What started as a salty spread available in either a “crunchy” or “creamy” variety has exploded into a diverse category of spreads made from all types of nuts and edible seeds. Most would consider some kind of nut butter or seed butter a pantry staple, though with the multitude of options. It can be tough to pick just one at the grocery store. Jars of nut and seed spread range in nutty flavor, texture and nutrition. If you're curious about what sets popular nut and seed butter apart, read on!

Pumpkin seed butter is a great alternative to peanut or almond butter.

Peanut Butter

Peanut and peanut butter taste in as spreads started it all. Where would we be as Americans without the explosion of PB&J sandwiches, the crowd-pleasing and sanity-saving standby for parents and babysitters across the country?

Ingredient Profile

Peanut butter rose to popularity as a savory complement to fruit, chocolate, and other sweet treats. Peanut butter is full of beneficial unsaturated fat and provides a balance of protein and fiber. Some of the most popular peanut butter healthy brands have become famous for their signature creamy textures with the addition of palm or hydrogenated vegetable oils and other stabilizers that prevent natural oil separation. 

Palm oil, in particular, has a controversial link to deforestation in the Pacific regions where it is grown and is often difficult to obtain from a responsible source. Kid-friendly peanut butter also often contains added sugar.

While certainly universal, peanut butter isn't for everyone. Peanuts (a legume, not actually a nut) are at the root of one of the most common and dangerous food allergies for Americans. The number of allergic individuals has increased so much in recent years that many schools, workplaces, and even airlines are now “peanut-free” to prevent cross-contamination with peanuts and unwanted, life-threatening reactions when least expected.

Peanuts provide farmers with a natural nitrogen-fixing process, which is important for ensuring the sustenance of their soil by giving essential nutrients. Also, reduces the total water needed for its cultivation. Peanut crops peanuts grow underground with deep roots that make them efficient at soaking up and using primarily rainwater for growth. Because of this, peanuts require far less water than other nuts.

Nutrition & Health Benefits of Peanut Butter

For those who can enjoy peanut butter, you will benefit from a good dose of magnesium, vitamin B6 and niacin, which help keep our bodies burning energy efficiently and keep our bones strong and muscles and nerves functioning properly.

peanut butter on rice cracker

Almond Butter

Almond butter is a sweet answer to peanut. Almond butter vs the savory slight edge of peanut butter is quite evident. You can find salted and unsalted, raw and roasted, chunky and creamy varieties.

Ingredient Profile

American almonds are exclusively grown in California and have been criticized for using a large share of the limited water in the agricultural state. Almonds are a crop that requires year-round watering and consume roughly 10% of California's water supply.

Americans' increased demand for both almond itself and almond products like almond butter has meant an increased strain on farmers' water requirements during California's now-famous drought, as land use shifts away from more efficient crops. Almond production depends on honeybee pollination and requires that almond growers foster safe habitats for the bees.

Almond butter is technically safe for people with peanut allergies to consume. Still, it is often produced in facilities that cross-process with peanuts, so most folks with peanut allergies need to be very careful about including it in their daily routine. As a tree nut, almonds are one of the top 8 allergens in the United States.

Nutrition & Health Benefits of Almond Butter

Almost identical on a calorie and macronutrient (fat, protein, and carbohydrate) level to peanut butter, almond butter provides as much Vitamin E and magnesium, iron, calcium and riboflavin. However, almond butter doesn't contain as much B6 and niacin as peanut butter. Per serving, you will benefit from a larger share of monounsaturated fats than peanut butter, which is believed to be important in reducing the risk of heart disease.

sunflower seed butter

Sunflower Seed Butter

Sunflower Seed Butter was born out of a market need for a peanut butter replacement that is safe for people with nut allergies and nut-free classrooms. Sunflower seeds are less of a common allergen than tree nuts and peanuts, so most people with allergies to either nuts or peanuts can eat sunflower seed butter any time they want a savory spread with their meal or snack (just make sure it's not processed in a facility with other nuts). Delicious in its own right, sunflower seed butter is ripe with an array of micronutrients.

Ingredient Profile

Sunflower seeds come from the flower of the sunflower plant. According to the US Agricultural Research Service, 10% of the sunflower crop grown in the United States is grown for consumption as a seed (the rest is generally diverted to oil production). Sunflowers are grown mainly in the Midwest region of the country, where they are able to thrive during dry and windy seasons thanks to a deep root structure. Sunflowers also support beneficial habitats for pollinators.

Nutrition & Health Benefits

Like sunflower seeds themselves, Sunflower Seed Butter is bursting with Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that keeps our skin and organ membranes healthy and strong. One or two tablespoons serving of sunflower seed butter provides 40% of the average adult's Daily Value of Vitamin E. Two servings a day and you're almost set! Sunflower seeds are also a particularly good source of magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, niacin, and thiamin - all micronutrients that help keep us from getting sick and help us power through our days with energy.

pumpkin seed butter

Pumpkin Seed Butter

Those green seeds inside our favorite orange squash may not be what you think of when you think of a “seed butter,” but they certainly make a delicious one. Slightly sweet and bright green in color, pumpkin seed butter makes an unexpected but balanced topping on toast, fruit, and oatmeal.

Ingredient Profile

Pumpkin seeds make efficient use of the whole pumpkin crop, from seed to skin! Pumpkins are a warm-season crop and grow best in warm and moist conditions. Cutting open a pumpkin, you find a treasure trove of white seeds. Inside each of the fibrous white shells are green pepitas that are a rich source of iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E.

Like sunflower seed, almond butter and peanut but, Pumpkin Seed Butter is a tasty option for individuals and families that cannot have nut butter. Using pumpkin seeds is a more environmentally friendly option that provides a new use for a product already cultivated for consumption, compared to nuts grown solely for one purpose.

Nutrition & Health Benefits

Nutritionally, Pumpkin Seed Butter is an all-star. Pumpkin seed butter provides a whopping 8g of protein per 2 tablespoons entirely from the seeds themselves. Forget adding protein powders or isolates to your nut or seed butter for added protein - get it straight from the source with all the micronutrients that come along with it.

Pumpkin seeds, like almond and peanut butter, also is a great source of zinc and magnesium. These two nutrients are important for countless functions throughout the body, not the least of which is maintaining strong muscle and bone health.

water footprint of seeds versus nuts

Read more about the water footprint of seeds versus nuts here.

Takeaway Message

More often than not, nut and seed butter provide a comparable amount of fat, protein, carbohydrates and calories. Some contain additional ingredients to provide specific flavors and textures - healthy fats such as palm oil or whey protein (dairy) - so scan the ingredient list to know what you're buying. 88 Acres Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Butters are for anyone who wants a sweet-tasting spread with less sugar than other brands or avoids palm oil, dairy, soy, peanuts or tree nuts for environmental or health reasons. So, do not worry if you have tree nut allergies. There are many other options of similar nutritional value waiting for you.

Does Tree nut allergies stop you from consuming it. Explore our collection for allergic free foods!

FAQs About Almond Butter and Peanut Butter

1. What is the difference between peanut butter and almond butter?

A: Here are some common almond butter vs peanut butter points. Raw almonds are roasted to produce natural almond butter, whereas peanut butter is produced from roasted peanuts. Almond butter has a softer, somewhat sweeter and richer flavor than peanut butter, which is nuttier and richer flavor. Additionally, almond butter is frequently more expensive when you compare the cost of the two nut butters.

2. Are nut butters more nutritious than dairy butter?

A: The widely held understanding is that nut butters like almond, or peanut butter are more nourishing than dairy butter. They provide protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. While dairy butter is rich in saturated fat and does not have the similar nutritional advantages as nut butter, it can be a part of a well-rounded meal plan. Also, dairy butter can alleviate harmful cholesterol levels due to trans fats, thus affecting cardiovascular soundness.

3. What is the current status of the nut butter market?

A: The nut butter market has been continuously rising in recent years. Both almond butter and peanut butter, plus other nut butters, are becoming popular because of their nutritional benefits and originality. Purchasing almond butter or any other nut butter has become easier as the market offers a broad scope of options to cater to various tastes and nourishing needs.

4. Are there any other nut butters besides almonds and peanut butter?

Yes, there are different nut butters available in the market. For example, hazelnut butter, cashew nut butter, macadamia nut butter, walnut butter, etc. Each type of nut butter has its distinctive flavor and nutritional composition.

5. Is there a nutritional comparison between peanut butter and almond butter?

A: Yes, when comparing almond butter vs peanut butter, we find almond butter nutrition tracks lower in saturated fats. Although almond butter holds more vitamin E and magnesium, peanut butter contains slightly more protein and a little less overall fat. Is almond butter healthier than peanut butter? Not really! Because your nutritional objectives and preferences will determine which one you choose, as both nut butters include important components.

6. Are there any fitness benefits associated with consuming both peanut butter and almond butter?

Yes, both peanut butter and almond butter come with countless wellness benefits. These nut butters are amazing sources of protein, good fats, and basic nutrients. So, such nut butters in your daily food can improve heart strength and reduce the risk of chronic ailments.

7. Can you provide some creative recipes using both almond butter and peanut butter?

You can certainly create mouthwatering smoothies, salad dressings, energy bars, and even savory dishes using both nut butters based on personal preference. Both almond butter and peanut butter are a combination that can add depth and enrich your recipes while nourishing you from within.