Whew, I needed a little breather after yesterday’s heavy post.
Today, let’s talk about nut butters, shall we?
While I love me some plain unsalted peanut butter, there are certain times when I just want something different. Our home is most times stocked with almond butter, tahini [sesame seed butter], coconut butter, and peanut butter. I use the coconut butter in dessert recipes [chocolate truffles, anyone?] or in my oats, drizzle tahini over sauteed kale, and spread creamy almond butter atop gluten-free cinnamon-raisin toast. Ben eats peanut butter daily in one form or another [on bagels, in a pb+j’s, in smoothies].
Nut butters have got protein and are full of healthy fats and oils, but they’re also dense – most often 2 Tbsp have about 200 calories – which will put quite a ding in your calorie-count if you’re not paying attention [that mindless spoonful of pb is probably 2-3 Tbsp].
Seed butters [pumpkin/sunflower/sesame] are a bit less calorie-dense without forfeiting flavor!
Today’s sunflower seed butter was made especially with my good friend Darlene in mind. She e-mailed me a few weeks back about making nut-free macaroons because she’s allergic to nuts [I know, SAD!]. I knew then that I wanted to showcase a recipe that proves making your own nut/seed butters is not only cheap and easy, but delicious and completely adaptable!
You’ll fall in love with this butter even if you’re not allergic to nuts. Here’s why:
- It’s delicious! Roasted sunflower seeds have a nutty taste and texture with an added element of silkiness.
- Sunflower seeds are chock-full of vitamin E [which serves as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and helps prevent cardiovascular disease], magnesium [necessary for energy + healthy bones], and selenium [which helps prevent cancer + improves detoxification].
As always, this recipe is totally adjustable! Feel free to add salt, more sugar, or more oil to fit your preference and diet [taste-testing along the way is part of the fun!].
Sunflower Seed Butter
- 2 c sunflower seeds [roasted/raw]
- 1-2 tsp raw sugar [or other sweetener]
- 1-2 tsp canola oil [depending on how goopy you want it. You can also use any other mild-tasting oil.]
If you’re starting with raw sunflower seeds, roast your seeds at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes [watch them closely as they will go from perfectly brown to burnt very quickly!]. Allow the seeds to cool.
Process together the seeds and sugar together in a food processor [I’ve tried using my mini food-processor and it didn’t work, so you’ll want to use a standard sized machine with lots of room.]
Once the seeds and sugar is processed and begins to clump together [this could take a few minutes], drizzle the oil in one tsp at a time, allowing time for it to incorporate before trying another tsp.
Be patient [I know, I know…]. Allow the mixture to process for 5-10 minutes, scraping down the sides a few times. I promise it will suddenly start to even out and look like something spreadable.
I like my sunflower seed butter a little grainy. Once it gets to your desired consistency, stop the processor, taste-test and tweak ingredients, if necessary.
Enjoy! Makes about eight servings [about 1 c / 16 Tbsp].
Store your sunflower seed butter in a glass jar in the fridge.
Immediately consume whatever doesn’t fit in the jar.
[between Udi’s gluten-free toast + fresh cherries!]
Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts. Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!