Friday, September 18, 2015

Sunflower Butter

Plain sunflower seed butter can taste quite bitter so I’ve improved its flavour by adding a touch of coconut sugar, cinnamon, and some virgin coconut oil to thin the consistency a bit. The result is a sunflower seed butter you’ll want to add to everything and eat by the spoonful. Even though it’s not almond or peanut butter, you won’t feel like you’re missing out at all when you make this nut-free spread. This recipe is originally from Angela Liddon.

3 cups (about 400g) Raw shelled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup Coconut sugar
2 tablespoons Virgin coconut oil, softened
pinch of Pink Himalayan salt or other fine salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, or to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
1 Vanilla bean, seeded or 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder (optional)


Preheat oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread on the seeds to form an even layer. Roast for 9-12 minutes, until some of the seeds are lightly golden. Cool the seeds for a few minutes before using.

While seeds are roasting, put the sugar into a high speed blender and grind until a powder forms. Leave the lid on and set aside so the “dust” can settle.

Spoon the toasted seeds into a heavy-duty food processor (I like to spoon the seeds into my measuring cup and transfer them that way. When I have about a 1/2 cup of seeds left on the baking sheet I will use the parchment paper to “funnel” the remaining seeds into the processor).

Process the seeds for a few minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl every minute. It will look dry and powdery at this stage (If you have a chute, you can leave it open to allow steam to escape).

Add the coconut oil to the seeds and process together for another couple minutes. The butter will clump together into a large ball and start rattling around for a bit. Then, the ball will eventually break down into buttery consistency. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed.

Then, add in the blended sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Process together for another few minutes until smooth. Now, slowly pour in the vanilla while processing. Add in the vanilla bean seeds (if using). You can add a touch more oil if you need to thin out the butter (but do not add water or liquid sweetener because it will seize). I like to let the food processor run for at least another 2 minutes to get the sunflower seed butter super smooth. I usually process it for a total of approximately 8 minutes, but timing will vary based on your food processor and personal preference. Some food processors may need to run for upwards of 15 minutes to get the sunflower seed butter smooth enough.

Once you are happy with your butter, transfer it into an air-tight container. Chill in the fridge. Here it will keep for about 2 months and will remain “spreadable”.

1) Do not skip toasting the seeds; it’s necessary for the seeds to break down in the processor.
2) The sweetener is added because sunflower seed butter is bitter; feel free to adjust the sweetener to your own taste.
3) If for some reason your seeds aren’t breaking down after the specified times, add a touch more coconut oil, a teaspoon at a time. Some machines just might need to run a bit longer, so be patient!

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