As alternatives to the ever-popular peanut butter, consumers have seen almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter, and even pistachio butter. Now, there’s a new kind of butter on the shelves, only it’s not made from nuts or seeds — it’s made from beans. The garbanzo-based chickpea butter sounds nutrient-rich and a smart choice for those seeking something allergy-free. But it prompts the question: Isn’t that just hummus?
As it turns out, chickpea butter is absolutely nothing like hummus, as one company that sells chickpea butter, The Amazing Chickpea, explained to The Daily Meal. Chickpea butter attempts to mimic the texture and flavor of dense nut butter, much thicker than hummus or another chickpea spread. Tasters have described it as stickier and more satisfying than hummus, with a pleasantly sweet aftertaste.
“While other ‘nut’ butters have removed peanuts from their recipes, in a lot of cases they’ve also removed the flavor,” explained a spokesperson for The Amazing Chickpea. They claim that their blend of roasted chickpeas, sunflower seeds, olive oil, and cane sugar is much closer to the nutty original.
“Most people are sure they are tasting peanut butter,” they said.
When compared to peanut butter, though, chickpea butter may not deliver the same nutrients. Peanut butter has 16 grams of healthy fat and 8 grams of protein per serving. Chickpea butter has 11 grams of fat and just 5 grams of protein. But unlike peanut butter, it’s a significant source of carbohydrates and fiber.
Chickpeas have other nutritional benefits as well, containing compounds like zinc, copper, manganese, and folate, many of which are missing from the average American diet. So if you’re looking for an allergy-free alternative to creamy or crunchy peanut butter, chickpea butter could be the spread you’ve been seeking. But if you can’t find the product or want something with a bit more healthy fats, try one of these other nutty spreads.