version of sunflower butter doesn’t have an allergy warning for soy or nuts, but I’ll have to check next time I’m there. That many allergy discoveries at once must have been really traumatic. Good luck with your Sunbutter trial if you decide to do it. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for other nut and soy free products, and you can always count on my recipes for that. Take care!

  4. AV June 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Making your own Sunbutter is super easy and cheap! I bought raw seeds in bulk from Sprouts for about a $1 a pound…and a pound of seeds goes a long way.

    I followed this recipe
    I did it all in a food processor, it still has some very fine bits of sunflower seeds but it still amazing! I dip veggies in it or eat it a couple spoonfuls right out of the jar.

Always 100% Nut Free