Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peanut-Free, Tree Nut-Free Lunch Options: Biscoff Spread

One of my blogger friends, Keeley has a peanut/tree nut-free household due to severe allergies. She told me about this nut-free Speculoos spread, Biscoff, that is made from cookies. I'M IN!
Before trying it out on Little Z, I had to taste-test it myself. You know. For research purposes.

I happened to be heading out for my monthly MOMS Club board meeting soon after it had arrived on my doorstep, so I decided to give it a whirl.
My dinner: Peanut and almond MandMs, spinach salad w/
blueberries, almonds and raspberry vinaigrette.
Biscoff on bread, Biscoff on tortilla
Since I love Nutella on tortillas, I wanted to try this out on one too. I also slapped in a half-sandwich, to try it on bread while I was at it. For a full scientific comparison.
I actually preferred it on the bread. The spread is fairly dry, as are tortillas, so the roll-up, while tasty, was overall too dry for me. The bread was nice and moist, and was by far my favorite.
Keeley (the expert) says her daughter likes Biscoff with jelly as well, but I didn't try it. Nor did I try it with honey. To me, those are sweeteners for plain spreads like peanut butter, almond butter, or SunButter. I don't mix Nutella with anything, but if I did, it would be PB. I didn't try this with PB yet either though. It's pretty yummy, and I didn't want to ruin it by making it healthy. Plus it defeats the whole purpose of a nut-free alternative if you slap a nut butter on it! I might try it with SunButter sometime, which is another nut-free spread. I bet it would taste like Nutter Butters though!

Comparisons, per 2 tbsp (37g)
(Jif) Peanut Butter: 190 calories (130 from fat,) 16g fat (3g saturated fat,) 150mg sodium, 7g carbs (2g fiber, 3g sugar,) 7g protein, 4% DV iron, 15% Vit E, 2% riboflavin, 20% niacin [contains peanuts]

Nutella: 200 calories (100 from fat,) 11g fat (3.5g saturated,) 15mg sodium, 22g carb (1g fiber, 21g sugar,) 3g protein, 4% DV calcium and iron [contains tree nuts, dairy]

(Trader Joe's) Sunflower seed butter: 200 calories (140 from fat,) 16g fat (2g saturated, 6g polyunsaturated, 8g monounsaturated,) 120mg sodium, 7g carb (4g fiber, 3g sugar,) 7g protein, 2% DV Calcium, 8% iron

Biscoff Spread: 176 Calories (104 from fat,) 12g fat (2g saturated,) 66g sodium, 16g carb (0g fiber, 10g sugar,) 1g protein [contains soy, wheat]

The calories are fairly comparable, with Biscoff the lowest by a slim margin.
Surprisingly, the "cookie spread" has half the sugar of Nutella! Which, while delicious, would still be yummy with less sweetness, in my opinion. Obviously the peanut and sunflower butters are lowest in sugar, because they aren't sweetened for the sake of being sweet. But they are crazy high in sodium compared to the sweeter options.

Sadly, while the Biscoff is the lowest in calories, and comes in second lowest for sodium and fat, it has no fiber or vitamins, and the lowest amount of protein. I wish they used more soy, to be a better choice as a lunch protein option. But as long as I pack in some cheese, beans, or meat for protein, this is a great vehicle for getting her to eat the whole-wheat, fiber-filled bread!

And yes, I am fully aware of the irony of slathering my meal with almonds and peanuts while trying out this nut-free sandwich alternative.

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