"Go Nuts" For These Nut-Free and Nut-Alternative Sandwich Spreads

With so many kids being diagnosed with nut allergies, camps, and schools across the country are working hard to provide a safer allergen free environment. While some establishments opt to set up designated nut-free lunch areas, others are going nut-free. So what does this all mean for those kids whose diet is made up of nuts and nut butters? And what about the kids with allergies who wish they even knew what they were missing?

And perhaps you are peanut free but can still eat tree nuts, then what? Fortunately, the market place has not one, or two, but many nut-free and nut alternatives that cannot be missed.  

While some people are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, others have only one of these allergies. The tree nut includes nuts such as cashews, almonds, pecans and walnuts, among others. The peanut on the other hand grows underground and is really a legume, along with beans, peas, lentils and soy beans. In the United States roughly 3 million people report allergies to peanuts and tree nuts.  

Take a look at some tasty nut-free and nut alternative options that will please even the pickiest eater:

Sunflower Seed Butter - For a totally nut-free option, this butter will hit the spot. This spread is pretty similar in flavor and texture to peanut butter. It is smooth and spreadable so its perfect for a sandwich. It is especially delicious when paired with bananas and honey.

As it is nut-free it provides a safe option to be used in many schools and camps. 

Tahini - This spread is made up of sesame seeds and provides a toasty, nutty flavor. It is often perceived to have a savory taste. It is often found unsweetened, so it is more often paired with jam or honey. And even at times it is preferred to be served with a drizzle of date or maple syrup.

Soy Nut Butter - For a spread that closely mimics peanut butter, this is the one to choose! Many schools and camps offer this as it is very similar to peanut butter and appeals to many kids. This spread is made up of roasted soybeans and is rich in protein. It is often dairy-free and gluten-free as well. Grape or strawberry jam makes for the perfect soy nut butter and jelly sandwich. 

Coconut Butter - This paste is made from shredded coconut and has a very coconut-y taste. It is nutty and sweet and can be put on any sandwich.

Almond Butter - While it is a bit thicker and drier than traditional peanut butter, it tastes great on any sandwich. Great when paired with a jam that's a bit more sour, to enhance the rich flavor of the almonds. This option is safe for those who only have a peanut allergy.

Cashew Butter - Want something rich in taste? When you opt for cashew butter you have picked the right spread! For this you might want to pick apricot or fig jam for the perfect balance. 

Pecan Butter - This butter has a very distinct taste for a more sophisticated palate.

For this reason it is more popular with the adult taste bud, than children. It has a caramel like subtle flavor, and when paired with apple butter it is less overwhelming. 

Walnut Butter - This spread is not always easy to find but once you have it you may have met your match. This butter is course and nutty in texture, so it truly attracts your tastebuds and provides a nice mouthfeel. Many varieties contain some cashews within the walnut spread itself. Pair with honey and feta for a tasty sandwich.

So before you rule out nuts altogether, take a look and see what alternatives may actually suit your needs. Safety first when it comes to understanding your peanut or tree nut allergy, and then you can head to the market for some tasty spreads.

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