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Substitutes for Peanuts – What can I use instead?

It is incredibly easy to run out of peanuts at exactly the time when you need them. Every household seems to have that person who can’t walk past a jar of peanuts without grabbing a handful. In fact, even if this person is you, it is still easy to catch yourself off guard by demolishing your stash in no time flat. But, don’t worry – running out of peanuts isn’t exactly a disaster. Though they may seem to be a very unique and irreplaceable ingredient, there are some substitutes out there that can get you pretty close to the real deal! So, whether you are out of peanuts or need to accommodate for a guest with a peanut allergy, these substitutes should steer you in the right direction. If this is the kind of information that you were looking for, you’ve come to the right place!.

Common uses for peanuts

Perhaps one of the most simplistic uses for peanuts is also one of our all-time favorites – homemade peanut butter. It is possibly the easiest thing in the world to make and it just tastes so much better than any shop-bought version. Literally all you need to do is to put peanuts into a food processor and hit the button. And that’s it! Delicious homemade peanut butter at your disposal for all your sandwich and satay needs! However, to say that this is the only good use for peanuts would be a huge disservice to peanuts. The humble peanut has uses that range much further than a bar snack or peanut butter. Some recipes that we think are particularly excellent are as follows:

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·         Crispy potato salad with chilies, celery, and peanuts

·         Peanut ice-cream

·         Black rice salad with mango and peanuts

·         Butterscotch blondie bars with peanut pretzel caramel

·         Roasted peanut soup with honey-whipped cream

The best thing about all of the recipes listed above is that they are all totally manageable, even for the most novice of cooks! With that, each of them has the capacity to wow your guests and have them asking for your recipes. There are tons of recipes out there that use peanuts to emphasize the great flavors of a dish. Very few are that difficult to prepare. Its maximum return for minimal effort when you get a peanut dish just right!


The best substitutes for peanuts

Peanut allergies are a lot more common than you might think. It is estimated that around 5% of people worldwide are allergic to them. Naturally, that means that replacements need to be found in order to cook for guests with any regularity. There would be few situations worse than accidentally serving something that could potentially make a guest very ill, after all. Other people will be allergic to all forms of nuts. In order to accommodate for both of these groups, we have put together a quick list of peanut substitutes that could get you out of a tight spot. Some will be another form of nut, others will present an option for those with an all-encompassing nut allergy. So, without any further ado, here are our top 5 best substitutes for peanuts that money can buy!

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1. Cashew nuts

Cashew nuts are widely regarded to be the closest nut to peanuts and these similarities become especially apparent when you use them in cooking. Cashews possess a really nice and rich, buttery flavor which seems to complement everything that they come in contact with. They are also remarkably versatile. Whether they are deployed in Asian cuisine or in a dessert, they naturally seem to sit with and emphasize the already present flavors. They are mild enough not to overpower the dish, yet they have enough oomph to add a certain something that may otherwise have been missing. Naturally, as a snack, they aren’t quite the same as peanuts in their natural state. So, if you are looking for something to replicate the mouthfeel and taste of peanuts for snacking, opt for the roasted types. The only downside to using cashews instead of peanuts is that they are stupidly addictive.


2. Dry-roasted edamame

In most areas of the world, the availability of edamame beans is a relatively new phenomenon. Even at that, most of us would still associate them with being far more of a savory treat than a sweet one. However, for those in the know, edamame beans can be one of the greatest snacks out there! When they are being roasted, the edamame bean acts as a great sponge, absorbing any herbs and flavorings that they are roasted with. As a result of this, there are tons of roasted edamame products out there, with a broad range of flavors. The texture will also become lovely and crunchy after the beans have been roasted. Because of this, they are a great addition to salads, desserts, and they also make for a tasty and really nutritious snack.

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3. Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are probably the most decadent nut on the surface of this planet. They have a great complexity of flavor that is at once creamy, buttery, and sweet. This makes them ideal for use in any dessert that requires peanuts. In fact, in quite a few cases, you may find that your guests actually prefer the substitute to the real thing. Though the macadamia may be better considered too sweet for some to form part of a savory dish, there are certain settings where it can showcase the flavors already on the plate. For example, it is absolutely amazing ground up over salads that already have a few strong flavors in there. So, what’s the catch then? Well, the thing is that macadamia nuts don’t come cheap. In fact, they are the most expensive nuts in the world!


4. Roasted chickpeas

Dry roasted chickpeas are one of our favorite snacking foods. Chickpeas will absorb any flavor that they are roasted with so there’s a huge variety of them out there on the market. This means that there will definitely be a roasted chickpea out there that will match the dish that you want to use it in. On the off-chance that there isn’t, you can always make it at home. The process isn’t by any means difficult and doesn’t take too much prep work either. Even in their plain form they are absolutely ideal to use in salads and as a healthy snack. The texture is also just about right. All in all, this is definitely one of the strongest candidates for the best replacement for peanuts that money can buy.

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5. Tahini

Sometimes, the hardest thing to substitute for actually seems like it should be the easiest. Peanut butter is incredibly hard to find a match for. For example, popping edamame or chickpeas into a food processor and expecting it to come out in any way similar to peanut butter just won’t work! However, there are two possible suggestions that we’d like to bring to your attention. If you are not allergic to nuts in general, cashew nut butter is a fantastic substitute for peanut. However, if you are allergic to all nuts, this simply won’t work. The closest you are going to get is tahini. Tahini is a simple spread made from sesame seeds and oil. It is simple enough to make at home and can be an effective substitute for peanut butter in most dishes. However, its texture is oilier, so it by no means a perfect replica.


How to substitute peanuts with other ingredients?

Each of the ingredients above has the same potential to wow your guests if you choose the right one for the recipe you are using it in. For example, when you need the texture of peanut butter in your dish, cashew nut butter or tahini will get you there. For salad toppings, roasted chickpeas or edamame beans are the way to go. To really wow with a luscious dessert, give the macadamia but a try. Or not. There is no reason not to get creative with these substitutes and flavors. Who knows? You may just come up with the next hit recipe in the process! When considering how much of the substitute to use, keep it simple. Use exactly the same amount of the substitute as you would have peanuts.

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