Since peanut and tree nut allergies are so much more prevalent nowadays, sunflower butter can be a great allergy-friendly alternative!
Sunflower butter is one of the cheaper alternatives compared to other nut butters like peanut butter or almond butter, too, and when you make it at home it contains no additives like sugar or oil. This recipe simply calls for sunflower seeds and salt (which is an optional addition anyway!).
One important step to take when making sunflower butter (or any type of nut or seed butter, really) is to roast the seeds beforehand, as this helps them to release their oils much faster than if they were raw. The warmer the nuts or seeds, the quicker they’ll release their natural oils – so you won’t need to add any additional oil to the mix. I toasted the sunflower seeds for around 10 minutes before blending them up into creamy butter.
Now, fair warning. This process can be a little time-consuming, especially when making it for the first time. I strongly recommend that you use a high-powered blender or food processor as this will make the process a whole lot easier, and faster, too.
First the butter will become a flour, then slowly but surely it will begin to clump together, until finally, after many minutes of waiting and blending, it will develop that butter-like consistency and texture we all know and love. So it really just requires a lot of patience and persistence.
This homemade version tastes delicious without any added sugar, but I do at salt to help counteract any bitter flavour it might have. Some people find it still tastes too bitter on its own, so you’re more than welcome to add a few tablespoons of coconut sugar to the seeds while blending to help balance out the flavour, or you can use another natural sweetener of your choosing. Using a dried natural sweetener (like coconut sugar) is preferable as it helps to extend the shelf life, but if you’d prefer to use something like maple syrup, it’s a good idea to store the butter in the fridge and use it within a couple of weeks.
Sunflower seeds come with many health benefits, and are high in nutrients like B complex vitamins, which are important for a healthy nervous system, as well as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin E (among other nutrients). (1)
Alright, who’s ready to get cooking!?
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Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter Recipe
- 3 cups hulled sunflower seeds
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (optional)
- Spread the sunflower seeds into a thin layer on a large frying pan (you’re going to be dry roasting them, so no oil is needed. If you like, you can cover the pan in a baking sheet and then pour the sunflower seeds on).
- Toast them until the seeds start to turn lightly golden and have a nutty aroma, about 10-15 minutes. You’ll want to watch and stir the seeds every few minutes or so while they’re toasting to make sure they don’t burn.
- Once the seeds are toasted, let them cool for about 1 minute or so, then pour them into a food processor fitted with an “S” blade and start processing them.
- Just like making almond, peanut or any other seed or nut butter, you’ll need a bit of patience during this part. First, the sunflower seeds will be ground into a fine meal, and in about 5 to 7 more minutes, it should start to form a sticky ball.
- After the ball stage, it took another 7 minutes or so for the butter to reach a creamy consistency. Once the butter is smooth, you can add the coconut sugar and salt if using, to taste, and keep processing for a couple more minutes until it’s mixed in evenly.
- Pour the butter into a glass jar with an airtight lid and store in the fridge for up to a month. (It might last longer than that, but I’ve usually used it up by then!)
- Sunflower butter makes a great substitute for nut butter in most recipes, but just one thing to keep in mind is that if it’s combined with baking soda in a baked good, it may result in the product turning slightly green, because of a chemical reaction that occurs. It’s safe to eat, but it can come as a surprise if you weren’t expecting it!
Recipe adapted from Detoxinista’s recipe, How To Make Sunflower Seed Butter (Oil-Free).
Please let me know how your sunflower seed butter turns out in the comments! I’d love to hear!
Below is a quick run-through video of how I make sunflower seed butter, and the steps along the way showing you the whole process from the sunflower seeds becoming a flour-like consistency, all the way to becoming a butter.
Did You Try This Recipe?
Lots of love,