Granola bars are the perfect snack: they’re easy to make, they taste delicious, and they give you a little boost of energy when you need it.
But what do you do if you or someone you love is allergic to peanuts?
Or if you just don’t like peanut butter?
To substitute peanut butter in granola bars, the best option is almond butter or cashew butter. These are the most similar to peanut butter in taste and texture, which makes them ideal to use in recipes that call for peanut butter.
If you’re trying to avoid nut-based butters altogether, sunflower seed butter is another great option.
13 Substitutes for Peanut Butter in Granola Bars
We’ve got good news for you: You can still make delicious granola bars, even if peanut butter isn’t your thing.
Here are the 13 best substitutes for peanut butter in granola bars (and what those substitutions add to your bar):
1. Cashew butter
Cashews are similar in flavor and consistency to peanuts, which makes them a great substitute for peanut butter.
They also have more healthy fats than peanuts do.
You can find cashew butter at most grocery stores and health food stores—I recommend buying organic when possible because they are much easier on your digestive system!
2. Almond butter
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with almond butter—it’s almost a peanut butter substitute classic.
And since it has a very similar taste and texture to peanut butter, it makes for a great swap-out if you’re making granola bars for someone with a peanut allergy.
The only downside is that almond butter is pretty expensive, which isn’t great if you’re trying to save money while making your own granola bars.
But hey, sometimes you just gotta treat yo’self and make those pricey almond-butter granola bars!
3. Sunflower Seed Butter
This butter is widely available and tastes great, but it can be expensive. Look for it on sale at your local grocery store or buy it online.
If you want to make your own sunflower seed butter, check out the recipe below.
You’ll need roasted, salted sunflower seeds, salt, oil (any flavorless oil will work), and a food processor.
4. Pumpkin Seed Butter
This is my favorite option, because it is so versatile. It’s rich and creamy like peanut butter, but has a subtly sweet flavor that works well with honey and other sweeteners.
The addition of pumpkin seeds will give your finished product a nice crunch!
Best of all: no nuts!
Many people love Nutella, and the hazelnut flavor of the spread works well with granola bars, but it’s high in sugar and saturated fats. If you’re going to use this spread, you’re better off using it sparingly as a glaze or dip.
You might not recognize this one by name, but you’re probably familiar with its most famous use: hummus.
Yep, tahini is what makes your favorite chickpea dip so darn tasty.
Tahini is actually a sesame seed paste, and it’s rich in minerals and adds a nutty earthy flavor to any recipe.
Tahini works especially well in granola bars thanks to its relatively neutral flavor (it won’t overwhelm your other ingredients), and because it holds together nicely when used as a binder.
The only downside of tahini is that it can be expensive, so keep an eye out for sales or check out the bulk section at your local health food store to see if they have any affordable options!
7. Coconut butter
Coconut butter is another great option if you’re looking for something a bit cheaper.
You can make your own coconut butter at home with just a food processor and some shredded coconut (or you can buy it already prepared).
Coconut butter works as a one-to-one substitute for peanut butter, so you don’t have to worry about changing your recipe when you swap this in.
8. Pecan butter
You can buy pecan butter or make your own.
If you buy it, look for one that is organic and has no added oils or sweeteners.
If you make it yourself, just blend pecans in a food processor until they turn into a creamy paste.
It’s that easy! Pecans are delicious with honey in granola bars but if you want to keep them vegan, use agave syrup instead of honey. This recipe for vegan pecan granola bars looks amazing!
9. Macadamia nut butter
Macadamia nuts are known for their rich flavor and smooth texture, and macadamia nut butter doesn’t disappoint!
Try it as a substitute for peanut butter in your favorite granola bar recipes for a delicious twist on an old classic!
10. Brazil nut butter
Brazil nut butter has an earthy flavor, just like peanut butter, and it’s a great base for any granola bar recipe.
As with all nut-based butters, you’re going to want to keep an eye on your sodium intake when using Brazil nut butter.
Next up is banana, which is a perfect substitute for peanut butter in any recipe.
You can mash it, bake it, or even use it as a dip—it’s delicious no matter what you do with it.
Just make sure that you mix the banana thoroughly so that it doesn’t clump in the bar!
12. Walnut butter
If you’re feeling even more adventurous, try using walnuts instead of peanuts in your granola bars!
This will give them a slightly nuttier flavor and they’ll be just as delicious as ever with all those healthy fats from omega-3 fatty acids included (plus they’ll also have protein too).
13. Vanilla Almond Butter (if You Want to Get Super Wild!)
If you want to get super wild, try using vanilla almond butter in place of peanut butter!
It will give the granola bars an awesome sweet flavor that’s reminiscent of vanilla ice cream but without all the added sugar or fat that comes along with most store-bought brands.
You could also use this substitution if you’re allergic to peanuts: just make sure there aren’t any peanuts in your recipe before starting out so there won’t be any cross-contamination issues later.
Picking a Substitute for Peanut Butter in Granola Bars
An important part of making granola bars is picking the right substitute for peanut butter.
But what makes a great substitute?
Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re deciding which substitute to use.
- First, consider the taste. Does it have that same rich and full flavor that is distinctive to peanut butter? Or does it leave you wanting more?
- Next, how does it feel on your tongue? A great substitute will have a smooth texture, with just enough stickiness to make it satisfying to bite into. It should also spread easily: if you’re trying to make your own homemade granola bars, you don’t want a substitute that’s too thick or hard to spread. It should also be easy to mix into your other ingredients so everything blends together well.
- Finally, you’ll want to consider how healthy the substitute is for you. Is it high in calories and sugar? Does it contain artificial sweeteners or preservatives? You’ll want something that tastes great without any extra additives!
13 Substitutes for Peanut Butter in Granola Bars
- Cashew butter
- Almond butter
- Sunflower Seed Butter
- Pumpkin Seed Butter
- Coconut butter
- Pecan butter
- Macadamia nut butter
- Brazil nut butter
- Walnut butter
- Vanilla almond butter
- Pick any of the alternatives from this list to use in your tasty bars.
- Prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Be ready to munch in no time!