Leslie Blood is our in-house Paleo mama, working on recipes and testing them on her boys. Here's her latest creation, enjoy!
Peanut Butter: There Is No Substitute
When you take on a Paleo diet there are going to be foods that you find you can definitely do without, and there will be some you lust after.
I know people who have dreamt about non-paleo foods such as pizza, donuts, burritos and even cheap-o store-bought birthday cake.
Well, I didn't care much about things like bread and cheese, but giving up peanut butter about killed me.
I mean, I probably think about peanut butter almost every day. I can’t go down the aisle of nut butters, jams and jellies without wishing I could throw it all in my cart…
Am I guilty? Only of the crime of love. For peanut butter.
I tried to replace peanut butter with almond butter, but it is not the same. Breaking up with peanut butter might be one of the harder things I have done. For me, peanut butter tastes naughty: creamy, fatty, sweet and salty.
Honestly, the cheap peanut butter tastes way better than the healthier all natural versions. Safe to say, I do not believe I will ever get over losing peanut butter, nor do I feel there is a real substitute.
Having said that, there are a number of nut butters on the market that are passable and occasionally awesome when faced with the reality that Skippy has skipped town. Here is a run-down of a few of my favorites:
Great as a PB sub. I think this might be the closest to the real thing. I would use this in the same way you use peanut butter. Add to smoothies, eat on a banana and feed to unsuspecting kids.
Cashew butter is super creamy, but cashews are technically legumes, so it AIN'T PALEO. That's for you Paleo-police out there. They don't seem to affect me or my kids, so we use it.
You can make great baked goods with it and cashew butter is also great as a spread on Paleo banana bread. I would say it is kid tested and approved, but both my kids knew it was not peanut butter right away.
I love almond butter. It is a little grainy sometimes and my kids do not love it. I think it is great for making Thai satay sauces and I use it for as many savory applications as I can. I also love almond butter blended into banana nice cream. The almond butter gives it a decadent texture and taste.
Watermelon Seed Butter
This is a little more sophisticated. Open up a jar with sliced fruit at your next dinner party and open everyone’s eyes to something new.
Pumpkin Seed Butter
Pumpkin seed butter is great in salad dressings. Shake it up with a little vinegar, shallots and salt and you are set. It is also nut free and great for those with allergies. You can use it to make granola, and my kids really enjoy eating it for breakfast.
The moral of this story is that there is no paleo replacement for peanut butter. Peanut butter is the one that got away, my one true love, the only one for me. [Quiet sob...]
Now, let’s change gears and talk about bread.
While I do not care one way or another since I never needed bread to serve as a peanut butter vehicle for me, (I would just spoon it into my pie-hole without a second thought) I know a lot of people who really miss bread.
Here is a recipe that may just serve in a pinch.
I won’t sit here and pretend that this is the exact same because yeast and gluten play a big role in the texture people love in bread. I will say that this is delicious and very much “bread-like.”
If you are feeling like you want to score some brownie points with your kids, slice this bread into sticks and fry them up in a little ghee. Dip into honey and maple syrup for an awesome breakfast or after school snack.
The "Pretty Close to Bread" Paleo Version
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine all of the above ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour into a 9x5 loaf pan, or you can even use two mini loaf pans if you wish.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown on top. Be sure to insert a toothpick into the center so you know your Paleo “bread” is ready to be gobbled up.
Paleo mama Leslie B is a regular contributor to the Paleo Treats blog. She is a recipe wizard and has two full time testers ready to taste everything she makes. Leslie lives in Colorado and in between raising her testers (aka little boys) and work manages to find time to run in the mountains and write down her best recipes.
Too much reading...
How about dessert?
I’m not sure that cashews are legumes, I always thought they were a drupe…