If you have ever googled peanut butter alternatives or substitutes, you’ve likely seen chickpea butter pop up in the search results. Chickpeas are an incredibly versatile legume and have been used in salads, dips, falafels, baked as snacks, mixed in curries and so much more.
So how does it perform as a spread? What exactly is chickpea butter and could it really be a decent swap for peanut butter? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Chickpea Butter?
Chickpea butter is exactly as it sounds, it is a spread made from dry-roasted chickpeas. The chickpeas, once roasted, are blended with olive oil, cane sugar, and sometimes sunflower seeds until a thick paste is formed.
Chickpea butter is not to be confused with hummus. While hummus is also made using chickpeas, it contains garlic, tahini, and lemon juice and is a more savory offering. Chickpea butter is thicker, creamier, and more of a sweet than savory spread.
How Does It Compare To Peanut Butter?
Chickpea butter is similar to peanut butter in both color and consistency. It has a sweet nutty flavor and comes in both smooth and crunchy varieties just like peanut butter. To better understand their differences, let’s compare the pair.
A two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains:
- 188 calories
- 16 grams of fat
- 7 grams of protein
- 1.8 grams of fiber
- 7.7 grams of carbohydrate
A two-tablespoon serving of chickpea butter contains:
- 160 calories
- 10 grams of fat
- 4 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fiber
- 15 grams of carbohydrate
Overall, it is their carbohydrate content that sets them firmly apart, with chickpea butter containing around double the carbs per serve than peanut butter. On the flip side, it offers fewer calories and less fat.
Is Chickpea Butter Healthy?
Chickpeas are considered to be very healthy, they are high in essential vitamins, minerals, and protein. They also offer plenty of fiber to help keep you fuller for longer and are very low in saturated fats. Saturated fats are considered ‘bad fats’ as they contribute to high cholesterol and impaired heart health.
Chickpeas are also high in iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, zinc, and vitamin A. These are all essential to maintaining good health.
So long as your chosen chickpea butter is not high in added saturated fats, added sugars and consumed in moderation, it remains a healthy option. Should you be following a ketogenic diet, chickpea butter is not a suitable option due to the high levels of carbohydrates it contains.
Is It Allergy Friendly?
Yes and no. While chickpeas are gluten-free and contain no allergens similar to tree nuts, they are a relative of the peanut, both being in the Fabaceae family. Peanuts are not in fact a ‘nut’ but a legume, this means that for those who are particularly sensitive to peanuts, chickpea butter may still be an unsuitable swap. The same goes for anyone with a soybean allergy as this also belongs to the legume family.
Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas can cause an allergic reaction in their own right due to a reaction with the proteins they contain. These proteins, globulin, albumin, and prolamin, remain even after the chickpeas have been baked, boiled, or soaked. Most often seen in India and the Mediterranean where chickpeas form part of everyday meals, a chickpea allergy can be just as deadly as a peanut allergy.
Chickpeas also contain oligosaccharides - a type of sugar. These sugars, also found in other foods like rye, onions, and garlic can cause bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort if consumed in excess. Should you experience IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) you may need to follow a low FODMAP diet and this means no chickpeas!
Chickpea Butter Alternative
So if you cannot eat legumes due to health or allergy concerns, but still require a peanut and nut-free alternative, what choice do you have? Beyond The Equator has the solution in our 5 Seed Butter.
Our 5 Seed Butter Contains:
Sunflower seeds, which are high in magnesium, vitamin E, and protein, can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Chia Seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.
Flax seeds, also high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, can help lower blood sugar and insulin levels, aids in weight loss, improve skin health, and is rich in lignans which are shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Pumpkin seeds, high in iron, calcium, B2, folate, and beta-carotene, which the body metabolizes into vitamin A. They also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Hemp seeds, high in protein, unsaturated fats, and fiber. It also contains zinc, iron, and B vitamins niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and folate.
This dynamic combination creates a nutritionally dense spread that is Keto, FODMAP (when eaten in moderation), Paleo, and Whole30 approved. In addition, it is created free of the top 8 allergens as well as containing no sesame - making it the ideal swap for peanut butter or chickpea butter.
A two-tablespoon serving of 5 Seed Butter Contains:
- 200 calories
- 17 grams of plant-based fat
- 8 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fiber
- 5 grams of carbohydrate
5 Seed Butter will keep you feeling fuller for longer while nourishing your body with essential nutrients. As a bonus, it is versatile and can be used in cooking, baking, on sandwiches, as a dip, or simply by the spoonful.
The Spread For Everyone
Chickpea butter is certainly a great alternative for peanut butter and other kinds of nut butter, however, it doesn’t tick the boxes for all health and allergy needs. With 5 Seed Butter, you can be assured of an allergen-free product that offers all the added nutrients of seeds - known superfoods.
We’ve made it easy to continue enjoying your favorite foods without compromise on taste or your health. Try our range of seed-based products today and experience the Beyond The Equator difference.