It seems like it was just yesterday that almond butter was the novelty spread only in-the-know eaters were stocking up on. But now that “AB&J” is a household snack staple, there’s a condiment that the wellness-obsessed are slathering on their toast—and it’s not even made with nuts.
Meet Sunbutter, the sunflower seed alt-spread that’s definitely having a moment.
Not only is it being used as a creamy topping, jazzing up everything from apples to smoothies, it’s also replacing nut butters in baking recipes. (Pro tip: Google “sunbutter protein ball” for recipe inspo.)
“Sunbutter has significantly more unsaturated fat, magnesium, and vitamin E than peanut butter.”
And it turns out it’s good for you, too. “Sunbutter has significantly more unsaturated fat, magnesium, and vitamin E than peanut butter,” says Nutritious Life and The Nutrition School founder, Keri Glassman. Also big: It’s got double the amount of gut-friendly fiber.
“A lot of customers love sunbutter because it’s very easy to digest,” adds Anna Speaks, senior sales and social media marketing specialist at Dastony (a brand known for its sprouted—read: more bioavailable—butters).
While you can pick up a jar at your local supermarket, grab-and-go brands are incorporating the sunflower seed spread into more and more of their products. Enjoy Life, for example, has been experimenting with sunbutter since 2005. “All of our products are nut free, so we needed to find a substitute that still had a nutty taste and consistency,” says the company’s chief sales and marketing officer, Joel Warady.
Want a taste? Keep reading for five sunbutter-based products to add to your grocery list.
The spreadables brand added sunbutter to its line five years ago as an allergy-free alternative to nut-based options. But according to Anna Speaks, the brand’s senior sales and social media marketing specialist, you can use it for so much more than just toast. She recommends baking it into cookies, muffins, and even making your own nut milk. “Our butters are stoneground and have a really silky, creamy consistency without any grit, so it makes a great base for sunflower seed milk,” she says. “You just blend it with water—way easier than soaking seeds and straining them.”
According to the company’s chief sales and marketing officer Joel Warady, when Enjoy Life launched its first sunbutter product back in 2005, people didn’t really understand the idea of alternative butters. But he notes that judging by brisk sales as of late, shoppers are definitely getting hip to it. And for good reason: Sunbutter is a genius binder to sub in for eggs and butter. (And, duh, it tastes delicious with chocolate.)
Need something to stash in your gym bag? This bar has 10 grams of protein—perfect for a pre-workout snack. Sunbutter is blended with organic fair trade chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon, so it’s also the ideal late-afternoon, I-need-something-sweet solution (sans post-snack stomach issues).
Prefer your sunbutter more on the savory side? This bar blends it with turmeric, cardamom, ginger, and pistachio for a spicy, inflammation-fighting kick. The result is a snack packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins A and C that’s earthy and satisfying—especially when you’re not in the mood for something chocolatey.
Inside this little jar are bite-size clusters of wild pecans and raisins blended with carob powder, raw honey, chaga mushrooms powder, and yes, sunbutter. You get all the adaptogenic benefits of those magical mushrooms (like lowering stress and regulating hormones), but with a creamy hint of sweetness, thanks to carob powder, honey, and raisins. Talk about a superfood-packed snack.
Snack alert! Here’s what wellness influencers keep in their gym bags for pre- and post-workout fuel. And whip up these high-protein snacks at your next party—your friends will be impressed.