We are now approaching almost one year since we first figured out that my son had undiagnosed food sensitivities, including wheat, cow’s milk, peanuts, almonds, oranges, and high-sugar-content anything (including even bananas!) For awhile, I felt like I it was enough to just survive, but lately I have felt like our diet, although it is relatively clean, is also relatively boring.
One of the ways I am trying to spruce up my kids’ diet is to plan out their breakfasts, snacks, and lunches in advance. It’s a lot easier to provide variety if you can plan for it. But having options requires having different foods to work with. It was much simpler back in the days of string cheese, graham crackers, Goldfish, and PB&J on whole wheat. Sigh.
One big hit around here, though, has been sunflower seed butter, or “Sunbutter.” For an 18 oz jar at Walmart, you can find it for a mere $6-7 – not easy on our budget at all! Thankfully, we have been blessed to be on an Azure Standard route where we can find sunflower seeds for $2/lb. After searching on the Internet, it seemed very doable to make my own sunflower seed butter with a food processer and a little oil added in. The extra oil is necessary because sunflower seeds have a lower fat content than peanuts or almonds, so while peanuts or almonds will break down and release their oils after a few minutes of processing, sunflower seeds won’t.
Here’s what I do to make our own sunflower seed butter for about $2 per jar:
Sunflower Seed Butter
2 cups of roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds (salted is fine too, just omit the additional salt)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp honey
2-4 Tbsp oil of choice (I like to use olive or canola)
1. Process the sunflower seeds in the food processor for about 2-3 minutes until they look like a very crumbly sand. They should look somewhat like this:
2. Scrape down the sides and continue to process for another minute or two.
3. Scrape down again, re-cover the processor, and while it is running, slowly drizzle in about 2 Tbsp. of the oil and 1 Tbsp. of honey. At this point, it should begin to ball up a bit and liquify. If you like your sunflower seed butter runnier, continue to add the oil bit by bit until the consistency is right.
Makes about 1 3/4 cups.
*Note: The consistency will not be that of the kind you find in the stores, but it still works well for us as a peanut butter substitute. We have also used it in this no-bake cookie recipe with wonderful results!
**UPDATE: You may want to check out this video on YouTube as well. I haven’t tried it yet, but the video shows how to make sunbutter without adding any oil – the trick is to process it for 10 minutes. I guess I didn’t have enough patience, but will try it myself and see if it helps.