Thursday, October 13, 2011

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter (Sunbutter)

I am deathly allergic to peanuts.  It's no fun to have an allergy but I'm so impressed with how far we've come with peanut allergy awareness.  What a difference I've seen.  I remember as a young child riding on an airplane and feeling so sick to my stomach at the very smell of the peanuts...and hungry because I was out of luck in the snack department.  A few years later they started serving pretzels as an alternative to peanuts on flights.  I don't even think they give out peanuts anymore, do they?  Skylar, my daughter, is not allergic to peanuts and I don't know if my son Ethan has inherited this allergy?  At any rate, we've been using sunbutter for quite some time as an alternative to peanut butter.  It's a nice change from the usual almond butter.  I like this brand but don't love the price and don't love the plastic container.  So I decided to make it myself.  And you know what......SUPER EASY!!! Sky couldn't even tell the difference between my homemade version and the store bought variety.  And that's all I needed to move into permanently making sunflower seed butter.  Hooray! 
gorgeous sunflower from my garden!
Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter 

-3 cups of organic raw sunflower seeds
-Pinch of salt (optional) 

How To
1.  Toast sunflower seeds for a bit until fragrant and slightly brown.  Cool seeds.  
2.  Add the cooled seeds to a food processor and start blending; scrape down sides every minute or so for about 5 minutes.  
3.  After about 6 minutes the seeds will form a ball then become thinner as the oils in the seeds are released.  
4.  After about 8 minutes of processing you can add in a pinch of salt, but this is totally optional. It should be properly blended by this time.  Store in class container in the refrigerator.  
Yields 1 1/4 cups of sunbutter
I have a small, OLD food processor and it works great.  
Just be sure to scrape down the sides a few times so the
mixture has contact with the blades.

Speaking of Sun...
It has been so gorgeous here in Northern California.  Finally, finally, cool fall weather...although it's supposed to be up near 90 degrees today, there is still a soft, clean feel to the air.  I adore this time of year.  Below are some pictures from around our yard.  Wish I could just bottle up this weather.
Our neighbor's lemon tree is showing some action!  
They let me go over there whenever I have the need and pick to 
my heart's content.  
Our other neighbor has a nice fig tree with a sizable
bunch hanging on our side of the fence!  
So excited for these!
We still have watermelons to harvest!
We had quite the bounty this year.
Our tomato plant is out of control, but still providing 
us with sweet, gorgeous cherry tomatoes.
Shared on: Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Freaky Friday, Fresh Bites Fridays, Lunch Box Love Fridays, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food,  Potluck Party Back to School Recipes,  Raw Foods Thursdays,, Wellness Weekend 


  1. Hi
    Would this recipe be easier in a Vita-mix? Or is there something about the food processor you like in getting it creamy or adding in the oil?
    Also, where did you get your cute smiley spoons?

  2. Hi KellyBelly~

    I think this would definitely work in a Vitamix. But I used my food processor first for two reasons:

    1. The last time I tried to make a nut butter (with almonds) it didn't work so well, so I had a bit of an aversion going into the sunflower butter process.

    2. I only make one cup at a time so I thought it would be better incorporated in the food processor.

    I would love it if you shared your experience in a Vitamix or other high speed blender. I'm sure it would work great. The food processor just worked so well for me that first time I didn't bother trying anything else. I'm sure other readers would like to hear about your experience.

    Aren't those spoons adorable?! My mother-in-law actually gave those to the kids. She finds some really fun things on-line. I did a search and found a link for you:

    *A product note: the paint popped out of the larger spoon's eye (the yellow smiley face) after about a week of use. Bummer!

    Be Well,

  3. Gigi @ Gluten Free GigiJanuary 17, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Hi, Amber!
    I had not found you until you made a comment on my site today... and now I can see your comment in the admin side, approved it, and not visible on the post. We'll see if it clears up and appears by tomorrow.

    I love your site, and am happy to find you! :)

    I had to check out your how-tos... I love homemade sunbutter and just recently made a video for my you tube channel... I used a food processor for mine. I have a Blendtec and I prefer results with the regular food processor, to be quite honest. :)

    Beautiful site. I'll be back often!

    Gigi ;)

  4. Hi Gigi,

    Thanks for stopping by. Love your site too. I am definitely going to check out your video! And I agree about the food processor, love it.

    Be Well,

  5. Leslie @ Real Food FreaksMarch 16, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Sun butter is great... just be aware that if you bake with it, it can turn your baked goods green! I made pancakes with it once and the next day when I took the leftovers out of the fridge, they were green... there's some type of chemical reaction that occurs. Oh well, I think my oldest son preferred the green pancakes! :)

  6. Hi Leslie,

    Just in time for St. Pattie's Day!

    I have heard of this phenomenon! So interesting. My kids would love the green too.

    Here's a link that talks a little more about this interesting transformation:

    Be Well,

  7. Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and HealthyMarch 16, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    I think it's baking soda that turns the sunflower seed butter green. I just made this tonight for the first time in my Vitamix! I made 2 cups worth. I didn't measure the oil, but I used several TBSPs and probably should have use d alittle more. It wasn't as creamy as I would've liked. I also added a touch of salt and some raw honey.

    1. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook)March 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      Hi Anne! Good to see you over here :-) I was wondering if you had ever made this, since it sounds fairly easy and probably worth the cost.
      I'm thinking of trying it out because I think I mayb be able to buy sunflower seeds cheaper than natural peanut butter here. But I've never tasted sunbutter before. Is it similar to peanut butter?

    2. Hi Steph,

      Just chiming in here. Sunflower seed butter smells and tastes A LOT like peanut butter! Especially store bought. Homemade is less intense to me, as I'm allergic to peanut butter, therefore I very much enjoy the homemade version for this reason. And my kids can't tell the difference.

      --Amber (from The Tasty Alternative)

  • Hi Anne,

    Thanks for the tip. My food processor works great, but I might have to use my Vitamix one day too. And you're right, from what I've read about the green, it is the baking soda. Suggestions include using less baking soda or add lemon juice to offset this chemical reaction.

    Be Well,

  • Tessa Domestic DivaMarch 20, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    I've been thinking to try my hand at this...afterall, i make my own coconut's a logical next step! I kind of enjoy the green...I made a bar that turned BRIGHT green, like I had added food coloring, I loved it!

  • Hi Tessa,

    I think you'll really enjoy homemade! And I agree, I LOVE the green.



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