No peanuts at school? No problem, we’ve got some kid-friendly substitutes for traditional PB&J.
The dairy-free cream cheese
From breakfast avocado toast to lunchtime cucumber sandwiches to after-school cracker spreads, there’s nothing plant-based cream cheese can’t do. Daiya has a few versions that are free of dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, peanuts, fish, and shellfish; Sheese is without dairy, gluten, eggs, nuts, and animal products; Kite Hill is an almond-based option that is dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and leaves out artificial flavours and preservatives. If you’re in Canada we also highly recommend the amazing cashew-based flavours from Spread ‘Em Kitchen Co., which are soy-, dairy-, and gluten-free. Expect to find beloved flavours at your nearest plant-based grocer, including vegan riffs on strawberry, herb and garlic, chive, garden, veg, sweet chili, and even jalapeno.
The no-egg mayo
The base that launched a thousand dips and spreads. Add a little lemon juice here, some cracked pepper there, freshly diced herbs, and suddenly you’re staring at some homemade ranch dip. Or add some sriracha and watch your tacos disappear. Vegan mayos are a great way to perfect your own recipes and get creative with spreads. If you’re not the chef-y type, you’ll find all sorts of flavour variations in ready-to-buy jars, including chipotle, garlic aioli, truffle, and more. Start with egg-free versions from Just Mayo (formerly Hampton Creek) and Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise.
The nut butters that aren’t peanut
Just as peanut allergies were getting out of control, some brilliant food innovators stepped up to show us there’s more than one nut to make a good butter (and sometimes, no nuts at all). If you haven’t already explored the peanut-free options, you’re missing out. A bunch of brands, including Wow Butter and 88 Acres Seed Butters make brilliantly deceptive riffs on peanut butter, plus super tasty spreads using unlikely heroes such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
The fruit-infused jams
Somewhere between the wow butter and a couple of slices of delicious gluten-free bread, you might realize a key ingredient is missing: jam. Great on morning toast or lunchtime sandwiches, and after-school snacks, we’re big fans of the real-fruit versions that deliver on vitamins and dial down the added sugar. Crofter’s is a great option, and they even have biodynamic and superfruit versions.
The cookie dough
Okay parents, we know, technically not a school spread, but the only thing better than licking the batter off a beater when they’re helping you bake is opening up their lunchbox for a cookie-dough energy bite or a special occasion treat sandwich. All it takes is a couple spoonfulls of Eat Pastry Cookie Dough (gluten-free, of course) to get you on board.
Got your spread? There’s a bread for that!