It wasn’t long ago that Trader Joe’s sunflower seed butter took the world by storm. And for good reason: it’s delicious! I myself have partaken in more than one jar. The only thing about it that’s hard to swallow? The ingredient list: Sunflower seeds, evaporated cane juice, salt. Yes, I know it’s only three ingredients and it could be much, much worse. But I also know, I can make it better.
It’s those three words in the middle of the list that really get me: evaporated cane juice. Otherwise known as sugar. Sunflower seeds themselves make an incredibly deep flavored, rich “butter” when ground together, and a little sweetness goes a long way to enhance the flavor. But does the second ingredient really have to be “evaporated cane juice”? I don’t think so. And if I can avoid packaging at all, I will- so when I had this recipe bookmarked for nearly two months now, I knew it was time to try my own hand at the beloved sunbutter.
Nut-free, peanut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free, this is the ultimate allergen-free recipe. Not to mention the fact that it’s rich, bold flavor is unlike any other I’ve ever tried before. It really is an extremely tasty, versatile seed butter. I did add a hint of sweetness using a little bit of stevia (perfect for those of you on a Candida, Paleo or other low-sugar diet) but you could feel free to use a bit of honey if you partake and don’t mind the honey taste, or agave if you roll with it, but it is entirely optional. The oil is also optional- my ancient food processor needed a little help but if you have a super high tech Cuisinart don’t even bother. I do think the sea salt is mandatory- it brings out the flavor and it is way healthier than your average processed iodized salt.
Homemade Sunflower Seed butter
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp oil of choice (optional; I used grapeseed for the neutral taste)
pinch of stevia or sweetener of choice (optional)
pinch of sea salt
1. Roast sunflower seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until golden.
2. Add seeds to food processor and grind until powdered; add oil if necessary.
Continue blending until seeds form a smooth paste, scraping down sides as needed.
3. Add sweetener as desired and sea salt to taste.
Enjoy by itself as a dip, condiment or spread, or in this fabulous recipe.
Did you know? Sunflower seeds are super high in healthy polysunsaturated fats. They are also one of the highest plant sources of antioxidant Vitamin E (a fat soluble vitamin- see how those two health points go hand in hand? Nature is beautiful), along with our friend the avocado. It’s also high in magnesium and selenium (selenium being one mineral that doesn’t tend to be prominent in plant-based foods!). [source]
Do you have a “make it homemade” reader request? I’m taking submissions now! And don’t forget to send me your Weekly Nibbles “Show me your nibbles” favorite meal pictures, my first three will be featured this weekend! Send both to cookbakenibble [at] gmail.com!