Sunflower seed butter is a great alternative to peanut or almond butters if anyone is suffering from nut allergies. Its lower in calories and tastes great. The key is to toast the seeds for a deep flavour and helps release the natural oils when you are grinding it in the food processor . You don’t need to add any additional oil but I added splash of coconut for its flavours along with few dates, vanilla essence and sea salt.
You can also add liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or honey but sometimes it seizes up the butter because the oils gather together and separate from the water, making your nut or seed butter clumpy and difficult to spread. So, I have been playing it safe with dry sweeteners like dates, cranberries, sugars etc. You can use this delicious spread on toasts, pancakes or spoon it over a bowl of granola and muesli. You can also use it as a dip for apples, carrots or celery.
280g hulled sunflower seeds
Pinch sea salt
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut oil, softened at room temperature but not melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C and spread the sunflower seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Toast the seeds until they’re lightly golden and begin to smell nutty and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Watch and stir the seeds every 5 minutes or so to prevent burning.
2. Once the seeds are toasted, transfer them to the bowl of a food processor and process on continuously until they form a fine powder, about 30 seconds. Continue processing until the powder becomes clumpy, an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Continue processing mixture for 2 to 3 additional minutes, or until it starts gathering together into a large clump or ball. If your machine starts getting hot, simply pause the process for a minute or so to let it cool down and proceed.
4. Continue to process until mixture forms a smooth butter. Continue processing for an additional 2 minutes or so, until the seed butter reaches a smooth, paste-like consistency.
5. Add the dates, salt, cinnamon, coconut oil and vanilla extract and process for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until it becomes super smooth and spoonable.
6. Storing your butter: Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 2 weeks, in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.