Tastes better AND costs less? Sign me up!
I recently saw one of those inspirational quotes online that perfectly describes what today was like. You know the ones with the beautiful picture in the background that has nothing to do with the actual quote? This particular one said, “Are you really having a bad day, or just a bad five minutes that you are letting ruin the rest?” THAT, my friends, was today. Overall, pretty good. But man, the way it started left me sour for a good while. I was supposed to work an event that got canceled, but no one told me it was canceled. After that, everything seemed to go wrong. Quick stop at Burger King? Nope, their credit card machines are down. Run to Taco Bell? Nope, Reese can’t eat there. Go to the store to buy sunflower seeds. They contain peanuts. Um… what? Start trying to make a new recipe, then get interrupted by a 4-year-old potty emergency, then by not making it to the potty in time…. Seriously, all things considered, it was a good day and it’s a good life. But man, this post didn’t want to happen today!
Enough complaining, though. On with the Homemade SunButter!
Two of my littles are allergic to peanuts, so we have come to love SunButter in our house (as mentioned in my Lennox and Reese’s SunButter Cups post). If you like sunflower seeds, it’s an excellent substitute for peanut butter. Just don’t expect it to taste like peanut butter!
This is a recipe that I modified from Tasty Junior. It’s a perfect recipe for little hands to help with. It’s super easy, and I think it tastes better than the store-bought stuff.
I eventually found sunflower seeds that didn’t contain peanuts (because, duh). The seeds I found were roasted and salted, which saved steps. If you have raw seeds, roast them on a baking sheet at 350 for about 8 minutes, stirring halfway between. Put two cups of roasted seeds into a food processor.
A tablespoon of honey adds just the right amount of sweetness. If you used unsalted seeds, now would be a good time to add a pinch or two of salt. That will really help tie things together. Salt is one of those things you don’t even know it’s there until it’s not.
Start up the food processor, and pretty soon the seeds will take a texture of coarse, wet sand. Here is where you have some options. You can about any kind of neutral oil. The original recipe uses melted coconut oil, so I went with that.*
Run the food processor for longer than you think you should. It will never take on a creamy peanut butter consistency, but it will eventually get relatively smooth. Pour/scoop it into an airtight container. A mason jar would work wonderfully. I do not have a mason jar. I just used a Rubbermaid container. SunButter (especially homemade sunbutter) does best when kept refrigerated. It should last about 2 months, but I don’t imagine it will – it’s too tasty. I couldn’t keep the kids from licking the bowl! Spread it on toast, make a sandwich, or try out some sunbutter cups. It’s delicious any way you try it!
EDIT: Coconut oil will go solid in the fridge. For some reason I didn’t consider that. If you store your sunbutter in the fridge, allow it to warm for a bit before you try to spread it, or you will rip your toast.
- 4 cups sunflower seeds (out of the shell)
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3-4 tbsp coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
- salt to taste (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350. Put sunflower seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast for 8-10 miutes, stirring halfway through. (If your are using roasted sunflower seeds, omit this step.)
- Put roasted seed into the work bowl of a food processor and buzz them up. Slowly pour in the oil.
- Let the processor run for a few minutes, stopping every once in a while to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Once the sunbutter has reached a smooth(ish) consistency, pour into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
*NOTE: I said you have options. I used coconut oil, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I was making sunflower seed butter and not using the perfectly good, locally made sunflower oil I had in the pantry. I only made half a batch because my food processor is small (which is why the recipe says 2 tbsp of honey when I only said one earlier in the post). So I decided to try one with sunflower oil. It took more sunflower oil than coconut oil, but I think I like the taste slightly better (I can only tell in side-by-side comparison). Plus, there is something satisfying about using sunflower oil to make homemade sunbutter.